Maine things to do

Snow Falls, the Video

I have finally managed to cobble together a video presentation of one of my favorite Maine locations, that of Snow Falls in West Paris, Maine. The video looks at the history of this beautiful and fascinating Maine site. We’ll look at some of the stories surrounding the naming of these falls and the industrial history of the location that depended upon the water power to drive their machinery. Hope you enjoy, and feel free to share.

Advertisements
Categories: history, Maine, Maine things to do, Maine videos | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Old Town Canoes

The Bangor Daily News had a nice piece on the Old Town Canoe Company today, and while the crux of the article was regarding the now closed original factory location, there is quite a bit of information regarding the history of this iconic Maine company. There are scores and score of companies that have built canoes, and still do, but few have risen to the reputation and excellence the Old Town Canoe Company has achieved. When a sportsman thinks or talks of canoes, most assuredly the name Old Town is forefront in nearly every conversation.

Of course, the company has new digs they are enjoying which are much more accommodating to today’s modern manufacturing methods, and the canoes they build are made of synthetic materials, and not the natural wood and canvas products used in the past. Time changes all it seems.

I came across a letter to the “trouble Department” column of Power Boating magazine[November, 1914], and the writer[B.B. of Portland Ore.] says he installed a four horsepower motorcycle engine into an 18 foot Old Town Canoe, and wanted to know what size propeller he should use to get the most speed from that motor. The reply was that he should reduce the 4100 rpm speed of the motor to a third of that and mount a two-blade 14×16 propeller on the shaft for the best speed. We men were daring in those days, weren’t we?

These advertisements shown here to the left were taken from several early 1900 periodicals, and they show the range of product this company was able to provide, even in the early days of Old Town’s life. One model in particular, the “Sponson” model even included air chambers along the sides to prevent capsizing and sinking of the canoe should an unsuspecting (or reckless) paddler get too close to danger.

Speaking of the early 1900s, I believe one of the reasons Old Town has persisted for over a century is its dogged resistance to the changing times, while at the same time being able to change with those very times as they change. WWI was no exception to the rule. As the war caused many companies to fold due to retracting sales, the management of Old Town Canoe grabbed the paddle and forged ahead by increasing their advertising and reaching out for new markets to conquer. Their strategy paid off, and because of their ability to adapt and change, is still around today.

That ability to persevere in spite of the circumstances seems common in Maine, or at least it used to be. A Mainer would see that something needed to be done, and he(or she) would get it done. There was no intent to gain glory in honor in doing a job, the job was done because it needed to be done. companies failed for many reasons, but others succeed for a very few reasons. The drive to carry on in spite of the obstacles is just one of those reasons.

Some would say that Old Town Canoe achieved success in the boating world because of their name and location, but we must remember that not only was Old Town Canoe not the only canoe maker in Maine, they were not even the only canoe maker in Old Town. In the early days they also competed against the E.M. White & Co., the Carleton Canoe Company, both of Old Town, Morris Canoes of Veazie, the Robertson and Old Town Canoe Co., formerly the Indian Old Town Canoe Co., of Old Town and a score or more of other makers, just in the state of Maine.

So what were the circumstances that caused Old Town Canoe to become such an iconic presence in the outdoors world, and why do they keep selling the world’s best canoes today? There are many answers to that, of course, but I believe we can summarize by stating that this company, which essentially began as a back room extra income business has stuck to its core standards, and while changing with the times in some respects, still adheres to the age-old mantra of pride and quality going hand in hand. They know what they do well, and they stick to it.

Many age-old companies have changed with the times, but the core values of the companies have changed as well. Take Abercrombie & Fitch, for instance. Once they were the premier outfitter of the world. If a sportsman wanted hunting, fishing or camping supplies, their first choice was Abercrombie. They were so prominent; the TV show MASH had an episode where Hawkeye Pierce even ordered a portable bathtub from the company. Today, they sell clothing of objectionable taste to teeny-boppers who obviously have no taste. Relegated to a few thousand square foot sales floors in the nations malls, this company today faces a prospect of extinction because they have wandered so far from their core audience.

Not so for Old Town Canoe, and I hope they never compromise their name, nor their reputation for the sake of easy money, no matter how trying the times become. Compromise begets many negative things in some instances, but never more so than in the manufacturing and retail scenes. Remember when Black and Decker was a name you could trust and respect? Sylvania? General Electric? Or even here at home, L.L. Bean? I remember when you could get top quality merchandise for the outdoorsman. Today, they have come to compromise their own core standards in favor of catering to big city wannabee sportsman who want to look the part as they tool around town in their pricey SUVs, wanting to look rustic, but not willing to pay the real price to be rustic. Don’t get me wrong, you can still get good quality merchandise, but it isn’t like it used to be. Time changes all things (but not necessarily), remember?

A brief piece in the April 25, 1909 issue of Motor Boat magazine perhaps says it best when it comes to the power of owning a canoe, and in particular an Old Town canoe. Those were the days when sportsmen were sportsmen, and getting away from it all was the real prize, although bagging a trophy was indeed icing on the cake.

