Posts Tagged With: Maine

Legends of Maine

  • ASIN:           1300220090
  • ISBN-13: 978-1300220091

My latest book, Legends of Maine is now available at Amazon, or through my own site.

This volume shares several folklore tales from Maine’s bygone days. From the elusive sea serpents of Casco bay to the even more questionable existence of the Windigo, or is it a Bigfoot, roaming the backwoods of Maine, there is sure to be a story you will enjoy. Stories included are from Samuel Drake Adams, Charles Asbury Stephens, George Arthur Cleveland and other folklorists, poets and writers of fiction from the nineteeth century.

The first portion of the book looks at the legend and history behind the sea serpent sightings in the Gulf of Maine during the 1800s, followed by a short piece regarding phenomoena that was know as  Barisal Guns, and a brief exursion into the more famous witchcraft stories from Maine.

There are also many of Samuel Drake Adams and Charles M. Skinners Maine related folklore tales, as well as a story by George Arthur Cleveland called “The Remick Case,” which is a story that deals with the supposed disappearence of a man after being kidnapped by a band of frog people and brought to the bottom of one of Maine’s secluded back country lakes.

I also share some of William Cox’s imaginary beasts from Maine’s past, and round off the book with a look into the possibility of there being a Bigfoot population here in Maine, and include two stories from the mid 1800s that describe a creature that sounds very much like today’s Bigfoot descriptions. These stories are by C.A. Stephens and were written in the 1860’s.

Watch the video below for more, and if you like Maine stories and the mystery of the past, this book is for you!

Categories: Books, history, Maine, Maine oddities | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ellsworth History Book Sale

Through words and pictures, this book presents an overview of Ellsworth, Maine past and present. The book provides a glimpse into our community’s past, an examination of its properties on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as a profile of four community individuals. This is a visit to the Ellsworth of Yesterday and Today through 144 pages of intriguing and exciting text and 200 wonderful photographs. It will provide you with a look of the how and why Ellsworth began.

All proceeds from the sale of the books will benefit the Ellsworth Historical Society’s restoration of our building as well as the continued work of the historical society. We hope that you will purchase a book and show your support for the society and its work. Thank you.

This book sold originally for 39.95 now on sale for just 10.00 ! To purchase your copy please send a check or money order for $15.00 ($10.00 for the book and $5.00 shipping and handling) to:

The Ellsworth Historical Society
Pictorial History Book
PO Box 355
Ellsworth, ME 04605

or call Linda at 667-5716 or Terri at 667-8235 to pick up your copy at the museum for just 10.00 or be sure and pick one ( or more) up when you visit us!

This is a great deal and a wonderful way to show your support to the Historical Society! We are currently preparing to repair our brick facade, roof, gutters, windows and more this summer and can really use your support! As always donations are welcome and please visit us this summer, we are open Thursdays and Saturdays 10-3 or by appointment at the museum at 40 State Street , Ellsworth – The Old Hancock County Jail and Museum. Visit our website for more information http://ellsworthme.org/ellshistory/.

Thank you for helping to preserve our history!!!

From all the members and friends of the Ellsworth Historical Society.

Categories: Books, historical societies, Maine, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pejepscot Falls 2012

Every spring the rain showers and snowmelt comes rolling down from the mountains, tumbling through the many valleys and ravines creating the spring freshets, most years providing a least a few parts of the state with devastating results. This year at Pejepscot Falls the freshet was mild, with little to no reports heard of flooding along the Androscoggin watershed. I took some video of it earlier today and uploaded it to YouTube. Comparatively speaking, it appears to be just a lot of water flowing under the bridge, but when you stand back and look at the history surrounding this place, one cannot help but wonder at the awesome power these rains bring to the falls every year. The following piece is an excerpt from the 1868 copy of the Hydrographic Survey of 1867, a report on the water powers of Maine.

The history behind this place is too lengthy to share here, but suffice it to say that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the towns of Brunswick and Topsham. Perhaps I’ll do a post on the bar-hopping ladies of the early 1800s someday. Enjoy watching the video while reading about some of the mills that made use of this waterpower in the mid 1800s.

First, the “Pejepscot Falls,” on the Androscoggin river, at the head of tide; total height of fall about forty-one (40 83) feet above common high tide; whole horizontal distance, 1,980 feet. “The fall can be increased to fifty-five feet by raising the upper dam, and the damage from flowage would be very slight, the land on both sides of the river for eight miles to Little River Village being mostly high.”

Formation of the Falls.—The natural falls consist of coarse graphic granite and gneiss. The rock upon the middle fall projects above the water at several points, serving as natural abutments to the several sections of the dam. The lower fall has an island near middle of stream, Shad Island. There are three pitches.

The minimum power at this point, as at others above, is capable of very great increase, at least trebled, by the improvement of the great natural reservoirs upon the river. This I shall be able to set forth more fully in the next report. It is a power, at the lowest estimate that can be put upon it, of the first magnitude.

