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As the city was located on the Penobscot River, logs could be floated downstream from the Maine North Woods and processed at the city's water-powered sawmills, then shipped from Bangor's port to the Atlantic Ocean 30 miles downstream, and from there to any port in the world. Modern Bangor was established by European Americans in the mid-1800s, based on the lumber and shipbuilding industries.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, after the end of the American Revolutionary War.Bangor has a port of entry at Bangor International Airport, also home to the Bangor Air National Guard Base. Bangor has a humid continental climate, with cold, snowy winters, and warm summers.

In 1769 Jacob Buswell founded a settlement at the site.

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.

The city proper has a population of 33,039, while the Bangor metropolitan area has a population of 153,746.

With their wealth, the lumber barons built elaborate Greek Revival and Victorian mansions and the 31-foot high statue of Paul Bunyan.

There are more than 20 communities worldwide named Bangor, of which 15 are in the United States and named after Bangor, Maine by settlers in other areas.

The reason for the choice of name is disputed but it was likely either from the eponymous Welsh hymn or from either of two places of that name in the British Isles: Wales and Northern Ireland, from where many immigrants traveled to the United States. In 2015, local public officials, journalists, doctors, policemen, photographers, restaurateurs, TV personalities and Grammy-winning composers came together to record the You Tube video How To Say Bangor.

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