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A 1794 court case, Grinnell v. Williams, provides a unique insight into the acquisition, division, and protection of land claims in late-eighteenth-century Islesboro, Maine. The remarkable set of depositions associated with the case highlights the significance of family and community norms in the establishment of a Maine island town. Patrick O’Bannon is president of the Islesboro Historical Society. He is Northeast Regional Manager for Gray & Pape, Inc., a historic preservation and heritage management consulting firm, and has more than thirty years of experience in the field. He received his PhD from the University of California at San Diego. Thanks go to the anonymous readers for their helpful suggestions, as well as to Carly Meyer and Ruth Myers at Gray & Pape who prepared the maps and graphics. Special thanks to Amanda for reading multiple drafts.