Lay of the land excellent for the location of mills and factories, there being a broad natural slope below the falls of sufficient extent to accommodate any required number of constructions. Colonel Baldwin judges the best sites to be upon the left bank. Advantages for the conveyance of water by canals, first-class. The stone in the immediate vicinity of the falls is suitable for foundations and such coarse work. Building granite of excellent quality within two miles, and excellent clay for bricks close at hand. Lime burned in town.

The privilege is owned by about fifteen different proprietors, resident in the vicinity.

-Improvements.—Two dams constructed of wood, leaky at present, as indeed they always have been. The upper or third dam rotted down and was carried away a few years ago. The power has been so much in surplus that the leakage has been of no importance. The machinery employed is by no means of the best construction for economizing power or in other respects. This statement does not apply, however, to the cotton mill. This is located on the middle dam on the Brunswick side, a natural site for a mill of 50,000 spindles being close by it on the same dam, and is the property of the Cabot Manufacturing Co., organized 1857, capital $400,000 ; mill recently enlarged, best of machinery put in, 25,000 spindles, employs about 500 hands, manufactures fine and coarse sheetings and drills. The company own thirty acres of land on the two sides of the river, and seventy-five tenements. Agent, Benjamin Greene, Brunswick. There are also on the Brunswick side two flour mills andtwo saw mills. Upon the Topsham side are one flour mill and two sawmills. Various small machinery, in addition, is run upon both sides of the river. A very small proportion of the power is now used. It was formerly employed in manufacturing lumber, thirty saws being used; now only four single saws and a gang.

Accessibility.—Brunswick and Topsham are connected by railroads with Portland, Bath and the interior. Vessels of 1,000 tons can come within five miles of the falls, but from that point would be obliged to “lighter up,” the channel being obstructed with shifting sands. The river is “frozen for four and a half to five months yearly.” From the falls to Casco bay is three miles, the country a dead level; a railroad could be built at small expense, opening upon excellent harborage.

Second power, Quaker Mill pond, on the Androscoggin, three miles above the Pejepscot falls, will furnish power for a number of saws. It may in time serve a purpose of great importance as a reservoir against the day drouths at Brunswick, caused by the stoppage of the run at Lewiston by night in the low water season.

“Any parties who come amongst us with a view to the improvement of our water-power, will meet a cordial reception and substantial cooperation from both sides of the river.”

Categories: history, Maine, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a 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

The Daily News

The newspaper. Everybody knows what it is, but do you realize what an important part of our heritage these paper bound glimpses of the past are? Many do not, and because of this, we see a marked decline of the presence of these purveyors of the news and views of today.

At the last count, I could only find about thirty newspapers still publishing here in Maine, which is a far cry from where we used to be 150 years ago, back before the world began to spin ever faster upon its axis. Why are they important to our history? Because they offer a printed picture of what society can look like at any given moment in time.

Newspapers contain advertisements that help local businesses stay in business. We can look a newspaper and see what kinds of business are down the street, across town or in neighboring communities. When we need something but don’t know where to get it, we look in the paper. Plus they have coupons. Coupons are good, they save us money.

If you need to get a new apartment, you look in the classifieds where you can find your new dream home. You can also buy and sell your car, pick up somebody’s unwanted washer and clothes dryer, antiques and collectibles, check out the yard sales, and find a job.

But more importantly, newspapers provide us with a way to share our opinions in a way that cannot be done in any other way, including the internet. You can write a letter to the editor and get whatever is eating you off your chest. You can read the editors opinion and call him, or her, whatever names you wish because you disagree with their views.

The news of the day on an international, national, regional, and local level can be found in a newspaper. Headlines shout out the latest breaking story, while interior articles sift through the grit and grime of daily politics and business news. How to’s help you decorate your house, buy a new car, or repair an old one, take care of your lawn, and help you with many other problems.

And don’t forget about the cartoons! A little slice of humor brightens everyone’s day.

Newspapers have been the medium of information exchange for centuries, from the little upstart local papers to the huge international dailies of today, and sadly, this part of our heritage is disappearing from our lives as we turn more and more to a quick glimpse of make believe reality on the internet. The net has its place, mind you, but an unfortunate side affect of its very abilities to inform and entertain are destroying what has been in the past a part of our everyday life.

In many parts of the world newspapers are still the number one source for information and education where there is no widespread internet availability, but here in the US the traditional paper bound slice of life is nearly gone, and it is unlikely to return, thanks to this media you are now enjoying.

What do we lose by not having a local paper? We lose a lot, really. We lose the connections to our local community that the WWW just cannot provide. We miss the birth announcements that shouted to the world that Johnny and Sally were born. We miss the school news that says Johnny made quarterback on the local football team and Sally was picked for head cheerleader.

