Inventor of the Doughnut Hole monument.

Birthplace of the Inventor of the Doughnut Hole

Field review by the editors.

Rockport, Maine

As with so many world-changing events, the truth behind the invention of the doughnut hole has been obscured by the gooey, uneven frosting of history. But a tale that survives is of a sea captain named Hanson Gregory, born in Rockport, who reportedly ate blobs of fried dough while piloting his ship. One day in 1847, he impaled the blobs on the handles of the ship's big steering wheel for easy snack access. Bingo. The idea of the doughnut -- dough with a handy hole -- was born.

Rockport didn't forget Hanson. On the 100th anniversary of his discovery a plaque was erected at his birth site (spelling his invention "donut"). The building that once stood there is now gone, but the Lutheran church that currently occupies the spot takes good care of the plaque, planting around it with flowers.

Hanson may have fallen into obscurity of late, even in his home town, but it's clear that those who do remember him treat the captain with respect. He made our breakfasts and business conference snack trays better.

Birthplace of the Inventor of the Doughnut Hole

179 Old County Rd, Rockport, ME
Drive south of town a couple of miles on US 1. Veer right onto Old County Rd. Drive one mile. The plaque will be on the right, on the south side of the Nativity Lutheran Church. Be respectful and walk on the shoulder of the roadway.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Owls Head Transportation MuseumOwls Head Transportation Museum, Owl's Head, ME - 5 mi.
Andre the Seal StatueAndre the Seal Statue, Rockport, ME - 4 mi.
Prison Gift ShopPrison Gift Shop, Thomaston, ME - 6 mi.
In the region:
St. George vs. Dragon, St. George, ME - 13 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Maine

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Maine.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Maine Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

SPAM Museum, Austin, Minnesota (Sep 20-26, 2021)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings Hotel & Motel Finder

Special rates for hotels.

Book Now