The history of York begins with the Native American history of the area which thrived there until the seventeenth century when European settlers began to move in to the area.  The first explorers came to the area in 1603 but they did not begin to actually settle the area until the 1630’s.  At that time, the Englishman Sir Ferdinand Gorges took control of the area and by the middle of the seventeenth century it had been incorporated as an official city.  There was only one other city in Maine incorporated prior to that date making it one of the oldest towns in the region.

During this initial period of settlement, Native American tribes continued to live in the area.  Towards the end of the seventeenth century, massacres of these people began to occur.  They continued through the middle of the eighteenth century, by which time the Native American popular was entirely relocated or eradicated.  This marks a horrible period in the history of York and one which the area tries to remedy today by celebrating the culture of the native people who once lived in the area.

York was primarily a fishing town for much of its post-American Revolution history.  It remained a quiet town until the middle of the twentieth century when tourism began to increase in the area.  At that time, York became a popular summer resort area.

Learn more about the history of Maine as a whole at