We miss the wedding announcement that proudly boasts of Johnny and Sally’s engagement and marriage. The news of Johnny’s promotion at his place of employment is gone too. Gone also are the proud moment of the birth of Johnny and Sally’s first child, The retirement of this couple from working life, and sadly, the obituary that notifies the world of their passing from this life.

What we really miss by not having a local paper is the sense of community that we all once had. Instead, we have become part of a larger community controlled and fed by instant news, but none of it local, unless it sells advertising, and most of it dictated by editors and boards of conglomerates that are only interested in the revenue provided by the pay per click advertising.

I buy the local papers, but I also get many online newspapers, and the difference in the quality and the content between the two is becoming more and more disheartening. Dailies rely upon other dailies to provide content, and thus local news becomes less and less a part of the cycle. We have to turn to Craig’s List and EBay to buy and sell our unwanted things, and we no longer get to see who’s who.

The opportunity for local people to bask in the glow of local fame is gone.

And unfortunately, gone too are the records of the daily snapshots of opinion, the facts and details of our daily lives. We have become too fast, too instantaneous in our lives. We no longer have the option of reading the paper over our morning coffee, and discussing the latest zoning proposal or tax issue at the town and county level over lunch with our friends. We lose our connection the local community when we have no local newspaper.

We lose a record of our history that no other medium can duplicate, even the internet.

One of the things historians do is pour over periodicals to pick out little details that help us understand what life was like in the bygone days of yesteryear. There are not that many left. Many newspapers simply shutter their doors and fade into the inglorious sunset of failure. Others merge and become part of a larger presence in the greater community, thus losing their local charm. For the sake of history, we should all support our local newspapers buy buying a copy on a regular basis, if for no other reason to say you helped keep a part of yesterday alive.

I came across this list of newspapers and periodicals from the 1856 Maine Register and Business directory, giving frequency of publication and subscription rates:

NEWSPAPERS IN MAINE.

Age, Augusta, weekly, Fuller & Fuller, $2.00. Tri-weekly during Session of Legislature.

American Sentinel, Bath, Jas. M. Lincoln, $1-50.

Bangor Daily Whig & Courier, Wheeler & Lynde, $5.00.

Bangor Courier, weekly, Wheeler & Lynde, $1.50.

Bangor Daily Journal, W. E. Hilton & Co., $4.00.

Bangor Weekly Journal, weekly, W. E. Hilton & Co., $1.50.

Bangor Jeff’ersonian, weekly, Bartlett & Burr, $1.50.

Brunswick Telegraph, weekly, G. W. Chase, $1.50 per year.

Calais Advertiser, Calais, weekly, John Jackson, Publisher, terms, $1.50 pr. yr.

Christian Mirror, Portland, weekly, Charles A. Lord. $2.00 per year.

Clay’s Medical Rambler, Portland, weekly, R. R. Clay.

Daily Mercury, Bangor, S. P. Dinsmore, $4.00.

Democrat, Bangor, weekly, Wm. Thompson, $2.00.

Democratic Advocate, Danville, C. Record & Co., $1.50.

Democratic Clarion, Skowhegan, weekly, Moses Littlefield, $1.00 per year.

Down Easter, Minot, M. F. P. O., weekly, Cady & Co.

Eastern Argus, Portland, daily, John Appleton & Co., $5.00.

Eastern Argus, Portland, tri-weekly, John Appleton & Co., $4.00.

Eastern Argus, Porthnd, weekly, John Appleton & Co., $2.00.

Eastern Mail, Waterville, weekly, Maxham & Wing, $1.50.

Eastern Times, Bath, weekly, John Abbott, $1.50.

Eastport Sentinel, Eastport, A. H. Close & Co., $1.50 per year.

Ellsworth Herald, weekly, W. H. Chaney, Editor, E. Couillard, Publisher,

$1.50 per year. Gem & Gazette, Dexter, weekly, J. F. Witherell, $1.00.

Glenwood Valley Times, R. M. Mansur, Vienna.

Golden Wreath & Ladies’ Advocate, Minot, M. F. P. O., monthly, Cady & Co.

Gospel Banner, Augusta, Joseph A. Homan, $2.00.

Hallowell Gazette, weekly, E. Rowell, $1.50.

Independent Dexter Advertiser, Dexter, W. S. Cilley.

Journal & Enquirer, Portland, weekly, B. D. Peck, $1.50.

Kennebec Journal, Augusta, weekly, Stevens & Blaine, $1.50. Tri-weekly during Session of Legislature.

Ladies’ Enterprise, Portland, weekly, Augustus Robinson, $1.50 per year.

Lewiston Falls Journal, weekly, Wm. H. Waldron, $1.50 per year.

Lincoln Democrat, New Castle, weekly, J. J. Ramsey, $1.50 per year.

