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Bangor, Washington; Bangor, California; and Little Bangor, Nevada, are legacies of this contact.By 1860, Bangor was the world's largest lumber port, with 150 sawmills operating along the river.During the American Civil War the locally mustered 2nd Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment was the first to march out of Maine in 1861, and played a prominent part in the First Battle of Bull Run.The 1st Maine Heavy Artillery Regiment, mustered in Bangor and commanded by a local merchant, lost more men than any other Union regiment in the war (especially in the Second Battle of Petersburg, 1864).Bangor became for a time the largest lumber port in the world, and the site of furious land speculation that extended up the Penobscot River valley and beyond.The Penobscot River Maine North Woods drainage basin above Bangor was unattractive to settlement for farming, but well suited to lumbering.The 20th Maine Infantry Regiment held Little Round Top in the Battle of Gettysburg.
The site was visited by Portuguese explorer Esteban Gómez in 1524 and by Samuel de Champlain in 1605.
By 1772, there were 12 families, along with a sawmill, store, and school, and in 1787 the population was 567. This petition was rejected before 6 October 1788, as the town referred to itself as Penobscot River, west side.
In September 1787 a petition, signed by 19 residents, was sent to the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requesting that this designated area be named Sunbury. In 1779, the rebel Penobscot Expedition fled up the Penobscot River and ten of its ships were scuttled by the British fleet at Bangor.
Today, Bangor's economy is based on services and retail, healthcare, and education.
Founded as Condeskeag Plantation, Bangor was incorporated as a New England town in 1791. The city proper has a population of 33,039, while the metropolitan Bangor metropolitan area has a population of 153,746.