Where in Maine: A Tour of Intriguing Places in the Pine Tree State

Views: 837
Ratings: (0)

Where in Maine? is the most popular feature in Down East magazine. Each month an eye-catching photograph captures a corner of Maine, and a succinct caption helps readers guess the location. This book presents 50 of the photographs, along with their original captions. It is as much a beautiful photographic tribute as it is an engaging brainteaser. The locations of the photographs are listed at the back of the book

List price: $23.99

Your Price: $19.19

You Save: 20%

 

48 Slices

Format Buy Remix

Where in Maine?

ePub

For the better part of two decades the editors of Down East: The Magazine of Maine have asked our readers to play a game with us. We publish a stunning photograph of a unique location in the Pine Tree State — sometimes instantly recognizable, sometimes not — and drop a few hints about the historical or geological anomalies of this special place. Then we invite our readers to guess where it is by writing us a letter. We also ask them to tell us a little about their own personal connection to this unidentified corner of the Maine landscape. Have they ever visited this waterfall? Do they own a cottage on this island?

To say that “Where in Maine?” is the most popular feature in Down East is like calling the view from Cadillac Mountain “pleasant:” an understatement of the highest order. We receive more mail for these short items than other magazines receive for entire issues. The responses range from one-line emails — “It’s Perkins Cove in Ogunquit!” — to long, handwritten letters recounting childhoods enjoyed on the pictured shores of Sebago Lake or summers spent at the family cottage overlooking this exact view of Monhegan Harbor.

 

Have you ever sailed to this famed fishing island?

ePub

This all could have been yours for a pound of tobacco and a gallon of rum. That, according to local legend, is how much was paid for this midcoast island by the Hanover, Massachusetts, deacon who lent it his name. Though its popularity with tourists today testifies to the island’s beauty and charm, you might not have wanted the place back in the eighteenth century. Originally called Newaggin, it was surrounded by small isles known to be popular roosts for pirates, squatters, and assorted rogues. Ghosts, too, supposedly. So maybe smokes and brew were a fair price. Hard to believe so these days, when the roses explode in the bright sun, yachts loll at anchor, and throngs of summer worshipers cascade over the famous bridge here to set up for the season. One of five distinct settlements in a quiet midcoast community — the town itself is said to be home to more isles than any other in the country — the island has a year-round population of about 500 and dangles so far out into the Atlantic people have called it Land’s End. It’s conjoined to another island — they used to be called the Twins — and was only connected to the mainland in the twenties. It’s better known as home to a famous lobster pound than it is for its lobstering fleet, but it nonetheless played an important role in the development of the lobster industry — this is reputed to be where the idea of stringing traps together in long lines was first introduced. It’s also where the sport of tuna fishing began in earnest in Maine, and every July the community still hosts a popular tuna tournament. Deep-sea fishing put this island on the map, and helped it become the popular resort it is today. It might not be the pearl of the mid-coast — that’s a term associated with its twin — but unlike another Maine place with the same name, it’s no mistake either. For the name of this famous island, please turn to page 98.

 

Do you know how this town got its name?

ePub

Welcome to New Milford. That’s not what this midcoast village is called these days, of course, and it’s a good thing, too, because that sounds like some place in Connecticut or Massachusetts. No, this cluster of more than a dozen eighteenth- and nineteenth-century buildings is one of two fine, white-clapboard hamlets in a town named for the prevalence of its alder trees. (Most people are more familiar with these two picturesque villages than they are with the town that contains them.) One of the state’s mightiest rivers runs through the community — right under this bridge — and it’s the reason for the town’s being. The forests along its banks were a pre-Colonial and early-American source of masts for ships. Legendary pirate Captain Kidd is said to have buried Spanish doubloons and diamonds in town when he paid a visit in search of spars, and the white pine masts of the USS Constitution spent the winter of 1796–97 here. The heyday of mast production was followed by a lively local shipbuilding industry, an economic mainstay of the community for most of the nineteenth century. Mills of just about every type — saw, grist, stave, shingle, plane, carding, and fulling — were set up in this particular village, and worked away from the late 1700s through the first half of the twentieth century. A freshet flushed out those on the north side of the river in 1896, though, and fire took care of those on the other bank in 1924. When the mills and yards were booming, the town was jumping, like the alewives in the river. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Edwin Arlington Robinson was born in a house on the bank of the river here in 1869, and he rose to fame penning poems about places like Tilbury Town. (But not New Milford.) To see if you’ve ever passed through here, turn to page 98.