THERE’S a great deal that might be said about Old Town canoes, a great deal more than can be spoken in this brief space. These canoes are built by the Old Town Canoe Company, at Old Town, Me. Canoes are about the most primitive craft; they were used by the early tribes of mankind, and throughout the ages the canoe has survived, until we find it, refined and perfected in the Old Town models. They are found in all parts of the world, thousands of them. To the owner of a motorboat cruiser the possession of a canoe will bring many hours of pleasure that could not be enjoyed by any other means. A canoe carried on deck enables one to explore out-of-the-way waters, to seek the beauty of shallow streams. The writer cherishes the memory of many happy hours spent in an Old Town, paddling leisurely upon almost hidden creeks, beneath the foliage of overhanging trees, in absolute peace. If you would know rest, and seek quiet, if you would meditate, would muse and dream, as you need to, get a canoe and take it with you when you cruise. The illustration shows the cover of the Old Town Canoe catalogue, and it is a book worth reading, it breathes the spirit of the thing in every line. A copy is free to any reader of Motor Boat.

Categories: articles, history, Maine, Maine things to do, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Piscataquis River Fishways

This post is a continuation of a look at the fishing heritage of Maine’s angling locations, refer to “A Paradise for Anglers” post of 15, May, 2012 for the beginning article…

This being the time of the year it is, meaning fishin’ time in the Pine Tree State, I thought I would share some excerpts from the 1907 Bangor & Aroostook Vacationist’s Guidebook. Historically speaking, Maine has been a destination of choice for many anglers, with the choices for game fish ranging from brook trout, to bass to togue and salmon, and then there is the offshore fishing as an option too. Remember as you read this that it was written over 100 years ago, and I share this here for the historical value these old guidebooks provide to the reader today. I intend to share the entire section on angling from this book in shorter segments, so come back tomorrow for more on Maine’s angling paradise from the bygone days!

Remember that this book is over a century old now, and the trains no longer carry passengers to any of these station, and in fact, none of these stations exist today. I include them here for those of you that might want to do a little treasure hunting and search for these old stations.

Piscataquis River Fishways

Piscataquis river; offers plenty of black bass and pickerel, and some trout; can be reached from any of the stations along the Moosehead lake division from Milo Junction to Shirley.

Seboois lake; offers white perch and exceptionally good pickerel fishing; waters flow through Endless lake and Seboois stream before entering Piscataquis river. Good trout fishing in these tributaries: Northwest pond, Seboois stream, Ragged Mountain pond and stream, Bear brook, Patrick brook, Endless lake (or Trout pond) and several smaller ponds. Nearest railroad stations: Schoodic and West Seboois.

Schoodic lake; offers landlocked salmon, trout, togue and black bass in abundance; flows into Piscataquis river through Schoodic stream, of which Hunt brook is a tributary. Tributaries: Norton pond and several smaller streams which flow into Schoodic lake, all well stocked with trout of good size. Nearest railroad station: Schoodic stream, of which Hunt brook is a tributary. Tributaries: Norton pond and several smaller streams which flow into Schoodic lake, all well stocked with trout of good size. Nearest railroad station: Schoodic.

Pleasant river; is well trouted in its upper waters; enters the Piscataquis near Milo Junction. Tributaries: Lower and Upper Ebeeme ponds, Roaring brook, Houston and Little Houston ponds, Houston brook, Mountain pond and brook, Big and Little Lyford ponds, West Branch pond, Hay and White brooks, Greenwood, Cedar, Spruce, Spruce Mountain, West Chairback, East Chairback and B ponds, Beaver and Guernsey brooks, all particularly well populated with trout. Nearest railroad station: Katahdin Iron Works.

Pleasant river; is well trouted in its upper waters; enters the Piscataquis near Milo Junction. Tributaries: Lower and Upper Ebeeme ponds, Roaring brook, Houston and Little Houston ponds, Houston brook, Mountain pond and brook, Big and Little Lyford ponds, West Branch pond, Hay and White brooks, Greenwood, Cedar, Spruce, Spruce Mountain, West Chairback, East Chairback and B ponds, Beaver and Guernsey brooks, all particularly well populated with trout. Nearest railroad station: Katahdin Iron Works.

Sebec lake, tributary to Piscataquis river; harbors landlocked salmon, trout, black bass, pickerel and white perch in quantity. Excellent trout fishing in these tributaries: Goose pond, Mill brook, Grape, Long, Second, Third, Fourth, Burden, Grindstone, Greenwood and the Benson ponds. Lake Onawa, another important tributary, has hordes of landlocked salmon and trout. Other more northern tributaries are the Greenwood ponds, Long Pond stream, Ixnig, Trout and Hedgehog ponds, Grindstone, South, Monson, Hebron and the two Spectacle ponds, Wilson stream, the Wilson ponds, Fogg, Bum and Trout ponds. All of these waters offer splendid trout fishing. Nearest railroad stations: South Sebec, Dover and Foxcroft, and Abbot Village.

To reach Lake Onawa, go to Brownville Junction or Greenville, thence over the Canadian Pacific railroad to Onawa station. Hebron and nearby lakes are best reached from Monson.

At Blanchard; good trout fishing in Blackstone brook, Mud, Spectacle and Thanksgiving ponds, Bald Mt. and Bog streams.

At Shirley; trout in Piscataquis river, Gove and Gravel brooks, West and Oakes bogs, Spectacle, Ordway, Indian, Trout,

Notch, Hound and Moxie ponds. Indian and Ordway ponds also offer togue of splendid size.

