Bangor was near the lands disputed during the Aroostook War, a boundary dispute with Britain in 1838–39.
The passion of the Aroostook War signaled the increasing role lumbering and logging were playing in the Maine economy, particularly in the central and eastern sections of the state.
Bangorians subsequently helped transplant the Maine culture of lumbering to the Pacific Northwest, and participated directly in the Gold Rush themselves.
Bangor, Washington; Bangor, California; and Little Bangor, Nevada, are legacies of this contact.
Contact with Europeans was not uncommon during the 1500s because the fur trade was lucrative and the Penobscot were willing to trade pelts for European goods.
The site was visited by Portuguese explorer Estêvão Gomes in 1524 and by Samuel de Champlain in 1605.
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.
In September 1787 a petition, signed by 19 residents, was sent to the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requesting that this designated area be named "Sunbury". In 1779, the rebel Penobscot Expedition fled up the Penobscot River and ten of its ships were scuttled by the British fleet at Bangor.
Six cannons were removed from the riverbed; five of which are on display throughout the region (one was thrown back into the river by area residents angered that the archeological site was destroyed for the bridge construction).Historically, Bangor was an important stopover on the great circle air route between the East Coast of the United States and Europe.Bangor has a humid continental climate, with cold, snowy winters, and warm summers.The Society of Jesus established a mission on Penobscot Bay in 1609, which was then part of the French colony of Acadia, and the valley remained contested between France and the Kingdom of Great Britain into the 1750s, making it one of the last regions to become part of New England.In 1769 Jacob Buswell founded a settlement at the site.Founded as Condeskeag Plantation, Bangor was incorporated as a New England town in 1791, after the end of the American Revolutionary War.