Machais Union, weekly, Drisko & Furbush, $1.50 per year.

Maine Democrat, Saco, weekly, A. A. Hanscom, $1.50.

Maine Evangelist, Portland, weekly, S. C. Fessenden, $2.00.

Maine Farmer, Augusta, weekly, Russell Eaton, $1.75.

Maine Expositor, Portland, weekly, Thomas Nichols, $1.00 per year.

Maine Free Press, Belfast, weekly, M. V. Stetson & Co., $1.50 per year.

Maine Temperance Journal, Portland, weekly, Benj. D. Peck, $1.50.

Masonic Journal, Brunswick, monthly, G. W. Chase, 50 cents.

Northern Home Journal, Gardiner, weekly, A. M. C. Heath, $1.50.

Northern Tribune, Bath, daily. Northern Tribune, Bath, weekly, $1.25.

Norway Advertiser, weekly, Geo. W. Millett, $1.50 per year.

Oxford Democrat, Paris, weekly, W. A. Pidgin & Co., $1.50 per year.

Pleasure Boat, Portland, weekly, Jeremiah Hacker, $1.00 per year.

Piscataquis Observer, Dover, Geo. V. Edes, $1.50 per year.

Portland Advertiser, Portland, daily, John M. Wood, $5.00.

Portland Advertiser, tri-weekly, John M. Wood, $3.50.

Portland Advertiser, weekly, John M. Wood, $2.00.

Portland Genius, weekly, Josiah L. Thomas, $1,00.

Portland Inquirer, Portland, weekly, Benjamin D. Peck, $2.00.

Portland Transcript, Portland, weekly, Gould, Elwell, Pickard & Co., $1.50.

Portland Eclectic, Portland, weekly, Gould, Elwell, Pickard & Co., $1.50.

Progressive Age, Belfast, weekly, W. M. Rust & Co., $1.50 per year.

Representative Journal, Belfast, weekly, Moore & Diekerson, $1.50 per year.

Rural Intelligencer, Augusta, weekly, W. A. Drew, $1.50.

Rockland Gazette, weekly, John Porter, $1.50 per year.

Saturday Evening Transcript, Gardiner, weekly, R. B. Caldwell, $1.75 pr. yr.

Somerset Spectator, Anson, weekly, Bodney Collins, $1.50.

State of Maine, Portland, daily, Bearce, Starbird & Co., $5.00.

State of Maine, Portland, tri-weekly, Bearce, Starbird & Co., $3.00.

State of Maine, Portland, weekly, Bearce, Starbird & Co., $1.50.

The Chronicle, Farmington, weekly, L. N. Prescott, $1.00.

Thomaston Journal, weekly, C. H. Paine, $1.50.

Touchstone, Lewiston Falls, A. Young, Jr., 50 cents.

Union & Eastern Journal, Biddeford, weekly, Lewis O. Cowan, $2.00 pr. year.
United States Democrat, weekly, A. & E. Sprague, $1.50.
Weekly Mercury, Bangor, S. P. Dinsmore, $1.25.
Zion’s AdvocatPortland, weekly, J. B. Foster, $2.00.

Comparatively speaking, I’d say we are missing a great deal.

Categories: historic preservation, history, Maine, stories, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The First Railroads in Maine

The wood block print to the left is from 1836, and depicts what the artist called the Veazie Railroad, or the Bangor, Oldtown and Milford, which was the first railroad constructed in the state of Maine. The first railroads were actually of wood rails laid on log ties, and pegged into place when needed with widen pegs. Later, the wood rails would be replaced with iron strapping, then bars, and finally the t shaped rails we see today.

Initially, horses pulled the rail cars, which were actually stagecoaches and wagons fitted up with special wheels that were grooved or shaped somehow to engage the rails in use. After the early 1800’s, steam engines, having proved successful in other enterprises such as steam boating, began to be built for these railroads.

Today, much of Maine’s history would have been quite different if these railroads had not been constructed. Much of our sporting and early tourist heritage would never had been birthed if it were not for the railroads ability to carry passengers and freight to the out in the boonies sporting camps and hotels.

Aroostook’s potato industry would not have been possible without the railroads freight capabilities to haul the annual harvest to points out of state. Railroads are just another part of who we are, and as such we should take the effort to learn more about this part of Maine history, and if you have the opportunity, please visit some of the railroad museums and displays and think about volunteering at one of the many non-profit societies working to preserve this part of Maine’s heritage.

Early Railroads in the state of Maine

[From History of the Railroads & Canals of the US of A, Henry V. Poor, pub 1860

Androscoggin.

Androscoggin and Kennebec.
Atlantic and St. Lawrence.
Bangor, Oldtown and Milford.
Calais and Baring.
European and North American.
Great Falls and South Berwick.
Kennebec and Portland.

Lewey’s Island.
Maciiiasport Or Franklin.
Penobscot.

