Logo   Old York Village, Maine Guide
One of New England's oldest towns, Old York has America's oldest jail, several colonial buildings, and a cemetery with the remains of Indian massacre victims.




Old York (or York Village) is the historic town center, settled by Europeans in 1624. Old York received a royal charter in 1639, the first English town in the country to have this privilege.

The Old York Historical Society (tel 207-363-4974) has preserved six historic buildings:

Old Gaol, built as a jail in the 1700s, is now a museum of colonial and Native American artifacts.

Emerson-Wilcox House (1740) sheltered two presidents over the years.

Jefferds Tavern (1750) just across the street from the Emerson-Wilcox House, and right next to the...

Old School House (1745) a tiny place for a small number of small people.

Old York Cemetery Besides having the standard collection of fascinating old New England tombstones, there is a grave said to be that of a witch. Covered with a huge slab of stone to protect the townspeople from a reappearance, it's a real curiosity. One wonders what odd circumstances brought this poor soul such condemnation.

First Parish Church across the street from the Emerson-Wilcox House, still very much in use.

John Hancock Warehouse and Wharf, down at the water's edge, now holds exhibits on life in York during revolutionary times, but was once owned by the great patriot who signed the Declaration of Independence with a signature so large the king could read it without his glasses.

Sewall's Bridge on the York River

Elizabeth Perkins House, built in 1730 but preserved with Victorian furnishings.

Costumed "interpreters" guide you through these historic buildings, explaining the details of daily community, commercial and family life in Old York from 1740 to 1940.

Tours run from mid-June through September, Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm.

—by Tom Brosnahan

Tourist Information

York Beach

Cape Neddick

York Harbor

About York

Maine's Southern Coast

Maine Highlights

Maine Homepage


Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Old Gaol, York ME

Above, the Old Gaol, Old York Village ME.

Below, First Parish Church of York.

First Parish Church, York ME



FTP on Facebook    
Pinterest    Twitter