A familiar title to many Mainers, Bangor is often described as the Queen City but where did this bold assertion originate?
Known as Kenduskeag Plantation or Sunbury in the late 1700s, it was renamed Bangor and established as a town in 1791.
Through rapid growth in the timber industry, the city of Bangor was chartered in 1834 and quickly rose to regional prominence. While the exact origin of the “Queen City” phrase is difficult to prove, resident Charles P. Roberts wrote sometime after 1834 that “the town came forth like a star in the forehead of the morning as the Queen City of the East.”
Fortunes were made and investment in Bangor followed, prompting some to speculate that Bangor would eventually rival Boston or New York. Although this grand prediction would not come true, Bangor did, and continues to play a major role as a “Queen City” in northern New England.
(Vintage Photo Credit: Collections of Maine Historical Society, courtesy of VintageMaineImages.com, items No. 196, 1131, 195)