Penobscot and Kennebec.
Portland and Oxford Central.
Portland, Saco and Portsmouth.
Somerset and Kennebec.
York and Cumberland.

The first railroad constructed in the State of Maine was the Bangor, Oldtown and Milford, under the title of the Bangor and Piscataquis Railroad and Canal Company, chartered on the 8th of February, 1833. It was opened in the latter part of 1836. It has proved unproductive, in part from the unfortunate location of its line.

The road next constructed was the Portland, Saco and Portsmouth, as a prolongation of the Eastern and the Boston and Maine Railroads of Massachusetts. The means for the construction of the same were furnished chiefly by parties connected with these Companies, to which it was leased on the 28th of April, 1847, for a term of 90 years, with a guarantee of dividends at the rate of per cent, per annum. These, however, have been earned by the road.

The third road undertaken was the Atlantic and St. Lawrence, and was the first attempt at anything like a railroad system for the State, having for its object the development of its resources and the centralization of its trade and that of the interior at its chief commercial city. It was constructed with a view of uniting with the St. Lawrence and Atlantic of Canada commenced at the same time—the two to form one line between the Atlantic Ocean and the River St. Lawrence. It now forms a part of the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada, to which it is leased at the rate of 6 percent, per annum on its capital. Since the date of the lease the Grand Trunk Company has expended in construction about $1,500,000. This enterprise led to the immediate commencement of the Androscoggin and Kennebec, the Kennebec and Portland, and the Buckfield Branch. The Androscoggin and Kennebec Railroad was commenced in July, 1847, and completed in November, 1849. For several years past this road has been united with the Penobscot and Kennebec Railroad, both of which are operated as one line. Its earnings have been sufficient to meet the interest on its indebtedness, but not to divide anything on its share capital.

The construction of the Kennebec and Portland Railroad was commenced in 1847, and finally opened to Augusta early in 1852. It commenced at the point of junction with the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Railroad, but as it adopted a different gauge, the construction of a new road into Portland, a distance of 11 miles, became necessary. This was constructed in 1850-1, The road was necessarily expensive, and the Company for several years past has only been able to meet the interest on its first mortgage amounting to $800,000, and on the extension certificates $202,400, which are a first mortgage on that portion of road. In the season of navigation the road sufiers from the competition of a parallel water line.

The Buckfield Branch (Portland and Oxford Central) Railroad was opened in 1849, but having proved unproductive has been abandoned.

York and Cumberland was commenced in 1849, and opened to Gorham, 10i miles, in 1851, and to the Saco River, 20 miles, in 1853. It has been uniformly unfortunate and unproductive.

The Calais and Baring, a local road, was opened in 1837. Its earnings have been sufficient to meet the interest on its indebtedness, and pay 3.2 on its share capital.

The Androscoggin was opened to Livermore Falls in 1852—to its present terminus in 1859. This road has failed to pay the interest on its last class of bonds.

The Penobscot and Kennebec Railroad was commenced in 1852, and completed in 1855. This road and the Androscoggin and Kennebec are operated as one line. Its net earnings have been sufficient to meet the interest on its two first mortgages, amounting to $1,050,200.

The Great Falls and South Berwick Railroad was opened in 1854, and has proved unproductive. After being disused for some time, it has again been put in operation.

The total amount of share capital and debts of the railroad companies of the State is $17,923,612. Of the share capital, $4,297,300 receives, (with the exception of the Calais and Baring), dividends at the rate of 6 per cent. Of the total indebtedness, interest is paid at the rate of six per cent, on $7,819,718; leaving share capital to the amount of $3,188,411, and debts to the amount of $2,618,183, on which neither interest nor dividends are paid. The total amount of productive capital invested in railroads in the State is

Categories: Education, historic preservation, history, preservation, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Shipbuilding in Waterville Maine

When it comes to shipbuilding in Maine, the first community that pops into most people’s noggins is the city of Bath, home to the world renowned Bath Iron Works. Many other communities follow along behind Bath, all of them along the coastline of this state. Therefore, it may well come as a surprise that the city of Waterville, Maine also has a history of shipbuilding, however brief as it was. Long gone are the days when a boat could ply the Kennebec from Skowhegan all the way to its mouth betwixt Phippsburg and Georgetown, thence to points elsewhere along the coast.

As early as 1794 ships were built in what was then a small village along the river, and they were launched with the spring freshets, with many orders coming from Boston. Also scores of smaller boats, such as the flat bottomed shallow draft steamboats were built which plied the Kennebec on a daily basis, transporting freight and passengers up and down the river. Construction of a lock and dam was completed in Augusta in 1837, thereby increasing the ability of larger vessels to come and go along the river during the warmer months. During the winter this same river, especially below Augusta enjoyed a thriving ice industry.

Most of the shipbuilding firms were located between where Sherwin Street and the Dam below Bridge Street. A careful archeological search may find some remnant of this once vital industry.