 

Have you crossed this covered bridge?

ePub

Could this be the covered bridge that Jumbo the elephant once walked gingerly through, testing the timbers to make sure that the lions and tigers and bears of P.T. Barnum’s circus could cross safely? Perhaps it’s the one built under the supervision of Jefferson Davis, before he became president of the Confederacy? Or maybe it’s the span that a Portland film company attempted to blow up during the filming of a silent movie? Of course, it couldn’t be the latter. Pine Tree Pictures was successful in its bridge demolition and the Union Falls Bridge, like more than 100 of the covered bridges once standing in Maine, was blown into the history books. Because covered bridges have been heavily romanticized as icons of a simpler time, they are all surrounded by legends and lore. This one, too, has its own claim to fame — but it involves neither pachyderms nor rebels. It’s the only bridge remaining in Maine to be shingled top to bottom; the others are made of board and batten, lattice, or other types of siding. This span stretches seventy-three feet across Kenduskeag Stream in a quiet section of a town of 2,500 in central Maine whose name alludes to both Greece and a book of the Bible. The bridge is used only for local traffic, one vehicle at a time. There are only nine covered bridges remaining in Maine, which narrows down the odds for those inclined to guess. (As for Jumbo, he stepped lightly across the old international covered bridge between Calais and St. Stephen. According to one report, the elephants were never asked to open their trunks at customs.) To find the location of this storied span, turn to page 98.

 

Can you identify this 1800s church?

ePub

The holidays mean a little something more in this midcoast town. Some historians now believe that the first Thanksgiving in the New World was actually celebrated four hundred years ago not far from the site of this pretty white church. (Sorry, Plymouth. Nice rock, though.) Don’t care much about history? Perhaps beaches and celebrities are more your thing? Then you’ll be glad to know that one of the finest strands in Maine can be found here. This beach town (population 2,100 or so) played host to the 1999 flick Message in a Bottle, starring as the strand on which the very message of the title washes up (Kevin Costner and Paul Newman co-starred). The people who live here tend to associate themselves with several distinct villages — what Maine town isn’t broken into several villages, by the way — and you can bet they’re thankful to call this place home. Have you ever celebrated Thanksgiving here? If you think you recognize this historic hamlet and its 1802 Congregational Church, turn to page 98 and see if you’re correct.

 

Can you recognize this colorful community?

ePub

Vermont might like to think of itself as the foliage capital of New England, but it’s lacking one thing only Maine can provide — the glorious contrast of blue-green saltwater. This tidal river in the midcoast, separating two closely entwined communities, is a prime example. It’s one of two major Maine rivers flanking a well-known town that is home to five distinct villages. If early settlers had their way, the place would be called New Dartmouth today, or perhaps County Cornwall. But the town got christened after an English duke during the reign of King George II. The area is renowned for its annual run of alewives, its Glidden Middens — oyster shell heaps — and its Catholic church, which is the oldest continuously operated Catholic sanctuary in all of New England. But this time of year its most famous feature is its hotly glowing hardwoods, radiant above river and bay. Turn to page 98 if you recognize this scene.

 

Have you painted the remains of this well-known wreck?

ePub

What a nice day for a shipwreck — for visiting a shipwreck that is. This one couldn’t be any easier to get to, sitting as it does beside a popular walking trail at a popular midcoast cove. In truth it could be simpler to reach — to explore the monumental, rusting ruins of this old boat, which went aground in dense fog in 1948, you first have to ferry over to the island where it met its fate. (The boat you’d ride docks around the corner from this toothy beach, so don’t worry.) The 110-foot tugboat D.T. Sheridan lost its way in the murk as it journeyed from Philadelphia to Maine, escorting two coal barges. Rocks tore through its steel hull, but luckily the Coast Guard was able to evacuate the crew and there were no injuries. Sixty years later, the boat lies twisted like a concertina, almost as much a part of the landscape as the cliffs that soar on the other side of the island. Many artists have rendered the craft, including a famous one who lives nearby. (The pretty old place was built by yet another internationally known artist.) A local visitor’s guide strongly cautions anyone who might think to venture over the rocks and into the surf here due to a strong undertow and all those big rocks: “No one has been saved who has gone overboard [here],” it states. But that doesn’t stop island residents from setting up towels and sunbathing, often in the nude, among the tall beach stones not far from the wreck. To find out its location, see page 98.

