Activities & Events
History of Belfast
Belfast was first settled in 1770, by a group of Scots-Irish, they named the town Belfast after Belfast Ireland. In 1827 it was designated the county seat of Waldo County.
During the mid 1800’s it developed into a ship building center, producing hundreds of three to five masted schooners. The ship builders prospered and built the many wonderful historic homes and mansions in the are. Wooden ship building declined around 1900. At that time the local economy shifted to harvesting seafood which included lobsters, scallops, sardines, herring and mackerel. Later shoe manufacturing was an important part of the economy. After World War II, Belfast was one of the largest poultry processing cities in Maine. At that time they processed up to 200,000 chickens a day.
The poultry business collapsed in the 1970s during the US recession. During the early 1990s credit card giant MBNA opened two facilities in Belfast creating numerous jobs. MBNA has since been sold to Bank of America. Bank of America still has a strong presents in Belfast but has downsized their footprint in the original MBNA campus making room for AthenaHealth and OnProcess Technology. Ship building was reintroduced to Belfast by French and Webb in 1996. In 2013 Front Street Ship Yard opened a major boatyard along the Belfast Harbor creating more than 100 jobs and further revitalizing the area.