Town/City
Fox Islands (now North Haven and Vinalhaven)
County
Hancock County (now Knox County)
State/Province
Maine
Country
United States

Fox Islands, Maine

Summary

Archipelago featuring two large islands about halfway along coast of Maine in center of Penobscot Bay. English ship captain Martin Pring named islands after indigenous silver-gray foxes, 1603. Established as part of Massachusetts Bay Colony, by 1658. First permanent English settlement established on islands, ca. 1765. Town of Vinalhaven, named for Boston attorney John Vinal, established on both islands; incorporated 25 June 1789; population in 1830 about 1,800 and in 1840 about 2,000. Maine, including Fox Islands, granted statehood, 1820. Quarrying of high-quality granite began on south island, 1826. North island officially set off as separate town, 1846; name changed to North Haven, 1847. Thereafter, Vinalhaven referred to south island only. First Latter-day Saint missionaries preached on islands, beginning 20 Aug. 1837. By winter 1837–1838, branches of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints established on both islands, with about 100 members.

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