Next up in the “Paradise for Anglers”series is the Moosehead region

Categories: Books, history, Maine, Maine things to do, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Paradise for Anglers

This being the time of the year it is, meaning fishin’ time in the Pine Tree State, I thought I would share some excerpts from the 1907 Bangor & Aroostook Vacationist’s Guidebook. Historically speaking, Maine has been a destination of choice for many anglers, with the choices for game fish ranging from brook trout, to bass to togue and salmon, and then there is the offshore fishing as an option too. Remember as you read this that it was written over 100 years ago, and I share this here for the historical value these old guidebooks provide to the reader today. I intend to share the entire section on angling from this book in shorter segments, so come back tomorrow for more on Maine’s angling paradise from the bygone days!

It is one thing to want fish; it is quite another thing to know where the fish are, and how to get them. It can be safely taken for granted that forty-nine men and women out of every fifty find sport a-plenty in the gentle art of fishing. They have the angling inclination, the desire, the hopes, but they are not always fortunate in their choice of a fishing place. It is for such enthusiasts as these that this chapter of the guidebook is especially prepared. Here is given in detail just the kind of information the fisherman would like to know — where the best fishing waters are, what varieties of fish may be caught in them, and how they may be most easily reached.

Maine’s great north wilderness, with its acreage of over fifteen thousand square miles, is crossed and recrossed by the most remarkable network of aqueous lanes and byways that all America can boast—magnificent lakes, picturesque ponds, broad rivers, silvery streams and winding brooks — some thousands of them in all, if you care to make a count. They are most charming to look upon; they afford an easy road for the canoeist in and out of the densest portions of the wilderness; but most important of all to the fisherman, they harbor game fish of record size and in record numbers, and despite the annual invasions made by anglers in these domains, the piscatorial wealth of the region remains apparently unchanged.

Trout, togue, landlocked salmon, whitefish, black bass, pickerel and white perch make up the fishy fare for anglers in northern Maine. And these are not fish of ordinary size or ordinary gameness; 40 Pounds of Moosehead Lake Togue. tlieV l’llll large, and from the moment they are hooked until they are finally brought to net they give proof in plenty of great pluck and endurance. Northern Maine trout range in weight from one to eight pounds, togue will weigh from three to fifteen pounds each, landlocked salmon from three to eight pounds, with the other fish of proportionally ample size. It is no boy’s play to hook and land these finny trophies, and the fisherman who finally wins out over his battling prey certainly earns the victory.

Sport for wielders of fishing rods begins in northern Maine with the going out of the ice in the spring and holds good until well through the summer months. As for picking out any one fishing place and calling it the best, that is obviously impossible, for piscatorial advantages have been scattered in hundreds of different localities throughout northern Maine, and with wonderfully impartial hand. Our advice is to study this book enough to become familiar in a general way with northern Maine’s best fishing grounds, and then ascertain from the camp owners who advertise in this volume, whatever special information is desired regarding the angling outlook in their respective localities.

Northern Maine fishing waters group naturally into eight systems or divisions, as follows: The Piscataquis river, Moosehead Lake, Penobscot river West branch, Penobscot river East branch, Aroostook river, Fish river, Allagash river, and St. John river systems. The chief fishing waters of each system are given below, with a mention of the various kinds of fish to be met with in each instance, the most convenient railroad station, and other detailed information.

Next up, Piscataquis River Fishways…

Categories: Books, history, Maine, Maine things to do, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

The Poland Spring Inn

Poland Spring, Maine has been a fixture for over two hundred years now (215,actually), having been opened in 1797 by Jabez Ricker, after settling at that location in 1794. I came across an article in the June 1922 issue of the Bankers Magazine. I thought I would share with those interested in the history of the Poland Spring Inn. The advertisement shown here is from a 1922 issue of the national Magazine.

THE Poland Spring House is situated on the old homestead estate of Wentworth Ricker in the heart of one of the loveliest regions of Maine and New England. In 1794 Jabez Ricker with his four sons and six daughters arrived and settled in a small house on the land south of the present Mansion House. In 1795 the building comprising the northwest corner of the present Mansion House was commenced. This building was first occupied in 1796, and during the following year was finished as an inn; a signpost was erected at the northwest corner with a sign bearing the words: “WENTWORTH RICKER, 1797.” It is recorded that the morning following their arrival, and when there was no regular highway in these parts, two men who were passing through the country called for meals. Since that day, for a period touching three centuries, these doors have never been closed to the coming guest. It is also worthy of note that the “Wentworth Ricker Inn” was one of the first to offer “entertainment for man and beast” on the post highway from Portland to Montreal.

The original Mansion House was opened by Wentworth Ricker, the grandfather of the present proprietors, Hiram Ricker & Sons, as Jabez Ricker had previously settled all his sons on properties, practically all of which have since been taken into the present estate, originally containing about 300 acres; and now over 5000 acres in the entire Poland Spring property.

Nearly 120 years of hotel-keeping have evolved the Mansion House, the Poland Spring House, and developed the estate; and the Riccar Inn at Poland Spring, which was first opened in 1913, derives its name from George and Maturin Riccar, the founders of the Ricker family in America. Side by side with the growth of Poland Spring as a Famous summer and winter resort, has developed also the history of the Poland Spring itself, and Poland Water has become famous throughout the civilized world.

