As the state of Maine’s first incorporated town and first port, Kittery attracted many early settlers whose business centered on fishing, hunting and the area’s burgeoning timber industry.
The town naturally progressed into a regional hub for trade and shipbuilding. In fact, the first vessels of the fledgling U.S. Navy were constructed on Badger’s Island in Kittery, one of which was the sloop of war, USS Ranger, originally commanded by John Paul Jones. In 1800, the nation’s first federal Navy Shipyard was established in Kittery because of its proximity to a proven workforce and abundant materials.
The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (actually located in Kittery) was responsible for rebuilding the USS Constitution and the Civil War warship USS Kearsarge. Today, it remains the oldest continuously operating shipyard in the US Navy, focused now on remodeling and repairing US Navy nuclear submarines.
With so many skilled individuals in the town, Kittery quickly began to add manufacturing companies and jobs as the country began moving into the industrial age. Its close proximity to major ports and its position as a gateway to northern New England contributed substantially to its role as a business hub.
Today, Kittery is growing again. The Town has become a regional center for many healthcare, social service companies and providers affiliated with hospitals in nearby Dover and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Sanford and York, Maine.
The Town also became a major tourist mecca with the founding and expansion of the Kittery Trading Post. A gateway landmark for fishermen, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts coming to Maine, KTP’s success paved the way for the growth of outlet shops along the Route 1 retail corridor, including such retailers as Adidas, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, Gap, Lindt Chocolates, Nike, Old Navy, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Swarovski and Timberland to name just a few.
September 08, 2014
This is a fantastic article about Kittery Maine.
September 08, 2014
This is an article from the Washington Post.