48 Slices
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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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Have you seen the view from this island?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Behold the birthplace of Maine as we know it. Well, that’s what some people say. Many historians think these island outposts are where the first Europeans set up camp Down East, establishing the famous Maine fishing economy long before Chris Columbus ever made his little sailing expedition. Some scratches on a cliff face on the island across the harbor are thought to be evidence of a visit by Vikings about 1000 A.D. There wasn’t much to plunder and pillage here then, but the fishing grounds were world class — the Norsemen must have thought they’d died and gone to Valhalla when they got a load of the local cod. Fishermen from Portugal and Spain were likewise amazed by the seafood, which all but hopped into their boats, and some think they built fishing camps here before 1492, too. Of course, indigenous tribes were here long before that and the island in the foreground has a Micmac moniker. The big grassy rock in the background has a very unusual name for these parts (not to be confused with an island of the same name off Oahu). That island was never settled in any sort of numbers, though it did see some dwellings. The tramway seen in the picture was put in place by the Coast Guard to haul supplies to a fog whistle with national significance — it’s the only one housed in its own tower. No one heard the signal blow more often than Raymond Phillips, who lived in a small shack on the island all by himself from the 1920s to the late seventies. A former food scientist from New York with a degree from NYU, he left the city behind to become one of New England’s most famous hermits, preferring the simple life of a shepherd. Who can blame him, with this kind of view? Turn to page 100 to learn the name of this island.

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Have you ever visited this part of the park?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books 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.

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Can you identify this light and its island home?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

It may look stunningly scenic at this island outpost on a sunny winter’s day, but there are many challenges to face when you live thirteen miles out in the cold North Atlantic. Like cutting your way into your house with an ax. That’s how thick the ice gets at this twenty-foot tower, according to one of the more recent residents of the keeper’s house. In this community of 1,235 midcoast Mainers, the town manager is also the lightkeeper and thus resident of this 1857 home. Ice was just one problem the former town official faced when she assumed her post a few years back. What took more getting used to was the foghorn. “I thought I was being attacked by God knows what,” she told the Portland Press Herald. The light here was built shortly before the Civil War under the order of President Andrew Jackson to protect the western end of the island’s famous channel. The salty thoroughfare was essential for passenger vessels, for fishermen, and for the merchant ships taking granite out to the world. The stone went into the construction of all sorts of United States landmarks, from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Washington Monument. In fact, if you live on the East Coast, you’ve almost certainly walked on granite that came from this eight-mile isle, kept safe by generations of lightkeepers. Turn to page 100 if you think you can identify this light and its landmass.

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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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