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Orrington is a town in Penobscot Countymarker, Mainemarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 3,526 at the 2000 census.


Orrington was originally part of Condustiegg (or Kenduskeag) Plantation, which also included the present-day cities of Bangor and Brewer. Orrington was incorporated as a town in 1788 with its major village at Brewermarker, then called "New Worcester". Bangor incorporated three years later in 1791. Brewer broke away from Orrington in 1812 to form a separate town.

The name "Orrington" reportedly resulted from a spelling mistake. The settlers intended to name it "Orangetown" after Orangetown, Maryland, but it was written on the record-books in distant Massachusetts, of which Maine was then a territory, as "Orrington". "Orring" was a not unreasonable phonetic rendering of "orange" before the standardization of spelling.

Notable Residents

Enoch Mudge, who settled in Orrington 1799-1816, was the first American-born Methodist minister, and a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives (Maine then being a part of Massachusetts). His son Enoch Reddington Mudge, born in Orrington in 1812, founded the famous St. Charles Hotel in New Orleansmarker, and eventually became a leading textile manufacturer in New York and Massachusetts and member of the Massachusetts State Senate.

Three nephews of Enoch Mudge, all born in Orrington, also had notable careers. Benjamin Franklin Mudge (1817-1879) became a prominent geologist and paleontologist, discovering at least 80 new species of extinct animals and plants in the fossil record, including a number of dinosaurs. His brother Zachariah A. Mudge became a Methodist clergyman and prolific author of both religious and adventure books. Brother Thomas H. Mudge likewise became a Methodist minister and a professor of theology.

Ebenezer M. Chamberlain (1805-1861) of Orrington moved to Indianamarker and represented that state in the U.S. House of Representatives 1853-55.

Best selling author Stephen King lived in Orrington for a number of years and the idea of his book "Pet Sematary" was drawn from a real pet cemetery that children in the neighborhood created near the intersection of River Road and Center Drive.

Molly Kool, the first female master mariner in North America, lived in Orrington after she retired from the sea.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 27.5 square miles (71.2 km²), of which, 25.4 square miles (65.8 km²) of it is land and 2.1 square miles (5.4 km²) of it (7.64%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 3,526 people, 1,396 households, and 1,042 families residing in the town. The population density was 138.8 people per square mile (53.6/km²). There were 1,489 housing units at an average density of 58.6/sq mi (22.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 99.09% White, 0.20% African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.03% from other races, and 0.34% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.14% of the population.

There were 1,396 households out of which 32.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.3% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.3% were non-families. 19.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the town the population was spread out with 23.6% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 28.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 99.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $44,327, and the median income for a family was $47,803. Males had a median income of $35,250 versus $27,381 for females. The per capita income for the town was $19,290. About 2.4% of families and 4.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.6% of those under age 18 and 5.8% of those age 65 or over.


  1. George J. Varney, Gazetteer of the State of Maine (Boston, 1886)
  2. Enoch R. Mudge ObituaryNew York Times Oct. 3, 1881, p. 5

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