The Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site is located in Bristol, Maine, on a peninsula at the head of Johns Bay and at the mouth of the Pemaquid River. The name Pemaquid comes from the Micmac tribe, meaning “situated far out,” referring to the extended spit of land on which the historic site rests. A state park since 1903, Colonial Pemaquid is owned by the state of Maine and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1993.
Due to its appealing location, people inhabited Pemaquid for centuries prior to the first English colony in the 17th century; some historians suggest indigenous settlements were there as early as 1000 C.E. Initially established as a fishing village in the early 1600s, by the late 1620s, permanent homes had been erected. Currently, Fort William Henry, reconstructed in 1908, sits on the remnants of the 17th century fort, Fort William Henry, and the 18th century fort, Fort Frederick. The Friends of Colonial Pemaquid operate Fort House and the museum of excavated artifacts while providing interpretive tours in 17th century period dialect and dress, covering the fort, the village, and the burial ground.
Extensive archaeological excavations have unearthed almost 100,000 well-preserved artifacts from the 17th and 18th centuries, a portion of which are display in the museum, including an old and rare coin collection, English and European pottery, farm equipment, and household objects, as well as maps of the area and a diorama of the Pemaquid village. With a full line-up of seasonal events from Memorial Day through September 1st, The Colonial Pemaquid State Historical Site is a New England landmark not to be missed.