400 Slices
Medium 9780892727285

The Spirit of Maine

Doudera, Victoria Down East Books ePub

“I felt like I’d been misplaced in the cosmos and I belonged in Maine. ”


What is it about this state that pulls people here like metal to a magnet? For many, it’s the state’s beauty—the rough-hewn coastline and rugged islands, the spruce-filled forests and towering mountains, the clean rivers, lakes, and streams. Others, like Dottie Paradis of Cornish, cite the relaxed pace of life in Maine. “I automatically shift into low gear the minute I cross the border into Maine,” she says. “I love wearing shorts and sandals to work, seeing lots and lots of green, and making my own rules, hours, and goals.”

For some, it’s Maine’s inhabitants who make the difference. “We also chose Maine for the people,” says Lynda Chilton, who relocated from Virginia with her husband and children. “In the little bits of time we spent here, we made good friends. People I would have kept in touch with, even if we hadn’t decided to move up. When you live in a metropolitan area, you get used to not having time for close friends, and the people you come in contact with in stores, restaurants, and in business are stressed out, and often surly and rude. Road-rage invades all parts of life. In Maine, people take the time to be nice—you feel you are part of the community.”

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Medium 9780892726776

Penobscot Bay

Gibson, John Down East Books ePub

As a rather young child, I never spent a Saturday morning eating my pancakes out of earshot of Edward Rowe Snow. An author and lecturer, Snow told stories of lonely islands, the ghosts of shipwrecks, and murder at sea. Come Saturday, like thousands of other children in Maine and New England, I glued myself to the radio, not wanting to miss a word of Snow’s stories as they floated across the ether on the Yankee Network. (You will, perhaps, recall a time when there were actually programs on the radio, rather than the idiotic garbage that now occupies the commercial airwaves.) Snow had a soft, even shaggy voice plus an acute ability to draw one in as he related tales of ghastly accidents at sea. Or lighthouses growing dark in great storms and heroic attempts to restore the beacon. One couldn’t listen to Snow week after week and not become addicted to the coast and islands.

In his popular Lighthouses of New England, Snow recounted the history of Matinicus Rock Light and its sister islands. He noted the loneliness of this isolated ledge, its location subjected always to the sea’s wild hammering. Aloft, Snow flew over the rock in winter, as he did many offshore lighthouses, dropping sacks of Christmas gifts. With a little effort, travelers to Matinicus today can feast their eyes on both the lighthouse and Matinicus Island, as Snow described them, exploring Maine’s most remote island settlement.

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Medium 9780892728060

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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Medium 9780892724437

Monument Cove

Thayer, Robert Down East Books ePub

Wave action created the pillar at Monument Cove ...

... and continues to shape its stones.

When the sea works its way into the land, small crescent-shaped coves add another dimension to the shoreline. Such indentations are created where the granite bedrock is in a cracked and weakened condition, making it susceptible to the relentless advances of the sea.

As you view Monument Cove with its steep granite cliffs, look carefully against the left wall for a twenty-foot-high marine stack standing alone and erect. This is the

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Medium 9781608930449

7 Old Orchard

Publishers of Down East Down East Books ePub

Beach Street, 207-934-2500

Latitude: 43.5165

Longitude: -70.3721

On a hot August day, Old Orchard Beach becomes the largest town in Maine. As many as 100,000 revelers might line up to enjoy its seven miles of sand—and all the raucous entertainments that spin and whirl around them. This is the beach of beaches in the state, the center of beach culture, the Coney Island, the Jersey Shore, the Ocean City. If you like your beaches backed up to arcades, fried-food stands, souvenir shops, pizza joints, and amusement park rides, this is the place for you.

The beach stretches all the way from Saco to Scarborough—it was created by the outpouring of sand from the Saco and Scarborough rivers. In the middle of everything—both literally and figuratively—is the Pier, a 500-foot-long jetty that houses restaurants, bars, and shops and serves as a focal point around which all the other establishments revolve. Need a painted-on or real tattoo, braided hair, or a souvenir t-shirt? This is where you would begin looking. Pier french fries are sublime. (Parking anywhere near here is expensive—a quarter for seven minutes at the meters.)

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