Flagstaff – Maine’s Sunken Ghost Town
If you're looking for a unique Maine adventure that really dives deep into Maine history, you may want to consider visiting Flagstaff.
According to Wikipedia, the ghost town of Flagstaff is located about 20 miles North of Rangely. But, if you are planning a visit, you'll want to bring your SCUBA gear... The town is dozens of feet of water!
The first settlement in the area was constructed during the Revolutionary War, when Benedict Arnold camped there during his expedition to Quebec. While they were camped at the site, Arnold's men put up a flagstaff (so they could fly a flag). That fairly normal featured led to the name of the town.
The town was active in the logging industry through the 1940s, but was dismantled (and dis-incorporated) in the 1950s when the Dead River hydroelectric dam was constructed. The town's citizens were forced to sell their houses and businesses to the power company, pack up, and move. The dam's construction caused Flagstaff Lake to enlarge, submerging Flagstaff (and several nearby towns)
In some cases, parts of the submerged towns are still around. Prior to the flooding, many of the buildings were dismantled and moved. Sometimes, the entire buildings were moved. Additionally, the graves from local cemeteries were transplanted to locations outside the flood zone.
Several years ago, News Center Maine did a great piece on the town. They even went to interview people who used to live in Flagstaff. Check it out:
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