Poland Spring is about 800 feet above sea level, twenty six miles north of Portland, Maine, and about five miles via the Poland Spring Automobile Stage Line from Danville Junction station of the Maine Central Railroad. The facilities for reaching Poland Spring from new York, Boston and other centers are unexcelled. The Poland Spring property of 5000 acres is of diversified character, and a small army of workers is employed in its upkeep. The scientific drainage, the electric lighting system, the water supply and fire protection have attained the perfection possible only through unrestricted study and expense. The well planned system of water towers, hydrants and sprinklers, and the system of fire brick walls afford the utmost protection.

Of the many lakes and ponds about Poland Spring, the nearest of importance is the Range Lakes encircling the western foot of Ricker Hill, less than a mile from either hotel. These are well stocked with bass, togue and other game fish. Within a few miles are other noted waters: Lake Auburn, Thompson’s Pond, Sabbath day Lake, etc., and if a guest should desire to visit the Rangely’s, which are within easy distance, arrangements may be made to occupy the Poland Spring Camp on Mooselukmeguntic for short periods.

The long sand beach at Middle Range Lake is a constant delight to children. There is every opportunity for boating and swimming, and a modern bathing pavilion, with instructors and boatmen, will be found at Middle Lake.

The tennis facilities have kept pace with the increasing popularity of the game; the three clay courts are the best that can be built, and are maintained in first-class condition. Riding is a feature that has had much attention, and an excellent string of saddle horses, and a riding master from the staff of the Durland Academy of New York, are available during the season. The links —an eighteen-hole course—rank with the best in the country.

The Mansion House and Riccar Inn are open the entire year and offer every modern comfort and convenience to the guest with long-distance telephone and steam heat in every room. Particularly during the winter season which is at its height from the first of December until the last of March, the Mansion House is the most modern of the winter resorts in New England.

A notable feature of Poland Spring is the “Maine State Building”—the official building of the State of Maine at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, when Poland Water received the Grand Prize. At the close of the Exposition this building was purchased, and re-erected at Poland Spring. This building houses the annual exhibit of representative American artists, in addition to the growing permanent exhibition of the owners, and the library of over 6000 volumes of modern, classical and historical literature; the reading room is provided with the more important periodicals, under the charge of a competent librarian.

