Belfast, a city, port of entry, and the capital of Waldo county, Maine, situated on a broad bay of the same name, on the W. side of the Penobscot river, opposite Castine, 30 m. from the ocean and 110 m. N. E. of Portland; pop. in 1870, 5,278, The harbor is deep and spacious, and always open, so that it is the winter port of the Penobscot. The Passaggassas-sawakeag empties into the Penobscot at this point, and furnishes water power, which is used in the manufacture of lumber. There is considerable ship building and commerce. The valuation of property in 1870 was $2,660,879; in 1860, $1,802,307. During the year ending June 30, 1871, 19 vessels of 9,098 tons were built here. There are 24 public schools, 6 churches, a well endowed academy, 2 evening newspapers, a national bank, a state bank, and a savings bank. The Belfast and Moosehead Lake railroad (now consolidated with the Maine Central) connects Belfast with the Maine Central at Burnliam. Belfast was founded in 1770 by settlers from Londonderry, N. H. It was incorporated in 1773, and in 1797 the first church was established.
In 1815 the town was invested by the British. The city charter was adopted in 1853.
Belfast, a seaport town and parliamentary borough of Ireland, county Antrim, on the Lagan, near its embouchure in Belfast bay, 83 in. N.N.E. of Dublin; pop. in 1871, 174,-394 (an increase of Dearly 100,000 since 1841). The site of the greater part of the town is low and flat, having been reclaimed from the marshy hanks of the Lagan. The river is 250 yards wide, and is crossed by three bridges and two ferries. The streets are regular and spacious, macadamized, and well lighted. A conspicuous architectural ornament is the Albert memorial tower, erected in memory of the prince consort, and finished in 1870. It is 140 ft. in height, and is built in the Venetian Gothic style, and elaborately ornamented. In a niche 32 ft. from the ground stands a statue of Prince Albert; above this portion of the tower is a large clock, and above this again a belfry. In 1871 there were 80 places of worship, of which 21 were Episcopal (church of Ireland), 28 Presbyterian, 15 Methodist, and 5 Roman Catholic. At the head of its educational institutions is the Queen's college, built of brick and stone at an expense of over £25,000, opened in 1849. It stands in a conspicuous position in the midst of large grounds, and near the botanic garden. For the maintenance of the institution £7,000 a year is allowed.
The "General Assembly college'1 was opened Dec. 5, 1858, and the Methodist college, erected by voluntary subscriptions at a cost of £24,000, Aug. 19, 1868. There are besides the royal academical institution, founded in 1810, the l>elfast academy, the Lancasterian school, and numerous national schools and private seminaries. Belfast has many charitable and benevolent institutions; a natural history society; a royal botanical and horticultural society; a society for the promotion of knowledge; a teachers' association; a theatre; and a mechanics' institute. In 1871 there were 14 newspapers, one of which dates from 1737. Belfast is the great depot of the linen trade of the north of Ireland, and is also the chief seat of manufactures of cotton and linen. There are also distilleries, breweries, flour mills, founderies, tan yards, vitriol works, saw mills, and extensive ship and rope yards. Steamers ply regularly between Belfast and London, Liverpool, Fleetwood, Carlisle, Whitehaven, Glasgow, Greenock, Stranraer, Ardrossan, and Dublin. Three railways diverge from it: N. W., the Northern Counties railway; N. E., the County Down, and S. W., the Ulster railway, in connection with a line to Dublin. The commerce of Belfast is extensive.
In 1866 the imports amounted to £12,447,000, and the exports to £11,915,000. In 1870 8,303 vessels, of 1,225,566 tons, entered the port. New docks were opened in August, 1872, one of them being named after Lord Duiferin. - -Belfast is a comparatively modern town. It was erected into a municipality and parliamentary borough early in the 17th century. During the civil war in that century it was besieged and taken four times in six years. In consequence of the repeal of the procession act by parliament, Belfast was in August, 1872, the scene of serious troubles between the Orangemen and the Roman Catholics; the riots continuing for several days, with considerable loss of property and life, until they were suppressed by military force.