The upper Damariscotta River is famous for
its enormous oyster shell heaps, also called
middens. Native Americans created the
middens over a period of about a thousand
years, between 2,200 and 1,000 years ago.
The eastern bank of the Damariscotta River
once contained an even larger shell heap
named Whaleback because of its shape.
Much of this midden was removed in the late
1880s to supply a factory built here to process
the oyster shells into chicken feed. As a
result, only a small portion of Whaleback
The site includes a scenic walking trail
maintained by the Damariscotta River
Association. It includes an old orchard, bird
watching, and the remains of the shell
middens. The view from across the river
includes the Glidden Midden, another large
shell heap created in prehistoric times.
||Just north of Damariscotta along Business Route 1 near the Round Top
Center for the Arts.Beside Maine Route 32 in Jefferson
||Year round, but parking lot not plowed in winter.
||Shell middens (also often called shell heaps, and shell mounds) are rubbish
dumps left by prehistoric peoples, usually in coastal areas.
||Damariscotta River Association
P.O. Box 333
109 - 110 Belvedere Road
Damariscotta, ME 04543