While the town of Waldoboro was chartered in 1773, it began organized fire protection in 1838 with a volunteer fire department and a hand pump fire engine, the Water Witch.
Maine's natural resources -- granite, limestone and slate in particular -- along with its excellent ports made it a leader in mining and production of the valuable building materials. Stone work also attracted numerous skilled immigrants.
The Wadsworth-Longfellow house is the oldest building on the Portland peninsula, the first historic site in Maine, a National Historic Landmark, home to three generations of Wadsworth and Longfellow family members -- including the boyhood home of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The history of the house and its inhabitants provide a unique view of the growth and changes of Portland -- as well as of the immediate surroundings of the home.