48 Chapters
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Can you identify this terrific tannenbaum?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

The festive fisherman who came up with the lobster buoy ornament was pretty clever. Evergreens can be found up and down the coast festooned with colorful floats, and they always seem fun and festive and fitting. But a Christmas tree actually made out of lobster traps is another thing altogether. That’s the kind of old-timer ingenuity — or the work of a crafty chamber of commerce — you don’t get in every port. (Cape Porpoise, incidentally, claims the first trap tree). But there’s probably no more deserving place for such a spectacle than this rock-ribbed city of 7,609. This harborside burg has become rightly famous for its fishing industry. It also knows how to party. Popular festivals bring some of the state’s largest crowds here in the summer. Come the holidays, Lermond Cove celebrates with a parade of lights, Santa arriving on a Coast Guard vessel, horses and carriages tugging people through the historic streets, and this “tree” getting lit. Have you ever seen the Lobster Trap Tree? Turn to page 101 to see if you’re correct.

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Can you name this southern Maine coastal community?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

You get four guesses at the name of this southern Maine community, serene as can be in this sunny scene. Local history buffs like to call the place the first chartered city in America. Those are fighting words to some people up the coast, but an argument can be made — there are few villages in the nation that can trace their roots back to the 1620s and still fewer cities were founded by 1641. Early residents found the haven here to be a particularly snug one. The Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast calls it “the most secure harbor between Portsmouth and Portland,” and notes that it’s long been a fine hurricane hole. The lands around it have not always been so secure. The Englishfolk who made their homes here had some trouble with the French and Indians. The Candlemas Day Massacre is a notable example — the settlement was nearly obliterated during Indian raids. Good plucky Mainers that they were, the townspeople rebuilt rather than leave, which, as a local historian notes, was forbidden under the law of the day anyway — better these folks get killed, the thinking must have been, than those in Boston. These were the sorts of nasty English laws that ticked off the Colonists, and when separation from England became a hot idea, residents here were largely behind it — they had a tea party even before their brothers in Boston did, raiding a store where British tea was kept while posing as “Pequawket Indians.” When prosperity returned after the war, townspeople turned back to fishing, farming, and shipbuilding, which would keep them employed until the explosion of tourism that hit the community after the Civil War. Turn to page 101 to see where to find it.

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Can you identify this snowy scene?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Views like this are not easy to find in southern Maine anymore. A weathered dock, a graying boathouse, a curve of undeveloped shoreline — this scene looks much the way it might have fifty years ago. The same can’t be said about this particular community, now synonymous with shopping and trading. In fact, open space is at a premium in this, the oldest incorporated town in Maine, which is why conservationists are working hard to preserve what remains. The local land trust got some good news recently, when a generous resident helped it acquire sixteen acres of prime real estate along this saltwater stream — at two thousand feet long, it’s the longest undeveloped riverside property in town. You’ll have to drive around the notorious tangle of streets to find it, but lots of people do, searching for one of the best lobster shacks in Maine (in the judgment of Travel & Leisure magazine and others). Here’s a hint: the popular seafood restaurant is named after this tidal waterway. Turn to page 99 to identify this snowy scene.

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Are you familiar with this western Maine community?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Perhaps we should really be asking “Where in New Hampshire?” Motorists driving through this western corner of Maine are often unsure which state they’re in. This church is indeed in the Pine Tree State — but just barely. It sits about a mile from the border in a very quiet section of town on a road that slides in and out of the Granite State on its way north. The real question, though, is where is the rest of the village and, why is this sweet, white Unitarian church by itself on a corner with nothing else around but a cornfield? Meetinghouses, as all who have been to New England know, are usually at the very heart of a community. Someone who might have known why this church was built here was Admiral Robert Peary, famed explorer of the Arctic. He was once a surveyor in town. Orator and politician Daniel Webster could have had an explanation, too, or at least would have convinced you that he did — he once wrote deeds here to supplement the income he made as a teacher at the local academy. Hopa-long Cassidy, legendary Western hero, is another proud son of the town, created by resident Clarence Mulford in the early part of the twentieth century. And art great Eastman Johnson once painted landscapes here. But on this pretty late summer day no one seems to be around to ask. It just might be that everyone has gone for a paddle down the state’s most popular canoeing river, which is nearby. Or they could all be at home getting their prize produce together for the local fair — the state’s largest county fair turns this picturesque riverside town into a big carnival at the beginning of October each year. See page 100.

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Do you recognize this hushed hall?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

With the colonnade of ash trees beginning to leaf out in the late spring sun, going to the mall is especially inviting on a June afternoon. The freshly mown lawn is but one of the many clues in this verdant scene. The flag pole in front of the imposing brick edifice is something of a giveaway, suggesting an institution of some sort, a public building. The multiple entrances and inviting steps further that idea. Could it be a town hall, perhaps? Maybe a venerable high school or post office or museum? Possibly a barracks even? It’s too pleasant-looking to be prison-related. Well, here’s what we know: Construction of this impressive structure began in 1941, but it was postponed because of the Second World War and completed in 1947. Funding was provided by a prominent businessman who donated a great deal of money in the area. The population of the town hereabouts is just over 9,000 in the summer, and the community, named for a Penob-scot Indian chief, is known for the pretty National Register homes in its historic district — testaments to the importance of timber in the region — in addition to the goings on in and around this particular building. On warm days, people appear here like dandelions in springtime, enjoying the sun or playing Frisbee on these green grounds. See page 100 if you’d like to educate yourself about this location.

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