Settled in 1773, Skowhegan has long been the hub of commercial and outdoor life in the southern part of Somerset County, set at the intersection of Route 2 and the Old Canada Road. The Kennebec River is the pulsing, beating heart of this river town. A powerful river gorge runs through its charming downtown area — a gorge that will one day become home to the finest whitewater paddling facility in New England.
Today, Skowhegan bustles with the activity of modern businesses as diverse as SAPPI Fine Paper and the New Balance Shoe Company. There is a unique vibe in the downtown, one of only a handful of Main Street Maine communities, that is anything but corporate. Cafés, shops and merchants set in and among a collection of beautiful historic structures come together to celebrate the diversity of the town.
The newly restored Skowhegan Indian, safely tucked into a corner off Route 201 was presented in 1969 by Maine’s own Bernard Langlais as a gift on behalf of the Abenaki Indians to Skowhegan, in observance of Maine’s 150th birthday. He waits to welcome you to town. Stop in and see him.
Finally, if you plan on coming through in early August, you may catch what is the longest running fair in the United States. The Skowhegan State Fair — established in 1818 — has it all, from popcorn and rides, attractions and entertainment to animal and agricultural exhibits, harness racing and of course a demolition derby.