All Soul’s Chapel—erected through the cooperation during many years of proprietors and guests, by direct contributions, and the proceeds of an annual fair for the purpose—is adjacent to the Poland Spring House, and on Sundays is the scene of services of various religious denominations for all who desire to attend.

~~~

Times have certainly changed, and the Poland Spring resort, while still a grand destination is but a shadow of what it was in Maine’s bygone days. The Ricker’s began to market the world famous Poland Spring water in the late 1840s, originally bottling it in green bottles with green labels to emphasize the natural properties of the water. You can learn more about this destination and its history by visiting the Poland Spring Preservation Society’s webpage.

Categories: historic buildings, historic preservation, historical societies, history, Maine, Maine things to do, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fort Andross Winter Antique Show

Steeple repairs to make history

The 186-year-old structure atop First Parish Church is being refurbished to match the original, even the wood

Community Calendar Feb. 1-12
Portland History Docents classes, Thursdays 9 am-12 pm, Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress St. #2, Portland, registration required, 774-5561 ext. 120. City of Portland Republican Caucus, 9:30 am, Riverton Elementary, 1600 Forest Ave., Portland.

Fort Kent Historical Society, archives unveil massive genealogical collection
Thanks to his efforts and with the support of the Fort Kent Historical Society and the Acadian Archives at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, the massive collection of books, photographs, notes, maps and related genealogical ephemera is now indexed…

Eastport’s 1814 history deserves commemoration
Members of the Eastport Border Historical Society have done a great job in opening the pages of our history to so many people. It is time, however, for the entire community delegation, Maine state government, members of Congress and all of Maine to get…

Maine to Ohio … Farmall collection finds new home

Alden Peabody, of Augusta, Maine, restored the tractors with his father, Harold. … and did not understand the history or the significance of the models…

FORT ANDROSS WINTER ANTIQUE SHOW!

WE CORDIALLY INVITE YOU TO THE SECOND ANNUAL FORT ANDROSS WINTER ANTIQUE SHOW!
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 26TH, 2012
FROM 10AM TO 3PM!
LOCATED IN TH HISTORIC FORT ANDROSS BUILDING
AT 14 MAINE STREET BRUNSWICK, ME 04011
THE SHOW WILL OFFER 54 PLUS DEALERS SELLING AN ASSORTMENT OF ANTIQUES AND ACCESSORIES!
THESE RANGE FROM 18TH AND 19TH CENTURY PRIMITIVES, FURNITURE, FOLK ART, ART, POTTERY, FIRE ARMS, NAUTICAL, JEWELRY, PEWTER, TEXTILES, AND SO MUCH MORE!
EARLY BUYING FROM 8AM TO 10AM, $5 ADMISSION FEE
FREE GENERAL ADMISSION STARTING AT 10AM!
FREE PARKING
FOOD WILL BE PROVIDED BY FORT ANDROSS’ OWN “THE FOOD DUDE” JAC CARY
AND DELECTIABLE DESERTS BY DAVE HANSEN!

WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU!
“YOU ARE SURE TO FIND SOMETHING RARE, UNUSUAL, OR ONE OF A KIND!”

THANK YOU!

FOR SHOW INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT
DEBORAH J. STUFFLEBEAM
SHOW MANAGER
207-607-4514
207-522-1977
207-607-4513-FAX
CABOT@WATERFRONTME.COM
WWW.CABOTIQUES.COM

February events at Museums of Old York:

For a complete and up-to-date calendar please see our website.

February

2nd Maine’s Museums: Art, Oddities & Artifacts. Janet Mendelsohn, author of Maine’s Museums: Art, Oddities & Artifacts (Countryman Press, 2011) will present “On the road to Maine’s Museums,” a talk, slide show and book signing at York Public Library. Explore Maine through its art, history, maritime, children’s and quirky museums. Mendelsohn, a freelance writer for the Boston Globe travel section and other publications, will offer ideas for day trips, mini-vacations and armchair traveling. Books will be available for purchase. The event, part of the York Public Library’s Brown Bag Lunch series, is co-sponsored by Museums of Old York. Free and open to the public. 12–1 p.m at York Public Library, 15 Long Sands Road in York. For information about the author, visit www.janetmendelsohn.com.

3rd George Marshall Store Gallery Opening Reception. Please join us for an opening reception for the gallery’s winter installation. Mary has installed the gallery with a selection of work; some will be familiar and others will be new to you. It is nice to have a reason to come together during these quieter winter days.
RECEPTION Friday, February 3, 2012 5-7 pm at George Marshall Store Gallery, 140 Lindsay Road, York, Maine, 207-351-1083
EXHIBITION DATES Through April 8, 2012
GALLERY HOURS By chance and appointment

8th & 12th “Let’s Talk About York History” at the Parsons Center. First sessions for 1631 Partners as well as our current and former Trustees. Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. and Feb. 12 at 3 p .m. Please email Laura at development@oldyork.org for more information and to RSVP. (General membership sessions will be held on the 26th and 29th of February – see below.)

17th Tavern Dinner. Traditional hearth cooked meal in a cozy, colonial tavern environment. Menu to be announced. 6-8 p.m. at Jefferds Tavern, 3 Lindsay Road, York. Cost: $30 members / $35 non-members. Reservations are required. Please email Eileen early to reserve your space.

19th Blue Grass Jam with Kevin Dyer and Friends. 1-4 p.m. at The Parsons Center at Museums of Old York, 3 Lindsay Road, York. $4 donation appreciated. FMI, email or call 207-363-4974 ext 13.

26th & 29th “Let’s Talk About York History” Discussion Groups Convene for our Members at the Parsons Center. Feb. 26 at 3 p.m. and Feb. 29 at 5 p.m. Please email Laura at development@oldyork.org for more information and to RSVP. (We have invited our 1631 Partners and current and former Trustees to discussion sessions earlier in February – see above.)

Categories: antiques, articles, breaking news, headlines, historical societies, Maine, Maine things to do, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Is Fishing?

Winter is finally beginning to show its teeth here in Maine, in spite of the lack of snow, and I thought I would drift a bit off history here today and share one of my latest poems and video productions to while the winter time away. Just a spot of time to remind us that while the weather may not be the best today, it soon will be warm and sunny again, and then we can grab that old pole and reel, and head for waters unknown to do battle with the elements of the natural world on our own terms.

For those of you who have followed me for a while, you know that in addition to writing about preparedness, survival and history, I also dabble in poetry as well. I came up with a poem that talks about the sport of fishing, and addresses the question of “just exactly what is fishing all about, anyways?” For you preppers and survivalists out there, it is a way to harvest protein for your families table. For those of you who do not care about preparing for the coming times, it is a way to recreate in a special way.