 

Have you ever visited this part of the park?

ePub

Let’s make it clear before you even get started that your answer is incorrect. Katahdin, you’re saying, plain as blueberry pie. And yes, that is the state’s highest peak, the Mountain of the People of Maine, the Greatest Mountain, terminus of the Appalachian Trail. The question, however, is this: What is the beautiful basin that affords this jaw-dropping view? A small pond now within the bounds of Baxter State Park, this place was the site of a turn-of-the-century sporting camp, and a dozen cabins still sit along the shore here. From the porches of several of these, you can look out at the long ridge of Barren Mountain, the rounded crown of the Owl, the deep cut of Witherle Ravine, and Katahdin’s magnificent Hunt Spur. Beautiful as the spot is, it hasn’t always been serene. Controversy has swirled around the pond in recent years, and the place was much in the news. That’s all quieted of late, and today the waters are placid once again. Have you ever visited this part of the park? Turn to page 98 to learn more about this stunning spot.

 

Can you guess the name of this cunning harbor?

ePub

You’re thinking, Cutler, perhaps? Or Corea? Some tiny, isolated fishing village Down East? Not even close. Though this harbor — more of an inlet really — has all the hallmarks of a salty hamlet east of Ellsworth, it’s actually near the mouth of a wide river that empties into Casco Bay. Reached by one of the many roads that wander pleasantly south from Route 1 in the midcoast, paralleling tidal rivers, quiet marshes, and undisturbed coves, the village hasn’t seen the tourist and summer-home development that has spread across its neighboring peninsulas — at least not on the same scale. The boats of lobstermen and deep-sea fishermen outnumber pleasure craft here, though a few fair-weather residents favor the harbor, too. (When she wasn’t meeting with President Eisenhower in the White House or staring down Joe McCarthy, Margaret Chase Smith could be found at her summer place on a secluded point in the village.) The name of the harbor is resonant and oddly familiar, but most never find their way here, and those who do know the community often know it from the water — everything is oriented toward the mouth of the river. In this respect it’s almost insular, and indeed it technically sits on an island. The acreage that was settled and became this community was purchased from the Natives in 1659 by Colonel Shapleigh of Kittery, and by 1733 the cunning harbor pictured here was settled by the gentleman for whom it’s named. It’s remained relatively quiet ever since, even though the village is separated from pulsing Route 1 by a mere five miles. But what a difference those miles make. Turn to page 98 to identify this location.

 

Do you know where to find this coastal park?

ePub

This little lighthouse looks out across the “finest bay in North America,” if we’re to believe the governor of Massachusetts in 1759. Stand on the shore here, with your eyes wide to the bay — said to have an island for every day of the year — and it’s hard to argue with the old man who ordered a fort built on this site to protect these important waters from the French and Indians. It was a wise move, since the major river that runs through the region was a fault line of sorts between the English to the west and the French Down East. The same year the fort was being constructed here, Quebec fell to the English, and the French were effectively given the boot from the region. During the Revolutionary War, British troops snuck into the fort in 1775 to remove its guns. Fast forward to the 1880s, and this was a very fashionable spot to be, red coat or no — that’s when a hotel was built here in 1872 with the hopes of making the point a rival to bustling Bar Harbor. Well-heeled Bostonians made the trip up by steamboat and stayed in the enormous place, luxuriating amid its running water, gas lights, stables, bowling alley, and dancing pavilions. Unfortunately for the resort, the tony types never found the finest bay in North America as much to their liking as the bays and mountains of Mount Desert. Rather than become a fancy national park visited by millions, this spot turned into a 120-acre state park that all too often gets lost in the great waves of summer tourists that sweep over the region. The square sentinel does its best to attract visitors, but they largely speed by. Those who do visit here know there’s some nice fishing to be done on the park’s pier, and that there is some exceptional cross-country skiing when the snow’s right. Whatever the time of year, the scenery is stunning. Turn to page 98 to see its location.

