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Fish Ladder History

Damariscotta Mills & Fishery

Damariscotta Mills, a village located in the Towns of Nobleboro and Newcastle, was settled in 1729. At that time, a double sawmill was built at the head of the falls between fresh water Damariscotta Lake and the tidal headwaters of the Damariscotta River blocking the Alewife passage to their natal waters in the lake. As early as 1741, the legislature called for opening the fish passage at Damariscotta Mills and the towns finally built the “New Stream” (fish ladder) in 1807.

The Old Days