The following excerpt from the Centennial History of Waterville, edited by the Rev. Edwin Cary Whittemore in 1902 describes some of the shipbuilding history of Waterville:

What was once a thriving and profitable industry has long since disappeared and been almost forgotten. That Waterville was ever a ship building port will probably be news to many. Not only long boats, for home use, but schooners, brigs and even ships, were built, some as early as 1794. The abundance of ship timber close at hand made it possible to build cheaply and orders were received from Boston and elsewhere. The shipyard of John Clark was at the foot of Sherwin St., next above the yard of Nath’l Gilman, then that of Asa Redington and next north W. & D. Moor’s built many steamboats. It was necessary to launch them, the sea-going vessels, on the spring or fall freshets; they were then floated down river to Hallowell or Gardiner, where they received their rigging and outfit and took their place in the commerce of the country, but never to return to the port whence they started.

The following is probably a complete list with masters and owners.

1794. Schooner Sally, 92 tons, master, Rillae; owner, John Getchell.

1800. Ship Ticonic, 268 tons, master, Geo. Clarke; owner, John Clarke.

1810. Ship Hornet, 214 tons, master Wm. Fletcher; owner, N. B. Dingley.

1818. Brig Dingley, 106 tons, master, Thos. Jones; owner, Nath’l Dingley.

1826. Brig Elizabeth, 182 tons, master, John Sylvester; owner, Johnson Williams.

1805. Brig William Gray, 156 tons, master, Gideon Colcord; owner, Geo. Crosby.

1807. Schooner, Ticonic, 123 tons, master, Daniel Smith; owner, Nath’l Gilman.

1807. Schooner Thomas, 70 tons, master, Levi Palmer; owner, F. P. Stilson.

1810. Schooner James, 117 tons, master, Gideon Colcord; owner, Jas. Stackpole.

1809. Brig America, 136 tons, master, Wm. Pattee; owner, Peleg Tallman.

1809. Brig Madison, 160 tons, master, Caleb Heath; owner, Wm. Sylvester.

18n. Brig Hiram, 142 tons, master, Jos. Lemont.

1812. Sloop Aurora, 61 tons, master, Wm. Poole; owner, Asa Redington.

1814. Francis & Sarah, 290 tons, master, T. S. Winslow; owner, Rob’t G. Shaw.

1824. Brig Gov. King, 138 tons, master, N. Harding; owner, Nath’l Gilman.

1824. Schooner North Star, 107 tons, master, R. Crocker; owner, N. Gilman.

1825. Brig Waterville, 178 tons, master, N. Harding; owner, Johnson Williams.

1826. Brig Lydia, 178 tons, master, J. W. Lamont; owner, Johnson Williams.

1826. Brig Neutrality, 132 tons, master, R. Crooker; owner, Johnson Williams.

1827. Schooner Brilliant, 82 tons, master, R. Brown; owner, K. G. Robinson.

1829. Schooner Martha, 89 tons, master, R. Ellis; owner, Russell Ellis.

1835. Brig Wave, 47 tons, master, John Lewis; owner, J. M. Moor.

After the passing of shipbuilding came the era of steamboats. William and Daniel Moor under the firm name of W. & D. Moor were the leading captains of industry in this line. The first was the Ticonic, built at Gardiner. She made the first trip to Waterville, June 1, 1832, and was received with great demonstrations of rejoicing.

The Water Witch built by W. & D. Moor in 1842 was the first steamer launched in Waterville. It was quickly followed by others and soon a considerable fleet was plying between here and Augusta and Gardiner. In one season five steamers left the wharf daily. They were flat bottomed, of light draft, with stern wheels, and were of about 42 tons burden.

They prospered until the opening of the railroad to Augusta when the doctrine of the “survival of the fittest” relegated them to other scenes.

In 1890 an attempt was made by some of our enterprising citizens to restore steam navigation on the Kennebec. July 10th the steamer City of Waterville sailed from Bangor for this port. She has not yet arrived.

Near its close, the era of steamboats was marked by a terrible accident. May 23, 1848, the steamer Halifax, a new boat and the finest of the fleet, was making her record trip to Augusta; on leaving the lock the boiler exploded and six persons were killed and others severely wounded. Of the dead James Hasty, the pilot, and Vedo Micue, fireman, resided here.

Categories: history, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Berwick’s Royal Cloyd Passes

Here are a few Google headlines to keep you updated with the goings on around the state of Maine, -historical society wise- enjoy and if you have any news to share, send it on in!

