Indians of the Abnaki and Etchemin tribes lived in Maine before the arrival of white men. Leif Erikson probably visited Maine around 1000 and John Cabot may have arrived in 1498. Champlain discovered Mt. Desert Island in 1604.
In 1607, English colonists started Popham Plantation at the mouth of the Kennebec River, but it was abandoned the following year. In 1641, Gorgeana (now York) became the first chartered city in the present United States. Maine came under control of Massachusetts in 1677.
In 1774, a group of Maine men burned British tea stored at York. This event, known as the York Tea Party, resembled the Boston Tea Party of 1773. In 1775, British troops burned Falmouth (now Portland). The first naval battle of the American Revolution was fought off Machias in June, 1775.
After the War of 1812, sentiment increased for separation from Massachusetts. Massachusetts became the 23rd state in 1823. Its boundary dispute with New Brunswick led to the Aroostook War in 1839.