If you have ancestors from Maine or an interest in the history of Maine, we are pleased to announce that we’ve added The Bangor Daily News, the Bangor Daily Whig and Courier, and The Weekly to our archives! In 1900, the Bangor Daily News merged with the Bangor Whig and Courier and we have both archives with papers dating back to 1832!
Maine is the “Pine Tree State” and these newspapers chronicle how the lumber industry played a part in the growth and prosperity of the city. Bangor lies along the Penobscot River and logs harvested from the Maine North Woods could be floated downstream to the city’s sawmills. By the 1860s, Bangor was home to the world’s largest lumber port. All that lumber also provided materials for the growing shipbuilding industry, which thrived in Bangor.
During the Civil War, the 2nd Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment was the first to march out of Maine in 1861. They fought in the First Battle of Bull Run. Bangor residents felt the acute impact of war. The 1st Maine Heavy Artillery Regiment that mustered out of Bangor lost more men than any other Union regiment in the War with 683 deaths.
The war left some children orphaned and the Bangor Children’s Home was established. The orphanage started in 1839 as the Bangor Females Orphan Asylum, but after the war, it was re-purposed to admit boys with a new and larger building dedicated in 1869.
On April 30, 1911, a fire started in a hay shed and spread throughout Bangor. The Great Fire of 1911 claimed the high school, banks, the post office, Custom House, churches, nearly a hundred businesses, and close to 300 homes.
The library, which was also destroyed, held books that contained historical records and genealogies of early Bangor residents. The press that produced the Bangor Daily News did not burn, but the building was without electricity. Nonetheless, the editors printed a paper just hours after the fire, setting it all by hand.
In December 1962, Bangor was hit with a huge snowstorm that dumped 37 inches. Howling winds caused snowdrifts 20 feet tall! For the first time in its 130-year history, the Bangor Daily News was unable to deliver a paper on December 31, 1962.
If you are searching for ancestors from Bangor, search for obituaries and marriage or birth announcements. Family reunion notices also provide a wealth of genealogical information. Start searching The Bangor Daily News, the Bangor Daily Whig and Courier, and The Weekly today on Newspapers.com.