Maine Freshet, Mar 1846
A temporary ferry was soon established between a point in Hammond street near the City Hall steps and a point on State street nearly up to Exchange street. Smith's block, including the post office, was submerged almost to the tops of the doors, and it was the same with all the stores on Market square. The water was several feet deep in front of the old Hatch tavern and nearly up to the windows in the Exchange. The merchants were busily engaged in removing their goods from lower to higher shelves and floors, the water being all that time from two to four feet above the lower floors. Much property was thus saved. The lumber dealers suffered most of the loss, however, the wharves and piling places being all covered with valuable lumber to the amount of millions of feet which was worth several hundred thousand dollars. The greater part of it was carried away and lost, and the ice was full of boards in every direction. Above the office of the Bangor Whig, in the jam of ice were the ruins of forty-four saw-mills, beside shingle-and lath-mills. The ice started, and large piles of lumber were instantly whirled off the wharves in Brewer on the other side of the river. A jam of ice with a mill afloat came down the stream and swept away a bridge just in the rear of the office. The printers removed the presses into the street and carried the type, etc., to the office of the Democrat, where they printed the next edition of their paper. The scene was appalling, store-houses began to float down and fill the stream, enormous piles of lumber being among them. Three persons were drowned, the water having come down so suddenly Saturday night that they had not time to escape.
On Sunday afternoon a great deal of lumber and other property was secured. Crowds of people anxiously watched the movements of the water, ice and buildings, and of the men who were endeavoring to save property. So much interest was manifested in the flood that no regular services were held in any of the churches during the day.
At last, a little before seven o'clock that evening, the jam began to make a decided movement. It all passed down the stream with a steady, slow, majestic motion, roaring terrifically as the huge mass was borne along by the mighty strength of the flood. The noble Penobscot bridge was carried away before it. The next morning the city presented a sad and gloomy spectacle. Signs of destruction were everywhere. Streets were obstructed with lumber and debris. Great cakes of ice were piled in places to the height of twenty-five feet.
Some of the vessels that were being built in the town of Brewer on the opposite side of the river from Bangor were moved from their stocks, many of them being injured, and several houses were more or less submerged in the water.
Historic Storms of New England, its Gales, Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Showers with Thunder and Lightning, Great Snow Storms, Rains, Freshets, Floods, Droughts, Cold Winters, Hot Summers, Avalanches, Earthquakes, Dark Days, etc..., by Sidney Perley, 1891, pages 292-294