Fishing holds a lot of different meaning for a lot of different people, but unless you have really been in a situation where you have that ultimate catch, you really cannot get the full depth of what fishing is really all about.

Imagine yourself fly-fishing on a little mountain stream, if you will. It is a warmish late spring day. The flies are buzzing lazily in the air around you, and there is just enough of a breeze coming down the mountain to temper the suns strength. You cast your favorite fly over that hole where you just know a big one is lurking, and start to reel the line back.

Suddenly, you feel the tug as a fish tastes the delicacy you have so skillfully presented, and then the bite, the hook sinking deep into the trout’s lips. He reacts, diving deep into the pool for the safety of his home. But you have different plans, and the fight begins between the man and fin. You play out line and the fish tries to flee, and then you reel some line back in, a little more each time. And each time the fish weakens just a little, until suddenly, after what seems like hours, but is really only a few minutes, the fish, in a sudden burst of adrenaline bursts from the surface of the stream.

Water sprays and splashes, revealing the sparkling color of its scales, reflected in the midday sun. the Rainbow flips his tail in an audible slap, sending a spray of water across the deep blue sky, each drop of water glistening, appearing as a hundred diamonds sprayed across the air, each one reflecting the colors of the sun in a glittering rainbow spread across the scene before you.

Until you have actually been in a position similar to this picture painted here in words, you really have not been fishing, and until you have, you really cannot fathom what fishing really is. For some, fishing is about accumulating equipment, buying the latest surefire lure and the latest technological advance in poles and reels and maybe that pro class bass boat. However, that is like going to church every Sunday and not knowing God. It just does not give you the true sense of what life is really all about.

Here for your enjoyment is the video-poem that I put together. There is some archive video showing some fishing during the ’40s and early 50’s time frame, as well as an entertaining newsreel piece at the beginning. I hope you like the poem, as well as the video, and feel free to share.

Categories: Maine, Maine things to do, stories, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

U-Maine’s folklore collection to get new home at Library of Congress

Welcome to another round of Maine history headlines and news from around the web! A special thanks to those who have sent in links to share. Just a comment on that, by the way. Please make sure you have a valid description of your email in the subject line. If there is no relevant wording in the subject line it will go into spam, and as the amount of spam mail is increasing again, I will no longer look at emails in my spam box. Send in your news, links and event notifications to editor@touringmaineshistory.com if you have something to share.

As a note for future interest, I am interested in receiving guest posts from historical society fans covering meeting and events around the state of Maine. It will be a good way to share news of what you are doing with a greater audience than you might get otherwise.

If I do not get time to do another post before Thanksgiving, have a happy holiday, and enjoy the day!

Joe Steinberger: Rockland History, in Context
Freepress Online
by Joe Steinberger This Saturday at 12:30 pm at the Rockland Public Library, there will be a presentation by members of the Rockland Historical Society about the Lime Rock Railroad that once linked Rockland’s limestone quarries to the shore side kilns…

All aboard for history of Rockland’s industrial railroad
knox.VillageSoup.com
The Rockland Historical Society and the Rockland Public Library will present a multi-media program about Rockland’s Lime Rock Railroad on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 1:30 pm The program at the library will be preceded by the historical society’s annual…

Official issued proclamation against Penobscot Indians in 1755
Bangor Daily News
The page refers to “Documentary History of Maine,” Baxter Manuscripts, Vol. 24 Page 63, and also the Androscoggin Historical Society at http://www.rootsweb.com/~meandrhs. So in addition to taking land and spreading disease and paying Native Americans…

Belfast women sewed a patriotic legacy in 1864
Bangor Daily News
Discovering the phrase “Belfast, Maine, June 17, 1864” printed on a white stripe, the woman contacted the Belfast Historical Society. According to Pinette, after the Armory Square Hospital closed in 1865, the Belfast quilt “was most likely given to Dr…

Town histories a great source for veterans lists
Bangor Daily News
They are among the Abbot World War I veterans listed in “A Centeseptquinary History of Abbot, Maine 1827-2002,” a book that continues to be available through the Abbot Historical Society. Gerrish, Morse and Orff served in places such as St. Mihiel and…

UMaine ‘national treasure’ of folklore to get new home at Library of Congress

ORONO, Maine — Legend has it that the Maine Folklife Center hatched from a shoebox under the desk of University of Maine professor Edward “Sandy” Ives. Half a century ago, that box held just a few audio recordings of Mainers describing their way of life and way of making a…

Museums of Old York schedule of events;

November

19 Visual Language and Constructed Views: New Exhibits at George Marshall Store Gallery. Opening reception on Saturday Nov. 19, 5-7 p.m. This exhibition runs through December 18. Gallery Hours are Wed. – Sat. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sunday 1-4 p.m. and by appointment.

21 The Art of Wreathmaking
Join MOY staff as we prepare wreaths to decorate our historic properties for the holiday season.
Meet at 2 p.m. at Remick Barn in The Parsons Center, 3 Lindsay Road in York Village.

30 Gingerbread House Competition. Help the Museums of Old York decorate a gingerbread rendition of the John Hancock Warehouse. Use frosting and candy to add windows, shingles, a ramp and the ocean so the house can be entered in York Library’s gingerbread house contest! After helping with our gingerbread house, decorate your very own house in true Victorian holiday style to take home. 3-5 p.m. at The Parsons Center. Registration required, ages 5 and up, $25 ($20 members).

December
