Calais is a city in Washington County, Maine, United States. The city has three United States border crossings or also known as a Port of entry (POE) with the busiest being on the St. Croix River bordering St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada. Calais has historically been a city of commerce and is recognized as the primary shopping center of eastern Washington County and Charlotte County, New Brunswick, Canada. Currently retail, service, and construction businesses are the primary components of the Calais economy. The population was 3,447 at the 2000 census. The local pronunciation of Calais rhymes with palace. listen . Calais, was named for the French city of the same spelling (but decidedly different pronunciation), because it is located across the Saint Croix River from Dover Hill in New Brunswick, Canada. (Dover, England lies just across the English Channel from Calais, France. ) The first permanent European settlement here was in 1770, although in 1604, geographer Samuel de Champlain and Pierre Dugua, the Sieur de Mons, established a short-lived settlement 8 miles to the south of the downtown, on St. Croix Island in what is now the village of Red Beach. A former shipping community, Calais has many historic sites, including historic districts and museum -- the Dr. Job Holmes Cottage -- just south of the downtown on U.S. Route 1. Calais shares the border with St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada, which is just across the St. Croix River. Three international bridges connect these two communities. Situated as it is, Calais is one of the busiest border crossings with Canada. The relationship between Calais and St. Stephen is so close that they celebrate with a multiple-day International Festival each year. There's a parade across the Ferry Point International Bridge, and the mayors of both communities shake hands across the border.