Historical Society fetes 50 years in style Naples Daily News
The Naples Historical Society staged its 50th Anniversary Ball, appropriately, in a spot with some history: the Naples Yacht Club, which took a hit from Hurricane Donna that hit in 1960 — just after its completion. The club had been rapidly repaired…

North Berwick loses Royal Cloyd, a true champion Foster’s Daily Democrat
NORTH BERWICK, Maine — Royal Cloyd, the longtime leader of North Berwick’s Historical Society, died Feb. 23 in Arizona after a short illness. He was 86. Although not a native, in recent years Cloyd was arguably North Berwick’s most effective community…

Conway Historical Society March meeting Conway Daily Sun
The speaker will be June O’Donal, who will be speaking on her research into the early history of Fryeburg, Maine (1767 to 1806) and how she wove the people and events into her historical novel, “The Fryeburg Chronicles – Book 1 The Amazing Grace…

Smithfield has reason to celebrate on Leap Day WLBZ-TV
SMITHFIELD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — On February 29, 1840 the town of Smithfield was incorporated as the 348th town in Maine, and remains the only town in the state founded on a Leap Day. Members of the town’s historical society are not sure why that…

Making history in Arundel Seacoastonline.com
Memorable events change the character of a town or community at different points in their history and for the town of Arundel, Feb. 12, 2012 will go down as a date to remember. The Arundel Historical Society, after more than two years of fundraising,..

Historical society seeks info on gown, dress coat found in Dixfield town garage

DIXFIELD — The town and the Dixfield Historical Society are trying to find the owner and purpose of a vintage gown and ankle-length white cotton dress coat discovered upstairs in the town garage. Charlotte Collins, a society director and deputy treasurer for the town, took the two ba…

History center to offer journey back to origins

The Yarmouth Historical Society plans to renovate and expand a building on East Elm Street to create the history center.

At the Maine Historical Society:

Tuesday, March 6, 12pm

Longfellow’s Shadow: A reading of poems by Wesley McNair and Betsy Sholl

Join us to kick off our Richard D’Abate Lectures with readings by two Maine Poet Laureates. The poets’ readings will reflect themes in Longfellow’s poetry, his stance as a poet, and his attitude toward the social issues of his time.

Tuesday, March 20, 7pm

Downtown Corridors: Franklin and Spring Streets

Downtown corridors move us through Portland’s urban landscape. But certain corridors–like Franklin and Spring Streets–are the source of much dissatisfaction. What are our options moving forward? Stakeholders will share their ideas, discuss current initiatives, and consider what future development along these routes might look like. This program is part of(Re) Designing the Greater Portland Landscape: Issues in Contemporary Design and Development, a program series held in partnership with Greater Portland Landmarks.

Categories: articles, events, headlines, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

L.L. Bean: The stuff of legend

Headlines have been kind of sparse lately, so I have decided to add some material beyond the front pages and event listings in the next few posts. You can still email your events and news that you would like to share at the same old address: editor@remembermemedia.com though.

LL Bean in Freeport is celebrating their 100th anniversary this year and it looks like there will be lots of excitement and a good number of events to spread the pride of reaching that milestone. 100 years is a long time for a business to be open, and I extend my hand in congratulations for their success, and wish them another 100 years. The papers will be full of articles the next few months with lots of information and articles on the birth and growth of this company.

Of course, as we all know, Leo Leonwood Bean designed his first hunting shoe in 1911 because he, like so many of us, was sick and tired of having wet, cold, and aching feet when returning home from his jaunts in the woods. He had some leather tops sewn to a pair of rubbers, and the rest is history. The Bean ad here lists a service whereby a hunter could send in any old pair of boots, and LL Bean’s craftsmen would clean them up, sew on a pair of rubbers and add new laces for the exorbitant cost (at the time) of just $3.40. Bean’s 100th anniversary hunting shoe lists for $139.00 in their catalog. What a difference a century makes!

L.L. Bean: The stuff of legend

FREEPORT — In the rear of a plain-looking white house — not far from the crush of shoppers at L.L. Bean’s retail complex — reside the relics of the company’s century-long history.

Racks of vintage wool coats hang alongside antique fishing poles and knapsacks. L.L. Bean-brand dinnerware sold in the 1950s is here. So are the original paintings used for the covers of Eisenhower-era L.L. Bean catalogs…

History’s hidden in the floorboards

MAPLE GROVE – This small Quaker church just two miles from the Canadian border was likely the last stop on the Underground Railroad for many runaway slaves making their way to freedom, according to historians in the Fort Fairfield area. But it isn’t always easy to find references to it among historical accounts of the Underground Railroad, which helped tens of thousands of slaves gain freedom before slavery was abolished in 1865.

Those who helped the slaves faced jail and heavy fines, so they didn’t tend to leave written records of what they did…

Family history workshop offered at Counting House Museum

SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — A public workshop called Researching and Writing Your Family’s History will be held on the second floor of the Counting House Museum at 1 p.m. March 4.

Presented by author Joseph Hardy with genealogist Beth Tykodi, the event is free for members of the Old Berwick Historical Society, and new members are welcome to join at the door. A one-year membership donation is $20 per person or $30 for a family.

