Boothbay Harbor is a town in Lincoln County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,334 at the 2000 census. During summer months, the entire Boothbay Harbor region is a popular yachting and tourist destination.
The area was part of Cape Newagen, where the English established an early seasonal fishing camp. In 1666, Henry Curtis purchased the land from the sachem Mowhotiwormet, commonly known as Chief Robinhood, who lived at what is today Woolwich. But the settlement was attacked and burned during King Philip's War, resettled shortly afterwards, then destroyed again in 1689 during King William's War. It was abandoned for 40 years.
In 1730, Colonel David Dunbar, the superintendent and governor of the Province of Sagadahoc, laid out a new town, named Townsend after Viscount Townshend. Despite predations during the French and Indian Wars, and robberies during the Revolutionary War by marauding British sailors, the settlement was successful, not least because of its large, deep and protected harbor. During the Penobscot Expedition, in 1779 Townsend became a rendezvous point for the American naval fleet prior to its disastrous encounter with the British at Castine.
Renamed Boothbay in 1842, the harbor continued to develop as a fishing center. In bad weather, it could hold at a time between 400 and 500 vessels, often Friendship Sloops, seeking shelter. By 1881, it had a fishery and fish oil company, an ice company, 2 marine railways, a fertilizer manufacturer, and a factory for canning lobsters. On February 16, 1889, the community was set off from Boothbay and incorporated as the town of Boothbay Harbor. Some location filming for the 1956 movie version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, notably the "June Is Bustin' Out All Over" sequence, was done there. Each summer, Boothbay Harbor draws crowds of tourists. Attractions include the state aquarium, art galleries, restaurants, boat tours to coastal islands and whale watching.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,334 people, 1,097 households, and 627 families residing in the town. The population density was 404.3 people per square mile (156.2/km²). There were 1,993 housing units at an average density of 345.2/sq mi (133.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.9% White, 0.2% Black or African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.73% Asian, 0.34% from other races, and 0.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.90% of the population.
There were 1,097 households out of which 21.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.4% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.8% were non-families. 36.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.05 and the average family size was 2.67.
In the town the population was spread out with 17.4% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 22.9% from 25 to 44, 28.3% from 45 to 64, and 26.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48 years. For every 100 females there were 84.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.9 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $35,000, and the median income for a family was $45,000. Males had a median income of $30,000 versus $21,000 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,146. About 5.9% of families and 10.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.7% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over.