3 A Christmas Tea at Jefferds Tavern. The Museums of Old York will once again host a favorite local holiday tradition at the historic Jefferds Tavern from noon until 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 3 as a part of the annual Festival of Lights celebration in York Village. This yuletide happening, managed again this year by volunteer Michele LaBranche, brings traditional Victorian-style holiday cheer to the entire family. Candlelight, a cozy fire, shining silverware, delicate teacups and Christmas greens set the stage at Jefferds Tavern. But the desserts are really the highlight created by local bakers and talented volunteers.

This year’s menu of tasty treats includes Apple Crisp, Harvest Pumpkin Pie, Cheesecake, Chocolate Cake, Raspberry Almond Pie, Lemon Pie, Fluffy Peanut Butter Pie, and Indian Pudding. Enjoy the ambiance, company of friends and delicious desserts as you warm yourself by the fire. The last sitting will be at 3:30 p.m. Admission is $6 and includes a choice of two desserts and tea. There is no charge for children under age 5. FMI, please email or call 207-363-4974.

14 Candle Dipping and Holiday Decor. Without electricity how did people light their homes at night? With candles of course! Dip your own candles for when the power goes out this winter or as a centerpiece for a holiday dinner. Create colorful curled candles, string cranberries and make a decoration for your window or Christmas tree. 3-5 p.m. at The Parsons Center. Registration required, ages 8 and up, $10 ($8 members).

Categories: breaking news, headlines, historic preservation, historical societies, history, Maine, Maine things to do, museum news, Museums of Old York, stories, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WWII Warbirds Flock to Auburn

Hello everyone! I’ve been vacationing, so a lot of news has been missed, but here is another roundup (a long one this time) of Maine history news highlights and headlines from around the state. Lots of exciting things going on, from the visit of some WWII warplanes to the LA municipal airport in Auburn. Also, a lot of events are still happening all over, even though Fall is coming, along with the traditional shuttering of many historical society operating seasons.

As usual, if you have trouble with a link, copy and paste it into your browsers search window to visit the site. And if you have any news to share ot events to schedule, feel free to email them to me at editor@touringmaineshistory.com.

I would like to give a shout out this week to Susan Sheffield of Dover Delaware for emailing a couple of excerpts from an issue of the New England Magazine with a story about Thomas B. Reed. It is unusual to find something like that so far from its home area. Thanks Susan!

Journalist/author visits Thomaston Historical
Thomaston — Author Kevin C. Mills will discuss his journey researching his family history to publishing his first novel, “Sons and Daughters of the Ocean,” at the monthly meeting of Thomaston Historical Society at the Knox Farmhouse, 80 Knox St. The…

Author to discuss Civil War regiment from Maine at Heritage Day in Brooks
Brooks — Brooks Historical Society will hold its annual Heritage Day Open House on Sunday, Oct. 9 from 1-4 pm at the Pilley House. New this year will be a featured speaker Peter Dalton of Northport, author of “With Our Faces To The Foe: A History Of…

Bird talks on ‘Rockland, Maine’s Tidal Turn’
Rockland — On Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 6:30 pm, Rockland Public Library will present a talk John Bird on his recent book, “Rockland, Maine’s Tidal Turn.” The talk is co-sponsored by the Rockland Historical Society. Bird has compiled a series of columns…

Clean gravestones with water, elbow grease, gentle brushes
When I hear them talk about their travels — a newly discovered cemetery in Mercer, a historical society meeting in Hope — all I can think of is a pinball machine pinging them around Maine’s graveyards in need. Bill’s slide presentation took us along…

25 things to do this fall — festivals, foliage and fun
See how Mainers from the past two centuries got dressed up at the Maine Historical Society’s fashion in Maine exhibit, which runs into 2012. Hats, jewelry, shoes, hair combs, walking sticks and several complete costumes are on display along with a wide…

Irish lecture series proving to be a hit
A former teacher, he is a member of the Androscoggin Historical Society, Maine Historical Society and the Irish American Club of Maine. He has authored two books, “Early Murphy Descendants of Mary Hurley and James McCarthy” and “Androscoggin Irish…

Hauling History: Jon Hentz to share lobster trap lore
But through personal memory, research and craftsmanship, Hentz has hauled up more than a century’s worth of trap-making that he will present at the Georgetown Historical Society building Tuesday night. The free talk will trace the development from the…

Surprise takes WWII veteran back to old heights

A ride in a historic plane honors a Maine Tuskegee Airman who served his country and came home to face racial bias.

World War II bombers make stop in Auburn

AUBURN — “You see them on TV, but you never really know what they’re like inside,” marveled Russ Allen of Auburn as he made his way slowly through the belly of the B-17G Flying Fortress at the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport on Monday afternoon. Inside, the plane was a…

Wings of Freedom bringing vintage planes to airport

AUBURN — Former New Gloucester resident Tom Driscoll picks up the leather flying jacket that his father, Lt. John Driscoll Sr., wore when he piloted B-17s in the 1940s. The jacket is a family treasure and symbol of the stories that John finally began telling about the war near th…

Old Otisfield Town House may be raised to save historic listing

OTISFIELD — The old Otisfield Town House and the approximate one-half acre of land it sits on may be raised 52 inches so it can retain its listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The wood-frame 1905 building on Bell Hill Road has its original oak chairs and voting booth…

From WorthPoint; Q& A: Talking 125 Years of Coke
This year, Coca-Cola marks the 125th anniversary of the creation of the famous beverage, first introduced as a fountain drink in Atlanta, Ga., in 1886. The popularity of the sparkling refreshment was aided by a merchandising frenzy, as thousands of mass-market advertising collectibles were produced over the years—from promotional items, holiday-themed items and signs—and all proved to be pretty durable, making collecting fairly easy. In that vein of thought, Worthologist Liz Holderman interviews Denis Bardin, the president of the Coca-Cola Collectors Club. Check out what hardcore Coke collectors are looking for these days. Read “Q & A: Talking 125 Years of Coke”

Museums of Old York Events:

October