Hardy, whose book, “Four American Stories: Emigration and the Lure of the West,” was published this year, will explain how he discovered and developed the stories of his and his wife’s grandparents and their ancestors. He describes his book…

County man collects chain saws of all shapes, styles and colors

ALLAGASH, Maine — Anyone who has spent any time at all in the Maine woods is familiar with the sounds of a gas-powered chain saw. The constant buzz of a saw is the soundtrack to timber operations, woodlot maintenance and firewood gathering. It’s also music to the ears

 

From the Maine Historical Society

Friday, March 2, 5-8pm

First Friday Art Walk: Take to the Streets

Join us for a festive evening at MHS! Exhibits on display include Take to the Streets! in the Shettleworth Lecture Hall, Dressing Up, Standing Out, Fitting In: Adornment & Identity in Maine in our main gallery, and fantastic work by students in our Local History, Local Schools program in the Showcase Gallery.

Tuesday, March 6, 12pm

Longfellow’s Shadow: A reading of poems by Wesley McNair and Betsy Sholl

Join us to kick off our Richard D’Abate program series with readings by two Maine Poet Laureates. In his tenure at MHS, D’Abate, himself a poet, has embraced MHS’s Longfellow legacy as an opportunity to incorporate literature, the arts, and culture as vital elements of a Maine history that is broadly told and understood. The poets’ readings will reflect themes in Longfellow’s poetry, his stance as a poet, and his attitude toward the social issues of his time.

March Programs at Old York (From their March 2012 newsletter)

2nd Curator’s Potluck. Join us as we thank last year’s donors to our collections. Bring your appetite and a favorite dish to share. 5:30 p.m. at the Parsons Center. FMI and to RSVP to 207-363-4974 ext. 20 or email Cynthia Young-Gomes.

13th Stories, Stones and Superstitions — Author Talk at York Public Library. New England’s burying grounds are often called outdoor museums – full of history, art and chronicles of religious beliefs, genealogy, sometimes tragedy and scandal – even humor. Author Roxie Zwicker’s presentation will provide an explanation of the symbolism and special language of gravestones and further explore the attitudes and customs about death that these historic artifacts reflect. Focusing on early New England grave markers and their carvers, this illustrated program promises to be informative as well as entertaining and should make you look at area gravestones with new insight and appreciation. Books and artwork will be on sale after the presentation. Program co-sponsored by York Public Library and Museums of Old York. Noon at York Library, 15 Long Sands Road, York. Call 207-363-2818

18th Blue Grass Jam with Kevin Dyer and Friends. Join this lively bunch on the third Sunday of (almost) every month from 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

25th Andrea Quartet at the Parsons Center. Come listen to beautiful classical music by Haydn, Dvorak and Grainger at the Remick Barn. Learn about the composers and their work from violinists Augusto Salazar and Theresa Carr; violist Katie Backus; and cellist Michael Danielski. 3 Lindsay Road, York; 2 p.m. Ticket Prices: Adult $10, Student $5, Family $25.To purchase tickets stop by the museum office or call 207-363-4974 ext. 14.

31st Tap, Tap, Tap….. A Special Jefferds Tavern Dinner Fundraiser! Celebrate the very end of winter and help us raise funds for the winterization and restoration of Jefferds Tavern. A much beloved historic building, the Tavern continues to be a focal point in York Village and is used year-round for the Museum’s educational programs, Tavern Dinners and the annual Christmas Tea. The building stands as a shining example of how a group of concerned people can protect history while at the same time making a building relevant to the community. Today the tavern needs insulation, new clapboards, and “buttoning up” so that it can be used throughout the winter months with energy efficiency. Once this work is completed, there will be no better or more charming location for bridge parties, sewing groups, poetry readings, book clubs, tavern dinners, and the new educational programs for both children and adults. Watch for your invitation in the mail in early March. At the Parsons Center, 3 Lindsay Road, York Village, 6:30 p.m. for wine and hors d’oeuvres, 7:30 p.m. for dinner; $125 per person; RSVP by March 23, 2012; FMI call 207-363-4974 ext. 13 or email Laura Dehler.

Collecting a Hero for the Ages: A Look at Flash Gordon
Long before “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” captivated audiences with their imaginative tales of heroes, villains, alien creatures and travel to other galaxies, science-fiction fans were enthralled by the gallant exploits of the fearless space adventurer, Flash Gordon. Created by artist and cartoonist Alex Raymond, the dashing, blond-haired hero has been traveling to the strange planets, meeting a host of unusual beings and bizarre creatures, and battling the planet Mongo’s evil ruler, Ming the Merciless, for 78 years. As one of the science-fiction genre’s earliest and most popular creations, Flash Gordon was also one of the first…

Categories: antiques, articles, headlines, history, 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

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: