48 Slices
Medium 9780892728060

Do you know what this structure is known for?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Since its construction in 1868, this midcoast mill has been many things to many people. Ask passersby and they’ll likely mention that the island manufactory once churned out massive quantities of paper. In its heyday around the turn of the twentieth century, the company housed here exported newsprint, book, and school papers as far away as Chile and Australia, and legend has it that the mill holds a world record for paper output. At the height of its production, it could provide a small daily newspaper with six years’ worth of paper in a single day. The mill’s more recent history has been just as memorable. Many will recall that the compound was awash with floodwaters in 1936 and 1987; one of the state’s most industrious rivers runs around the mill’s rocky spit on three sides — four in spring — and the river has been known to bloat with runoff from melting snow and heavy rains. The green bridge out front has given commuters passing through this bedroom community of nine thousand plenty of time to familiarize themselves with the mill. Traffic across the span is often dense, bottlenecked by congestion on the busy main street across the river; and all the new businesses located in this area let out. It wasn’t always so. When the buildings were first erected, Main Street went purposefully between them, and its pace was far more sedate — except during one of the state’s largest agricultural fairs. But that only came once a year. Turn to page 100 to find out more about this industrious spot.

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Can you recognize this colorful community?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books 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.

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Do you know where to find this coastal park?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books 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.

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Can you identify this peaceful oasis?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

People often think that they have to visit this lovely coastal garden during late May and early June, when its signature flowers are in bloom. But the garden is such a stunning little anomaly it’s worth stopping by whenever it’s open. Not only is this Japanese-inspired oasis located on a Maine island, it’s widely considered one of the best in the nation — ranked eleventh in a survey of Japanese gardens in North America. Here you’ll find pretty pathways that wander beside reflecting pools and along a stream, little antique lanterns, stone bridges, and benches for quiet contemplation. The garden was originally built in the late fifties to rescue trees and flowers in danger of being destroyed. The transplanter was given a year to move the substantial collection of prized plants — which he did, installing them in what had been an alder patch across from a historic inn. The garden has undergone many transformations over the years, but it has always ranked among the state’s finest. Stop by during daylight hours from May 1 through October. If you think you know the location of this Far East oasis, turn to page 99.

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Ever been to this Maine castle?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Quakers and guns, this place has seen it all. With its wide lawn, towers, and fortresslike façade, this central Maine institution has a medieval air about it. It looks as though it could withstand a catapult siege. That’s the first of many ironies about the building, which sits in a village between two of Maine’s largest cities. Though it appears rugged and defensible, the peculiar-looking edifice’s history is rooted in nonviolence. A group of Quakers migrated to this quiet farming community from New York state shortly after the American Revolution, and built a seminary on these grounds in 1848. They built their new school on 330 acres, amid a grove of oaks and overlooking one of the state’s largest rivers, and to this day have an active church in town. Those buildings are long since gone, and in the twenties or thirties, the Tudor-style castle shown here was put up in their place. For the better part of 150 years it was an educational center. It served as a girls academy for a long time, and later became a co-ed, college-prep boarding school. The campus was occupied until 1989, when the school went under and the facility was subsequently purchased by the state and then left vacant for a decade. In 2000, after extensive renovations, it reopened as an academy of a different sort. The property’s Quaker history has proved a bit problematic for this new educational institution, though, because the new school wanted to use guns on the grounds and the Quaker family who donated nearby land to the previous tenant did so under a provision that specifically forbade firearms. The situation has been tricky, but it looks to be sorted out. Check page 100 to see its location.

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