 

Have you ever visited this sandy site?

ePub

Where’s the water, you ask? It’s an unusual looking beach, to say the least. Maybe it’s not a strand at all. These dunes are indeed in a coastal community, not far from Portland. In fact, it may be Maine’s most-visited seaside town. Difficult as it may be to believe from the look of things now, the site used to be a 300-acre farm producing potatoes, hay, and herds of oxen and sheep. Centuries ago, the hungry animals unearthed the mineral sea beneath the grasses and the farm fell by the wayside. Some geologists think maybe the whole area here used to be an ancient lake. When the winds howl, sandstorms tear across the dunes and there are trees that are half submerged in sand and still alive. In a state famous for its rockbound coast, this vast expanse of sand is something of a geologic anomaly, and wherever there are oddities there are people who’ll pay to look at them. It’s no different here. As they have since the thirties, visitors come in droves, paying the entrance fee and enjoying narrated buggy and walking tours through the sands. Nature trails wander throughout the area, a fifty-site campground is adjacent, and there’s a picnic area and a souvenir shop where you can buy sand paintings, moccasins, and Maine-made crafts of all types. See page 98 to learn more information about this sandy anomaly.

 

Can you recognize this mountain resort?

ePub

Not many ski areas have views like this. Sel Hannah, the world-famous designer who laid out these runs, even calls this particular skyway “by far the most scenic” of the one thousand trails and three hundred ski areas he’s created. And there’s no better time to see it than when the hillsides are hung with gold and crimson and the many ponds and lakes in this area at the gateway to the North Woods are reflecting oranges and reds. Beautiful as it is, this resort has always had more potential customers than actual ones. But the owners have a controversial plan to change things. They’ve been hoping to get the okay from the Land Use Regulation Commission to put in two hundred condominiums, two new hotels and conference centers, an eighteen-hole golf course, a neighborhood of single-family homes, and even a train station. Ideas for putting stuff atop this mountain have been floating around since the nation’s first fire tower was installed at the 3,196-foot peak in 1905. Have you ever ascended these slopes? If you think you recognize this mountain resort, turn to page 98.

 

Can you identify this wintry scene?

ePub

The waterfront in this midcoast hamlet is quiet under a fresh snowfall. The pleasure boats are long since gone to shrinkwrap, and only a few working boats remain. It’s a serene scene in the piney inlet as the holidays approach. Like so many saltwater villages, this one is but a single part of a larger town, and people are often confused just exactly which one, the one to the north, which sounds like it’s actually south, or the one below it (whose name might make you think of dragons). And for good reason: the history of all these communities is tightly intertwined. They all used to be a single town of epic proportions, until 1848 when they split. The ink had hardly dried on the maps of these new towns when a bunch of residents in this village wanted to secede yet again and form their own town, aptly called Independence. That didn’t work. So they raised the issue again in 1853, and again in 1856, when they thought the town name Melrose had a nice ring to it. This particular village has been called all sorts of things, from Seal Harbor Island to Lobster Cove Island to Elwell’s, and then by the early nineteenth century it took its current moniker. Turn to page 98 if you think you know its current name.

 

Do you know the name of this central Maine mill town?

ePub

It’s very clear from this autumnal photograph that Milburn is a mill town. Milburn? That’s the name this county seat used before it decided to assume the Abenaki name for “place to fish.” The surging Kennebec, which wraps its arms around the little island pictured here, provided the power for grist- and saw- and woolen mills in years past. The 12 ½ acre isle is literally the heart of town, and its steep sides posed many problems for Benedict Arnold and his men during their Revolutionary march to Quebec — they had to heave their bateaux over its steep walls to get upriver. Many years later, in 1920, the rectangular building in the center of the image was built as a power station, its inners generating 16,000 horsepower in its heyday under Central Maine Power. Today, though, the central Maine town of ten thousand that grew up around the river is not known so much for electricity as for paper — it shares a mill with the burgh immediately to the south, the border running right through the factory’s compound. The municipality is also home to one of the largest of the state’s fairs, a massive agricultural festival claiming to be the oldest annual fair of its kind in the nation, and also the country’s tallest cigar-store Indian. A sixty-foot wooden sculpture, it was created by an artist affiliated with the respected school of art named after the town. It’s also where the HBO movie of Richard Russo’s excellent Empire Falls was shot. To learn more about this central Maine mill town, see page 99.

 

Have you ever spent a day or weekend at this scenic spot?

ePub

A June day at this central Maine state park looks so inviting that you want to swim all the way to the mountains in the distance. Better to wait until a lifeguard is on duty, though, and the cool waters warm a bit. This photograph doesn’t lie — the lake is a picture-perfect one, located about ten miles from the geographical center of Maine. Established in 1969, the park was a gift from a wealthy attorney — it bears his name and that of his sister — and it deserves to be busier than it is. In a typical year, only about 25,000 people put their toes in here, picnicked nearby, or camped in the fifty-six sites spread out across its 839 acres. Compare that to Sebago Lake State Park, which saw more than 202,000 visitors, or Camden Hills State Park, which was visited by almost 140,000. But as this image attests, this park is a special place, and those who have never stopped by are missing out. Have you ever enjoyed a day or weekend at this scenic spot? Turn to page 99 to learn more about this little-known gem.

