Oct. 16, 2012: A magnitude-4.5 earthquake in the York County town of Waterboro is felt across New England. It is detected even in central New York state and northern New Jersey.

The epicenter originally is reported to be 4 miles northeast of East Waterboro and 3 miles west of Hollis Center, but a review of data shows the very center of Waterboro is the epicenter’s location.

The Waterboro selectmen probably don’t need to be convinced of that. A video camera operating during one of their meetings records a loud boom in the meeting room and the camera shakes from the impact. Board members and all other people in the room immediately leave the building.

Video of the shaking meeting room can be seen online here: vimeo.com/51583775

While most people here don’t feel them, earthquakes often are detected in Maine. The Maine Geological Survey recorded 106 earthquakes in the period from April 1997 to January 2019 in various places around the state, including some whose epicenters were outside the state.

Of all those, the Waterboro quake is the strongest one with an epicenter in Maine.

Joseph Owen is an author, retired newspaper editor and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. Owen’s book, “This Day in Maine,” can be ordered at islandportpress.com. To get a signed copy use promo code signedbyjoe at checkout. Joe can be contacted at: [email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.