Local History Collection

The Witherle Memorial Library maintains a large collection of materials on the history and genealogy of Castine. Our online catalog includes books on local history. There are also indexes available in the library for materials not included in our online catalog.

The Library's local history collection spans the 17th through 20th centuries. Along with books, we have local newspapers, letters and diaries, early photographs, postcards, maps, and more. Some materials of particular interest include:

  • The story of Jean-Vincent d'Abbadie de Saint-Castin – The French military officer in the late 1600s from whom Castine gets its name.
  • The history of the Penobscot Expedition, 1779 - A major naval battle that took place locally during the Revolutionary War.
  • Books and other materials by and about Noah Brooks – A Civil War journalist, friend of Abraham Lincoln, and Castine native.
  • Letters of Henry Butler, 1862-1865 - A Union Army soldier writing home to his wife in Castine.
  • Diary of Abigail A. Hawes, 1862-1864, 1868 – A Castine teacher, historian, and poet.
  • Diary of Florence Baldwin, 1921-1925 – A Philadelphia educator who spent her summers in Castine.

Our staff will assist you with locating and using historic materials. Please note that local history materials cannot be checked out - they may be used only in the Library. Photocopying is allowed.

The Castine Historical Society and the Wilson Museum are helpful resources for local history information as well.