Southwest Harbor Town History
Hancock County, Maine

a project of
V. F. Thomas Co. - P. O. Box 111 - Shawmut, Maine  04975

(updated 10 February 2021)

Welcome to a summary of the cultural history of the town of Southwest Harbor, Hancock County, Maine. Each item below marks a highlight of Tremont’s history. Sometimes a sentence or two is sufficient to convey what happened on a particular date. In other cases a link is provided to take you to a page with more information. Following most entries [and in brackets] is an abbreviated reference to the source of the information. The full citations are at the bottom of this page.

How you can help: If you have additional information (including/especially images) or corrections, please e-mail, or send what you have by traditional mail to the address at the top of this page.

A little work by each of us will save a lot of work for all of us.

In addition to the dates and events below, there are webpages about Southwest Harbor’s
      census records (1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, and 1850);
      genealogy [includes surnames from other places];
      markers, monuments, and memorials; and
      postal history.

5 September 1604 Samuel de Champlain described/named Mount Desert Island (“Isle des Monts Desert”)

12 March 1613 Ship Jonas sailed from Honfleur, France, to begin the first attempt at settlement by those of European origin. Weather prevented them from settling at the intended “Kadesquit”. Ultimately they settled on Fernald Point, in what is now Southwest Harbor. [Thornton (1938), pp. 4–6.]

(first U.S. decennial census)
today’s Southwest Harbor was part of the town of Mount Desert, which encompassed what is today the towns of Bar Harbor, Cranberry Isles, Mount Desert, Southwest Harbor, and Tremont.