Pembroke Historical Society

Member Area Login

Pembroke is a small town with a population of roughly 800 people. It is located in Washington County Maine. 

It is home of the world famous Reversing Falls. 

It was the home of Charles H. Best, a Canadian medical scientist and one of the co-discoverers of insulin. 

Henry Styles Bridges, a teacher and the 63rd Governor of New Hampshire was born in West Pembroke. 

Called Pennamaquan by the Passamaquoddy Indians, the area was settled about 1774 as part of Dennysville. It was set off and incorporated on February 4, 1832 by the legislature, which named it after Pembroke in Wales, a community with a history of wooden shipbuilding stretching back to the Middle Ages. With one of the finest harbors in Maine, Pembroke too became a shipbuilding center. Vessels were constructed here as early as 1825. By 1859, when the population was 1,712, there were seven shipyards operating. Most schooners constructed here were used either by the coasting trade or fisheries.

Pembroke also had three sawmills, one gristmill, four shingle mills and four lath machines. Near the head of tide stood the Pembroke Iron Works Company, established in 1832 and by 1856 producing almost 5,000 tons of iron spikes, rivets and nails a year. Another occupation was agriculture. In 1880, the town’s population was 2,324.

Our History

The Pembroke Historical Society was established in the summer of 1995. In December of that year they received a $750 grant for a project called “Growing Up Way Down East, 1870-1922” which produced a number of programs and the publication of two newly discovered manuscripts about turn-of-the-century family life in Pembroke written by the late Doris A. Bridges. The Society can play a key role in interpreting the past and preserving it for future generations.

Our Purpose

It is the purpose of  The Pembroke Historical Society to share the rich history of our town as well as to preserve the history for future generations.


Pembroke Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. 

​Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.