 

Do you recognize this hill named for a Roman god?

ePub

Aroostook County is about as flat as Maine gets. The County may be big — and boy is it big — but it’s not very tall. The state’s northernmost county is larger than the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island — combined. But the whole is about as hilly as the pancakelike ployes for which the Saint John Valley is famous. This here eminence, all 1,700 feet of it, is as lofty as lofty gets in Aroostook, rising straight up from a level plain. The hill sits on the border with Canada, lording over the Saint John River Valley, and the first settlers to the area were lured from New Brunswick by the promise of prosperous farming. The name of the local community comes from Greece via a British army chaplain, who held a service at the summit in 1790 and commented that the hill looked like the one in Athens dedicated to a Roman god. This geomorphic buckle factored heavily into geopolitics in the early days of the United States. It was integral to a boundary dispute between the young country and the Brits that dated back to the Treaty of Paris 1783 and almost led to bloodshed in what was called the Aroostook War. More recent controversies (we’re talking in the early 2000s) occurred when a Maine-based developer announced intentions to locate twenty-eight turbines on the side of the hill to make Maine’s first wind farm. These 389-foot windmills would create enough power to electrify 25,000 homes — many more than can be found in this town of 1,488. And unlike the Brits, these outsiders won — the turbines were constructed in 2006 and today this mini mount looks much different. See page 99.

 

Ever given this precarious boulder a good shove?

ePub

Don’t mess with a glacier. That might be the story that this rock star would tell if it could talk. During the Ice Age, a sluggish sheet of ice and snow dragged the boulder some forty miles from its home before depositing it in a precarious position, balanced on a ledge halfway up a famous hill Down East. (According to local lore, the granite it’s made of is of a type that can only be found in Lucerne, a village south of Bangor, so everyone supposes that’s where it originated.) In the years since the ice melted, the plucky boulder has become a tourist attraction simply by sitting here and defying gravity. From the road below it seems certain to fall, and soon. (It also seems smaller than it is — a geology professor at UMaine has called it “about the size of my two-car garage.”) But it isn’t going anywhere. A bulldozer has tried to unseat it, as has an entire high-school football team, both to no avail. During the forties, after a local tragedy that made national headlines, a group decided it was best to remove the glacial erratic before it fell on someone’s head. Thus the bulldozer. The football team came later, and many others have hiked up the hill to give the rock a heave. Lucky for these self-appointed Sisyphuses the stone has a very pretty view — at least in their defeat they’ve had something to look at. Another green mound, much like the one on which the rock sits, lies nearby and beyond it, mountains and sea stretch in a paisley pattern off into the horizon. Turn to page 99 to learn more about this dramatic perch.

 

Have you bunked in these cozy cabins?

ePub

When the snow settles gently on this central Maine village, the population drops to about half of what it is during the summer. Maybe even less than that. Sporting camps like these make little boarded-up ghost villages, and the fishermen who come to troll for salmon are probably dropping lines for tarpon somewhere sunny. The family camps on the shore of this long lake are likewise closed for the season, and tourists disappear like Judge Crater, the New York Supreme Court associate justice who had a summer home around here and mysteriously vanished one day in the 1930s, becoming one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in U.S. history. These twelve camps are on a tiny island surrounded by communities with European names, underneath the shadow of “The Mountain” and just around the corner from Elizabeth Arden Road. They were constructed in the late 1920s by a local gentleman who actually built the island on which they sit, hand-filling an acre of water. Finding guests to fill the camps was never a problem. People have been summering in this area since before the turn of the century. A 1981 movie, set here but filmed in New Hampshire, introduced the nation to this land of lakes. Nowadays, kayak and canoe outfitters do a brisk business here, and in more recent years a golf course opened that has been rated one of “America’s Greatest Public Courses” by Golf Digest and continues to draw big crowds. Just not in January. See page 99 to learn the location of this wintry scene.

 

Load more


Details

Print Book
E-Books
Slices

Format name
ePub (DRM)
Encrypted
true
Sku
2370004837895
Isbn
9780892728985
File size
1 KB
Printing
Disabled
Copying
Disabled
Read aloud
No
Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Sku
In metadata
Isbn
In metadata
File size
In metadata