Agamenticus, (this was the term that the Abenaki Indians called the York River), was the first city to be chartered in the United States in 1641. In 1642, it was renamed Gorgeana and incorporated as the first city. When the Massachusetts Bay Colony annexed southwestern Maine in 1652, Gorgeana was reincorporated as York, Me. Mark Twain use to spend his summers in York, Maine. During King William’s War, the town of York was destroyed in the Candlemas Massacre of 1692. One of the big attractions in York is Cape Neddick Lighthouse which is located at Nubble Rock. Another lighthouse visible on a clear day is Boon Island Lighthouse is located 6.2 miles off the beach.
Ogunquit, which means “beautiful place by the sea” in the indigenous Abenaki language, was first a village within Wells, which was settled in 1641. It was incorporated in 1980. They built the first sawmill in Ogunquit in 1686 which help fuel the ship building industry along the tidal Ogunquit River. With a 3½-mile beach of pale sand and dunes forming a barrier peninsula, connected to the mainland in 1888 by bridge across the Ogunquit River, the village was discovered by artists. It became a popular art colony and tourist area, particularly after 1898, when the Ogunquit Art Colony was established. Part of Stephen King’s book, “The Stand” published in 1978 was set in Ogunquit.
Wells is a town in York County, Maine, founded in 1643. It is the third-oldest town in Maine. The Abenaki Indians called the area Webhannet, meaning “at the clear stream”, a reference to the Webhannet River. In 1653, Wells was incorporated, the third town in Maine to do so, and named after Wells, England, a small cathedral city in the county of Somerset. The town developed as a farming community, producing hay and vegetables. Other industries included shipbuilding and fisheries. In the 19th century, with the arrival of the railroad, the town’s beautiful beaches attracted tourists. There are 7 miles of beaches with public parking areas: Drakes Island Beach, East Shore Beach, and Wells Beach, as well as the privately held Moody Beach. The “Antiques Mile” is dozens of antiques vendors lining Post Road between Wells Corner and the Wells/Kennebunk town line.