3 Needle Wizards. Join us every Monday morning as we socialize while sewing costumes for Old York’s education interpreters. Whether you are good at cutting out patterns, hand-sewing caps, piecing skirts or sewing on the machine, we could use your help. Come to The Parsons Center upstairs in the gallery at 3 Lindsay Road for an hour or the whole morning. 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. For more information, email Cindi Young-Gomes at registrar@oldyork.org.

6 Who Discovered York? Observe Columbus Day in a different way by learning about the several “discoveries” of York from the 1630s – 1900s. 7 p.m. at The Parsons Center.

10 Needle Wizards. Every Monday from 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. upstairs at The Parsons Center. Email registrar@oldyork.org for more information.

12 Scarecrow Making. Learn the origins of the scarecrow while you make one to decroate your yard. Bring old clothes to struff with leaves and create a crazy face out of cloth. 3-5 p.m. at The Parsons Center. Ages 6 and up, $8 per child ($6 members). Registration required. Email education@oldyork.org to sign up.

15 Marketfest! The Museums of Old York will be a busy place Saturday October 15th from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Jefferds Tavern will be open to the public for $1. Visitors can watch the Tavern Mistress cook a full meal over the open fire, enjoy traditional crafters, and check out our new upstairs exhibit on WWII home front efforts. Outside Jefferds Tavern children and adults can help press apples into cider, enjoy home baked goods and have fun making a rag doll at our kids table. The Parsons Center will be open for $1 with the upstairs exhibit on life in 17th century York, titled “The country heer is plentiful”, open all day. Downstairs people can view the pies entered in our Autumn Pies contest, or have their photo taken in costume in our Old Time Photo Booth. The pies will be judged in the The Parsons Center at 2 p.m. The 1719 Old Gaol will be open all day so people can see the original stone cells and learn about the prisoners incarcerated within. For $1 join us at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., or 3 p.m. to watch theatrical prisoner performances and hear stories told by the jail keeper! If you would like to enter a pie in the Autumn Pies contest, or are interested in volunteering at the Museum for Marketfest, please email education@oldyork.org.

17 Needle Wizards. Every Monday from 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. upstairs at The Parsons Center. Email registrar@oldyork.org for more information.

19 Fall Fair Day. Join us for traditional fair activities and fall fun! Potato sack and three-legged races, human ox pull, skillet throw, bobbing for apples, leaf diving for treasure and apple cider pressing. 3-5 p.m. at The Parsons Center. Ages 6 and up, $8 per child ($6 members). Registration required. Email education@oldyork.org to sign up.

24 Needle Wizards. Every Monday from 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. upstairs at The Parsons Center. Email registrar@oldyork.org for more information.

26 Pumpkin Carving. Come carve pumpkins in front of the fire! Learn the history of Halloween as you transform your pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern and eat the seeds roasted over the open fire. Bring your own pumpkin. Knives, newspaper and cleanup will be provided. 3-5 p.m. at The Parsons Center. All ages are welcome. $5 suggested donation. Registration encouraged. Email education@oldyork.org to sign up.

29 Haunted Historical Halloween — Where Facts are Scarier than Fiction! Join a tour of historic ghosts starting at The Parsons Center and traveling through the buildings and grounds at Old York. For the young or skittish, we offer storytelling in Jefferds Tavern and spooky games in the Parsons Center. 6 – 8 p.m. All ages are welcome. Members free. $5 for teens and adults and family rates for non-members.

Maine Historical Society Events:


Tuesday, October 4, 12pm

Book Talk: Our Game Was Baseball

Presenter: John Hodgkins, Author

Get in the mood for the World Series with this wonderful new memoir of growing up with the Temple Townies in the 1940s and ’50s. Our Game Was Baseball follows A Soldier’s Son, Hodgkins’ poignant memoir of his childhood in Temple, Maine during World War II. Hodgkins interviews former team members, recounts his own passion for the Townies, and explores the central role the Townies played in the life of this western Maine community.

Friday, October 7, 5-8pm

First Friday Art Walk: Two Fabulous Fashion Exhibits

Thursday, October 13, 7pm

Book Talk: Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light

Presenter: Jane Brox, Author

Saturday, October 15, 1-4pm

Maine Home Movie Day with Northeast Historic Film

Categories: antiques, articles, collectibles, events, headlines, historic buildings, historic preservation, historical societies, history, Maine, Maine Historical Society, Maine things to do, museum news, Museums of Old York, preservation, Uncategorized, WWII | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Mitchell B-25 and the Panchito

This film contains archival footage and video taken by the Remember ME! Media crew at the Great State of Maine Air Show, 2011 in Brunswick Maine. The Panchito is a faithfully restored B-25 medium bomber used in conjunction with the DAV’s outreach program to spread the services available to our veterans in the US.

The purpose of this short film is to tell the story of this fabulous little bomber and the impact that it had on all theaters of the WWII conflict. Primarily utilized in the Pacific Theater, the B-25’s most famous moment was when Lt. Colonel “Jimmy” Doolittle used 16 of these airplanes in a daring sea launched raid over Japan.

Launched 600 miles from Japan from the aircraft carrier the USS Hornet after having been prematurely discovered by the Japanese, these airmen volunteered without exception to carry on with the mission, even though they knew there would be insufficient fuel to carry them to safe bases in China where they could be safely recovered.

All but one plane crashed, and the one surviving plane was confiscated when the pilot landed in Russia.

The plane used in the clips from the movie Aerial Gunner was not actually a B-25, although I had been assured it was. It is actually what was designated a B-34, or more properly a Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon/Ventura. My guess would be that there were no B-25’s available for filming, and this is the closest variant the film company could come up with.

However, the set props were B-25 components for the most part. Remember that Hollywood is Hollywood, and artistic license trumps detail nearly every time.

It was still a great little movie and worth seeing sometime, and can be downloaded in full from the Prelinger Archives, along with miles of other vintage footage.

Enjoy the video!

Categories: antiques, events, historic preservation, history, Maine things to do, museum news, preservation, Uncategorized, WWII | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: