Posts Tagged With: tourism

From Druggists to Pizza and Beer in the Old Port

Industry and tourism rarely, if ever cooperate with each other, and one always wins out over the other, with the loser usually being snuffed out like a spent cigarette. Portland’s Old Port district seems to have figured out a way to buck the trend, and where once Portland’s waterfront was a haven for the maritime industries, other businesses have sprouted, grown and moved along, the area slowly morphing into today’s Tourist playground, playing with that ancient of industries as though they were meant for each other.

We can look back through the rearview mirror we call history and see what has become of some of those businesses. Today, I’ll look at the address of 94-96 Commercial Street, and see what has become of that particular address perched on the corner of Commercial and the Custom House Wharf. Today, it houses a fine little pub called Andy’s Old Port Pub. Over a century ago this same building housed a wholesale pharmaceutical company called the John W. Perkins Company.

A bit of narrative follows as we read from George Bacon’s 1891 Representative Businessmen of Portland:

JOHN W. PERKINS & CO., Wholesale Druggists and Dealers in Paints, Oils and Dye Stuffs, 94 and 96 Commercial St. and 2 and 4 Custom House Wharf, Portland, Me. John W. Perkins, Benj. A. Perkins, J. Henry Crockett. Among the wholesale drug houses of Portland not one occupies a higher position than that of John W. Perkins & Co., and indeed in all New England there is not a firm of jobbing and manufacturing druggists who enjoy a better reputation throughout Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and the provinces as a reliable jobbing house who make a specially of furnishing a superior quality of drugs, medicines, preparations, etc., regarding which they might well adopt the motto “Not how cheap, but how good.”

They have long enjoyed an extensive jobbing trade in the field above named, and are better prepared than ever to sustain their time-honored reputation. This business was founded in 1853 by Messrs. Perkins & Titcomb, and the present firm name was adopted in 1855, the partners then being Messrs. John W. and Benjamin A. Perkins. Mr. J. A. Titcomb entered in 1863 and retired in 1868, and the firm is now composed of Messrs. J. W. & B. A. Perkins, both natives of Weld, Maine, and Mr. J. Henry Crockett, a native of Norway, Maine. Mr. Crockett entered the firm in 1869, and has been prominent in public as well as in business life. He was connected with the city government several years, and has served as president of the Common Council.

The firm utilize very spacious premises at Nos. 94 and 96 Commercial St. and Nos. 2 and 4 Custom House Wharf, and carry a very heavy stock comprising not only drugs, medicines, chemicals, proprietary remedies and druggists’ sundries but also paints, oils and dye stuffs of every description. They are prepared to furnish any or all of these commodities in the very largest quantities without delay, employment being given to 24 assistants. No manufacturing druggists’ preparations are considered more absolutely and uniformly reliable, and this is the legitimate result of the policy pursued by this representative house, for they take great care to use the purest drugs and employ the highest skill and the most improved facilities in their manipulation.

Their list of standard pharmacentical preparations is very complete and is constantly being added to, for the firm are progressive as well as reliable and new preparations that have proved their value and been endorsed by the medical profession are at once manufactured and kept in stock. Samples are furnished to any physician or druggist who will give them a fair trial, and the number of physicians who specify “Perkins”‘ when prescribing standard preparations is significant evidence of the result of such trial. It has long been a conceded fact among the trade that no concern in the state furnishes more reliable goods of standard merit and fills orders more accurately and satisfactorily in every respect.

Prior to Perkins’ occupation of this address, a John H. Cox ran a trading company at 94 Commercial. It also appears as though the upper floors may have been utilized as a sail making shop by several craftsmen. Many businesses have occupied the building since then, with the Perkins company changing hands and names about 1920 becoming Brewer & Co. Inc. The Brewer Company continued in the wholesale pharmaceutical trade for some time.

A fire that destroyed the upper floors of the building precipitated the transfer of business between the Perkins and Brewer. As the business reduced its size over the years, the building became divided repeatedly into smaller rental spaces, with a photographer by the name of S.S. Skolfield occupying space in the building at the time that Brewer and Co. utilized the building.

The names and dates of the businesses that have occupied this space are too numerous for this small space, but today, the address is occupied by Andy’s Old Port Pub, of which you can find a poem and some video I took of the block one evening. Many of you may remember the not so distant tenant of the name of Casco Variety, a convenience store that sold a great many items, from food and drink to odds and ends.

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

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

Joshua Chamberlin’s Civil War Letters Online

Here are a few more headlines from around the state of Maine’s newspapers. If you have any headlines you’d like to share, please forward them to me at, and please enclose a link to the article as well as the contents first couple of lines. Thanks for your help!

Not your Run of the Mill lumberman: George Gustin going strong at 78

WALES — From a padded seat in a tiny wooden and Plexiglas enclosure, George W. Gustin pressed buttons and pushed and pulled two fat gray joysticks, controlling the position and passage of a thick oak log. After mechanical dogs rolled and adjusted the log, vertical and horizontal saws trimmed it neatly into uniform 12-foot-long planks….

Dover-Foxcroft club caters to train buffs

There’s a new train on the tracks in Piscataquis County, and locomotive engineers are needed. more

America’s First Mile dedicated in Fort Kent

As of Sunday afternoon, C.R. Joy had the boasting rights and distinction of being the first visitor to Fort Kent photographed in front of the new granite sign marking the start of U.S. Route 1. In addition to marking the start of the 2,000-mile highway ending in Key West, Fla., the large white, gray and black granite stone debuted the town’s new slogan, “America’s First Mile.” more

Maine archive puts Civil War-era letters online

AUGUSTA, Maine — In 1862, Joshua Chamberlain, a 34-year-old language professor at Bowdoin College, wrote to Maine’s governor saying he wanted to serve in the war between the North and the South, … more

Reuse of mill celebrated

BIDDEFORD — More than 150 years ago, in 1845, Laconia Mill 1 was built. It was one of the first buildings to house Biddeford’s burgeoning textile industry. Eventually, the city’s mill district grew to an estimated 1.5 million square feet, and thousands of people were employed by the mills….

Developer seeks OK to demolish historic house

FREEPORT — Discussion of a proposal by a New York City-based company that owns several retail buildings in downtown Freeport — to demolish one of the last remaining historic Mallett houses on Depot Street to reconfigure a parking lot — was among the agenda items the Municipal Facilities Committee was scheduled to consider at a meeting this morning at the town hall….

Pictures from ‘The Forgotten War’

BRUNSWICK — For almost 60 years, Robert Galloupe has saved the 35mm negatives and yellowing snapshots he took while serving in the Army during the Korean War….

Christmas will be upon us soon, and what better gift is there for Christmas than a Maine history book. Salt and Pines, volume 1 is available at the low price of $20.00 plus shipping, but you need to order it quickly to have it by Christmas time! Simply click onto the Title link and you’ll be taken to a secured ordering site….

Salt & PinesSalt & Pines

Available as print: $20.00 or available as a download: $10.00

Salt & Pines: tales from bygone Maine is an anthology of stories and poetry about living in Maine’s bygone days. From the Islands of Casco Bay to the backwoods of Maine you’ll find tales to bring memories of your own to mind. Join us as we share Maine’s bygone days with;Allen Sockabasin, Ann Allen Brahms, D.L. Soucy, Dave Sargent, Doris Doggett, Jeanne Mason, Linda Aaskov, Luthera Dawson, Patricia Smith Ranzoni, Philip Candelmo, Philip Turner, Rene Cloukey, Roberta Gomez Ricker, Roy Fairfield, Ruth Richardson Maloney, Terrell Crouch, Thomas Carper, Tim Sample, Tom Fallon, Trudy Chambers Price, Salt & Pines, a taste of the ocean, the sound of the wind in the Maine forests….a combination you cannot find in any other state.


From the historical societies and museums…

Maine Historical Society;

Stories from Maine Memory Network

Online Exhibit:
Gifts from Gluskabe: Maine Indian Artforms

Gluskabe, a hero of the Wabanaki people, created the Indians and taught them to make what they needed while using the land and resources wisely. This online exhibit, featuring items from the collections of the Hudson Museum at the University of Maine, demonstrates how the artistry used to create objects was deeply connected to the natural world.  View the online exhibit.

Thursday, November 18, 7:00 PM 

Book Event: The Killing of Crazy Horse
Speaker: Thomas Powers, author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist 

Join us for a special evening that will be recorded for C-SPAN 2’s Book TV.

MHS is fortunate to host acclaimed journalist Thomas Powers who will discuss his new book. Crazy Horse was perhaps the greatest Indian warrior of the 19th century, and his victory over General Custer at the battle of Little Bighorn in 1876 shocked the country. The details surrounding Crazy Horse’s death in federal custody the next year were the subject of great dispute and have remained controversial for more than a century. With the Great Sioux War as background, and drawing on many new documents, Powers will recount the final months and days of Crazy Horse’s life. Watch for Powers on WCSH’s 207 on Wednesday, 11/17. More…

New Exhibit Opens in Lecture Hall Gallery

Wednesday, November 17
The Art of December: Original Holiday Cards by Maine Artists from the Mildred Burrage Collection
This selection of holiday cards demonstrates the wide range of artists who called Maine home–such as Dahlov Ipcar, Stell and William Shevis, and Waldo Peirce— and exemplifies the personal connections of Mildred Burrage, whose love for the holidays is seen throughout her collection.

Join us December 3rd for the First Friday Art Walk and exhibit opening reception.



Penobscot Marine Museum;


Thanks for a Great 2010

Maine’s sardine industry was the subject
of our successful history conference.

75th Anniversary Exhibits Preview 


An exciting schedule of events is taking shape to celebrate Penobscot Marine Museum’s 75th anniversary in 2011. Among the highlights will be two major exhibits:

The Art of the Boat will honor George Wasson, author of Sailing Days on the Penobscot and one of the founding spirits of Penobscot Marine Museum.
  •  “75/75!” – 75 Favorites from PMM’s First 75 Years.
    The curator’s pick of the best, most historic, and most fascinating items in our collection. Located throughout the museum and on the web.
  • The Art of the Boat. A juried art show that explores the boat as art and the boatbuilder as artist. Artist submissions are invited. More information.


After of strong year of increased visitor traffic, Penobscot Marine Museum has battened down its exhibits for the season. Exhibits will re-open Friday, May 27, 2011 (Memorial Day weekend).

During our last open weekend, attendees of our 2010 history conference were treated to an evening and a full day of live and recorded media presentations, documentation and discussion about how Maine’s once-thriving sardine industry simply disappeared – a topic whose ramifications provide food for thought concerning employment and competitiveness on national and global levels. Speaking of food, the conference’s luncheon, the Great Sardine Cook-off, was a pescivore’s delight.

Of course we’re not going into hibernation just because the exhibits are closed. A number of presentations are scheduled through the rest of the fall, winter and spring, and we’re busy planning activities and exhibits for 2011. In addition to the items listed below, stay up to date by checking the website.

Historic Photo Exhibits and Talks

From the Atlantic Fisherman Collection

PMM’s photographic archives department has scheduled several exhibits and talks. All events are free. (Contact the venue to confirm dates and times.)

  • Historic Photos of Machias and Environs. Slide talk by photo archivist Kevin Johnson. At 28 Center St., Machias. November 18, 6:00p.m. Sponsored by Machias Historical Society.
  • Selections from the Atlantic Fisherman Collection. Exhibit at Maine Grind, 192 Main Street, Ellsworth. Now through April 30, 2011.
  • Waldo County Through Eastern’s Eye. Exhibit from the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing collection. At the Hutchinson Center, 80 Belmont Ave., Belfast. January 2 through April 30, 2011.
  • Main Streets of Waldo County (presentation). Slide talk by Earle Shettleworth, Jr., Maine State Historian and Director of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission. At Belfast Free Library, 106 High St., Belfast. November 30, 7:00 p.m.
  • Main Streets of Waldo County (exhibit). At Belfast Free Library, 106 High St., Belfast. Now through December 30.
  • Historic Photos of Winterport and Environs. Slide talk by photo archivist Kevin Johnson. At Victoria Grant Civic Center, 40 Abbott Park, Winterport. December 13, 7:00 p.m. Sponsored by Winterport Historical Society. For more information: 207-223-4035.
Morrill, Maine (Eastern Illustrating & Publishing collection)


See you next time on Touring Maines History!

Categories: antiques, Art Exhibit, articles, Books, breaking news, civil war, collectibles, events, headlines, historic buildings, historic preservation, historical societies, history, Maine, Maine Historical Society, Maine oddities, Maine things to do, museum news, Penobscot Marine Museum, preservation, restoration, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Upcoming Maine History Events

Maine Historical Society invites you to a free noontime book event…

Tuesday, March 16, 12 pm
Mountains of Maine
Steve Pinkham, Outdoorsman and Author

Join us for a talk and slideshow based on Pinkham’s entertaining new book. Pinkham has researched the history, place names, and stories behind many of Maine’s mountains.

As he hiked all over the state, Pinkham became fascinated with the unique names of mountains and features and wanted to learn their real stories. He talked with local historians and combed the libraries of the Maine Historical Society, Maine State Archives, the University of Maine, Brown, Dartmouth, Yale, Harvard, and the Library of Congress.

In the process, he found intriguing stories and local legends about Maine mountains and features, including some of the historical events and colorful mountain folk that led to their naming. Steve Pinkham is an avid hiker who has climbed more than 170 Maine mountains and hills and has also completed the New England 100 highest.

Funding for this program was provided in part by the Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust, H.M. Payson & Co.,and DownEast.

Event Information

When: Tuesday, March 16, 12 Noon
Where: Maine Historical Society

           489 Congress Street 
           Portland, ME   04101

For more information call 207-774-1822 email

Categories: events, historical societies, history, Maine, Maine Historical Society, Maine things to do, museum news, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Story of Snow Falls (Paris, Me.)

(left; Snow Falls as it appeared in 1883)

Route 26 in Western Maine travels through some pretty, and picturesque scenes, and perhaps there is none prettier than that of Snow Falls, just a few miles south of where Perham’s Mineral store was, or, still is except they closed recently due to various reasons. It is a place that holds one of Maine’s few remaining roadside picnic areas. It’s a shame to see these sites fall by the wayside and become closed. There are many places where once one could once enjoy a sunny afternoon beside a running stream or along a placid pond with the family, and enjoy the benefits of nature. But tax dollars being what they are, we are seeing these treasures disappear, and much to the shame of the Pine Tree State. Maine has long prided herself for her tourist industry, and yet we see that tourist industry demolished today through the closures of these sites.

One would think that if Maine were in fact attempting to build a solid tourist industry, then the state would make an effort to include all possible venues of possible tourist attraction in a comprehensive plan to develop said industry. But time after time we see historic structures and sites being tossed to the wind, rather that preserved for both their historic significance as well as the potential tourism generated revenue. The Scribner Mill in Harrison, Maine took a blow when the state declined to approve modified reconstruction of the dam and installation of a fish-way in favor of the supposedly endangered Sebago Salmon. And now we hear that illegal Northern Pike have been introduced into the waters. Guess what they eat? The Goddard Mansion on the grounds of the Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth is the remains of a fine specimen of a 19th century mansion. Instead of finding a way to rebuild the structure, over the years it has disintegrated and today they are talking about dismantling the structure.

There are many other sites and structures in danger of loss here in Maine, and at times, there seems to be little concern for their preservation. But there’s always money for other special interests. Tourism is, and always has been, an important aspect of Maine’s business formula. I believe if we were to take more interest in our heritage, then we would take greater pride in the places, and thus work to preserve much that we are losing. Preservation takes money, so perhaps if Maine were to somehow partner tourism and her many fine historical societies together, we may see a trend towards more of this preservation we so badly need to support, as well as increase the revenue we garner from the tourism industry. Maine isn’t just about lobster, ski resorts and golfing. It is about people. 400 years of people and more.

But to get back to Snow Falls, many ask of the legend behind the name. There are a few stories floating around, most not true, but all of them hinge upon speculation and lore. But the fact remains that at the core of the legend, these falls were named for a man named Captain Snow. The legend has it that Snow was killed there by the Indians about year 1762. This area was at that time a wilderness, with the settlement of New Gloucester, and at that time being just beginning, being the nearest community. Captain Snow and a Mr. Stinchfield, probably the James Stinchfield as described by Williamson in his work on Maine history, were engaged in the business of hunting and trapping on this stream. Their camp was said to have been pitched on the east side of the river, near the Falls. This would have put it in the vicinity of the picnic tables that now grace the rest area.

Indian depredations at that time were very frequent, or so the story goes. A party of warriors had descended from Canada, divided and spread themselves upon the scattered frontier settlements. Naturally, they were said to spread before them much devastation and terror. One party, burdened with booty, discovered these traps of the hunters, and traced their tracks back to their camp. There is however some question by historical facts as to the date, as New Gloucester had actually begun previously in 1754, and a treaty had been signed with the Indians in Halifax in 1760, effectively putting an end to the Indian raids and war parties. This would have put the true dating at anytime between 1754 and 1760. Apparently, Captain Snow was inside the camp, while Stinchfield was about tending to some chore. Returning to the camp he encountered the Indian raiding party sneaking up on the encampment.

In 1824, Elijah Hamlin wrote in the first issue of the Oxford Observer; Stinchfield, who happened to be on the outside, discovered them when within a few rods of it; he uttered a scream of terror and conjured Snow, who was within, to surrender as resistance would be useless. Snow, who was aware of the horrible sufferings to which they doomed their prisoners, replied that he never would surrender himself alive ; that it was better to perish there than at the stake. The Indians, finding themselves discovered, with a yell precipitated themselves upon the camp. Snow appeared at the door with his musket in his hand and made a demonstration of surrender ; but he only did this to single out his victim. The Indian who covered the file in its approach was of ferocious appearance and uncommon stature. His head was adorned with the plumage of the eagle taken entire, its wings depending over either shoulder, and talons and beak so arranged that it still seemed to have life and conscious of its kingly power. When within a few steps of Snow, and signifying to him good quarter, Snow suddenly elevated the muzzle of his piece, and saying that he neither asked or gave quarter, discharged it into the bosom of the Indian sachem, who rolled upon the ground in the mortal agonies of death. Before Snow could recover the camp or make another movement of offence, he himself was slain and cut in pieces by the whole party, who had Hung themselves at once in fury upon him. They then betook themselves to lamentations and howling for the loss of their chief, and having performed all the funeral rites due to his rank, and significant of their consideration of his loss, they sank him in a neighboring bog and continued their march northward, taking Stinchfield along with them, calculating to offer him up as a sacrifice for the death of their chief.

It is unknown whether this is a true rendition of the story as it was passed down by the Stinchfield descendants. There were other persons at the time of Hamlin’s article who had known either personally or indirectly both of the men, but I have not encountered anything more regarding Mr. Snow aside from his burial at the falls. But that is how the falls received their name and that tale has stood for over two centuries.

Of course, there certainly is more to the story of Snow Falls. After all, it is a waterfall, and every waterfall needs a story containing some type of mill, doesn’t it? And there was some manufacturing to have taken place at Snow Falls. Phineas Stearns erected a chair manufactory prior to the year 1850, which burned down in 1855, on November 25th. It was immediately rebuilt, and operated until 1875 when the mill was sold to William Chase, and converted into a brown paper mill. This mill was consumed by fire on June 5th of 1877.

Next, the Exeter Wood Pulp Company built another wood pulp mill on the site and operated it until it was purchased by the Linen Mfg. Company. They enlarged the facility, and turned the mill into an experimental plant, which proved fruitless and subsequently idled its machinery, closing the facility about 1900. The remains of the old mill(s) foundations may still be seen at the falls, and on the western side runs the railroad tracks. There is a foot bridge over the falls and some short trails allowing an easy access to some of the best scenery. Snow Falls is a terrific stop on anyone’s journey, whether you’re packing a lunch or just want to stretch a bit after driving.

Just a ways above the falls, along route 26 where it meets route 219 you’ll find Trap Corner. Lots of folks have ideas as to how it got its name, but according to the History of Paris, Ebeneezer Drake built a store there, strictly for the purpose of gaining the trade of anyone from the area who might have gone down into Paris for their needs. Since there was no village to speak of at the time, the locals gave the store the nickname “Trap Corner.” He ran the store for many years, and afterwards the store passed through many owners. Even today, a store is situated in the area. Unfortunately, the much renown Perham’s Mineral shop and museum has recently closed, another victim of the current economy. There has been a mineral shop and museum there for several score years now, without interruption.

Hamlin also wrote of a curiosity that I intend to explore soon, when he wrote; “A curious circular hole has recently been discovered on the west side of the river, about half a mile from the Falls, on the summit of a hill, in a ledge of solid granite. It is between two and three feet in depth and about eighteen inches in diameter, resembling those that are found on the Falls, only vastly more perfect in its construction. There is much speculation as to the cause and manner of its formation. It seems hardly possible that it could have been formed .by a current of water passing over the rocks, as the hill is so high, this being the only cavity and there not existing the least appearance of the smallest rill ever having run in that direction. That it was hollowed out by the Indians, is still more improbable. It is in a place where they would be the least likely to congregate for any purpose, and, if made by them, must have been done at an immense expense of time and labor, and for ought we see, to no possible advantage, and, in fact, the smooth and rounded appearance of the hole on its outer surface seems rather to indicate water as the agent in its formation. We have examined it a number of times, and can only add with the poet :

‘The thing is neither strange nor rare,

But bow the devil came it there?’ “

As always there is indeed more to the story, but there isn’t space in this venue. Keep an eye out for the video on Snow Falls we’re working on, and keep checking back for more sites to see as we travel around in the tour bus, Touring Maine’s History.

Note: Snow Falls may be found on Maine state route 26, in West Paris. The coordinates may be found in DeLormes Maine Atlas and Gazetteer, ©2006 version on map11, section 1C. The St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad operate the railroad along the western edge of the Little Androscoggin River.

Categories: history, indians, Maine | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Maine History Notes and News

SKOWHEGAN, Maine ? John Beyer of Fredericton, New Brunswick, hooked his fingers through the straps of his denim overalls and carefully assessed a row of antique engines.

BANGOR, Maine ? Its name was supposed to be Sunbury but because of a misunderstanding, it became known as Bangor. How Bangor got its name was the subject of a play that was staged Friday at City …

KITTERY, Maine; Beginning June 16 and continuing until September, the Friends of the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse are offering a special Tuesday evening cruise from Kittery Point.

Mansfield Depot Caboose Pictures Many years ago, a hard-working caboose rattled through the pine forests and seaside villages of Maine.

Touring Maine’s History Live!

Join us at 9:00 AM on Tuesday, June 16 for another episode of Touring Maine’s History on Maine Talk Radio!

We’ll have the usual news and views, plus we we’ll be sharing radio commercials from the thirties to the fifties. We’ll also be continuing with what we call the collectors corner, where information about antiques and collectibles will be shared. This week’s highlight will be fishing and canoes. Plus, the history person of the week will be Maine Senator William P. Frye, and we will continue with the historic business of the week with Portland’s G.L. Bailey Co., of which was located at 263 Middle Street, and his specialty was sporting goods of all types. Touring Maine’s History will stop the tour bus at the world famous Cribstone Bridge in Harpswell, officially known as the Bailey Island Bridge. We’ll take a look at this singular monument to ingenuity, the only structure of its type in the world.

You can catch the show live at or as always, you can play the archived podcasts on our little player to the left of this post.

Categories: antiques | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maine History News for 04 June, 2009

Here’s another batch of gleanings and received notes from around regarding events, happenings and interesting articles regarding Maine’s history news. Enjoy, and remember, feel free to email any news, events or other items to me at I’ll get them up as quickly as I can!

Events and happenings…

From the Museums of Old York…

Opening Day at Old York!

Plan to visit the Museums of Old York this summer! Tour the buildings, hear the stories of past residents and connect with your community. Starting Saturday, June 6, the Museum is Open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. ~ 5 p.m. Start your journey at the Remick Barn Visitor Center, 3 Lindsay Road in York Village. Admission is free for members.

George Marshall Store Gallery

This month, the main level gallery will host Coming to Light, featuring Maine artist Tom Curry. The dock level gallery will showcase Still Points, pairing charcoal paintings by Charles Ramsburg with porcelain forms made by Maureen Mills and Victoria Elbroch. The opening reception takes place Saturday, June 6 from 5 ~ 7 p.m. at the George Marshall Store Gallery,140 Lindsay Road in York Village. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. ~ 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 ~ 5 p.m. The show runs through Sunday, July 12. For information about upcoming exhibits, visit the George Marshall Store Gallery online!

Make sure to visit, and tell them where you heard about them!


*TRAIN RIDE — 11 am, 1, 2 & 3 pm, Sander’s Station, Bridge St., Phillips. Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad. ($) FMI:


DAR MEETING — 10 am, selectmen’s meeting rm., Old Point Facility, Madison. Eunice Farnsworth-Ruth Heald Cragin Chapter. FMI: 628-3684.

Celebrating Farmington’s history
FARMINGTON — Community Celebration for Farmington History Online is planned for Sunday, June 7, from 1-3 p.m. on Academy Street. Five partner organizations from Farmington, received a $10,000 grant to create an online museum for the town. The brand new Web site will be unveiled…

Dinosaur discoveries
Students from Windham Christian Academy unearth prehistoric footprints during a Massachusetts field trip.

‘Maine Built Boats’ film to benefit Maritime Museum

The documentary ”Maine Built Boats: Art and Soul” will be presented at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Maine Maritime Museum, 243 Washington St.

The film features interviews with boatbuilders, designers, journalists, boat owners and historians. Proceeds will benefit both Maine Built Boats and Maine Maritime Museum.

The event is open to the public and tickets are $10, or $8 for members of either organization.

Historic New England offers free admission on Saturday

Historic New England will offer free admission to all of its house museums this Saturday in celebration of season opening.

This includes Castle Tucker and the Nickels-Sortwell House in Wiscasset and the Marrett House in Standish.

The first tour of the day begins at 11 a.m., and the last tour is at 4 p.m.

For more information, go to

Historical Society auction offers Maine summer treats

The South Portland Historical Society is holding its annual online Summer in Maine Auction through Saturday, offering a huge variety of Maine-based summer treats and activities.

To bid, go to and link to auction items.

For more information, call 347-4137 or e-mail

Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, Route 26, is hosting two events on Saturday. Shape note singers will gather from 1 to 4 p.m. All interested singers are invited. For more information, call Barb Ames at 353-4423. A beginners’ woodcarving workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All supplies are included in the $40 fee. Pre-registration is required. Call 926-4597.

Historic walking tours are being offered by Freeport Historical Society and Freeport Community Library at 12:30 p.m. Thursday and also on June 11. The tours are free and will be led by Annie Robinson, assistant director of the Freeport Historical Society. Meet at the library.

Columns and articles…

Fate of cemetery discussed
WILTON – Toppling stones, rising expenses and a lack of help brought Priscilla Beedy before the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday to request the town take over the East Wilton Cemetery in 2010.

Boston Cane recipient ‘makes friends easily’
FARMINGTON – Work hard, be happy and avoid controversy with other people is the advice Lois Moulton gives for longevity in life.

Guide to, history of Arnold Trail of interest to Franco-Americans


Travel combined with Franco history is an interesting combination for the local tourist. One historic trek worth a try is the expedition followed by American Gen. Benedict Arnold in 1775, when he valiantly tried to capture Quebec.

“Following Their Footsteps: A Travel Guide and History of the 1775 Secret Expedition to Capture Quebec,” by Stephen Clark of Shapleigh, is a historic travel guide that re-creates the grueling experience. Clark describes each segment of the route Arnold and his soldiers traveled when they began in September 1775 to push toward Quebec during the American Revolution.

Clark is a retired teacher who also wrote “Katahdin: A Guide to Baxter State Park and Katahdin.” Clark traveled the Arnold expedition trail numerous times to accumulate the detail he published in the history guide.

DC Preservation League Lists ‘Endangered Places’

Posted: 03 Jun 2009 10:23 PM PDT

Source: WaPo (6-3-09)

The large house at 619 D St. SE dates to 1795; its windows are boarded up, moss grows on its bricks. The Maples, also known as Friendship House, is one of six locales announced yesterday on the D.C. Preservation League’s annual list of “Most Endangered Places.”

Since 1996, the league has compiled a list of sites it considers to be of historic, cultural and architectural significance that are threatened by neglect, demolition or other pressures. Some of the previous listings have received more attention.

For example, Battleground National Cemetery, in the 6000 block of Georgia Avenue NW, listed in 2005, will get some improvements through the recently approved federal stimulus package, officials said.

Historic lime kilns at risk in S. Indiana

Posted: 02 Jun 2009 04:34 PM PDT

Source: (5-30-09)

The three kilns date to the 19th century, remnants of an industry that burned limestone into lime and shipped it to cities along the Ohio River to make bricks, mortar and plaster.

Preservationists and Indiana officials thought enough of the structures, built into hillsides near Utica, Ind., to protect them from the Ohio River Bridges Project as part of a massive preservation plan.

But the kilns are now at risk — part of a dispute over who is responsible for keeping them intact and whether the project’s massive preservation plan really ensures their survival.

Civil War News…

St. Louis opens Civil War era court documents

Posted: 03 Jun 2009 09:58 PM PDT

Source: St Louis Post-Dispatch (5-28-09)

White-gloved archivists digging through brittle pages inside metal file drawers at the St. Louis circuit clerk’s office have unlocked never-before told stories of looting, betrayal and slavery in the years following the Civil War.

Now these rare documents, unearthed during a 10-year preservation project, will be available to anyone who wants to read about how Missourians attempted to bring law and order after the chaos of war.

“This is a treasure trove of information, most of which has never been seen by historians,” said Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, who oversees the state archives. “These cases are attempting to right the wrongs that people saw in those years.”

Civil War memorabilia up for auction

Posted: 03 Jun 2009 09:57 PM PDT

Source: (5-28-09)

LENOX, Mass – It’s one of the largest and rarest collections of Civil War memorabilia in the entire country. And soon, it could be yours.

“This is probably one of the hardest things that we had to do, emotionally,” said Eastover Resort owner Ticki Winsor.

Eastover Resort in Lenox is the home of the Civil War Museum. But because of the bad economy, Winsor is forced to sell the entire property, including everything in the museum.

“I feel that when you have something of this magnitude, of this interest to others, that it should be seen. So we decided, with great emotion, that we would sell it,” said Winsor.

Virginia: State criticizes Wal-Mart report

Posted: 01 Jun 2009 03:46 PM PDT

Source: (5-21-09)

Virginia officials want “to set the record straight” about a proposed Wal-Mart’s impact on the Wilderness battlefield.

Kathleen Kilpatrick, director of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, wrote the Orange County Planning Commission yesterday after learning that the county’s planning staff “appears to suggest” that the Wal-Mart site “is not historically significant.”

The Orange Planning Commission will hold a public hearing tonight on JDC Ventures’ request for a special-use permit to build a 138,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter and other retail stores north of State Routes 3 and 20.

“Construction of a Wal-Mart facility at the scale and on the site proposed will, in our professional judgment, have a serious adverse effect both on the Wilderness Battlefield and on the National Park,” Kilpatrick wrote in a letter to commission Chairman Will Likins, who could not be reached for comment last night.

Bangor Opera House restoration lauded

PORTLAND, Maine — The nonprofit group Maine Preservation has recognized the Penobscot Theatre Company for its restoration of the Bangor Opera House facade. more

Categories: historical societies, Maine things to do | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Maine History News for 01 June 2009

Publisher Urges Recognition of National Lighthouse Day; Lighthouse Digest is a news and history magazine devoted to lighthouses that is published eleven times a year from Whiting, Maine and has world-wide

US, wreck hunters race to find WWII planes

San Francisco Chronicle; Lisa Phillips, head of the Maine-based WWII Families for the Return of the Missing, considers taking the planes to be akin to grave robbing.

Mountainside monument

Boston Globe; Wreckage from a C-54A transport plane has rested for 65 years on rugged Fort Mountain inMaine. (Mark Arsenault for The Boston Globe) By Mark Arsenault and

Author hopes book will catalyze preservation action (May 28, 2009)

Kennebunk-Kennebunkport Post; “For some reason, there’s something about Maine and people not embracing historic preservation. If local people get involved things will happen.

Last Titanic survivor dies at 97

BBC: Millvina Dean was nine weeks old when the liner sank in the early hours of 15 April 1912 on its maiden voyage from Southampton after hitting an iceberg. The disaster resulted in the deaths of 1,517 people in the north Atlantic, largely due to a lack of lifeboats. The 97-year-old, who remembered nothing of the fateful journey, passed away on Sunday at the care home in Hampshire where she lived, a friend told the BBC…

Historical society leases Corro House in Lincoln

LINCOLN, Maine — The Lincoln Historical Society signed a 10-year agreement with Town Manager Lisa Goodwin on Friday to lease the Corro House, one of Lincoln’s oldest and most historic buildings, … more

Civil War News…

Abe’s days: Bicentennial events draw to a close in Dover

Foster’s Daily Democrat; … to flock to the museum, many of whom crowded the front gates as Lincoln arrived in a horse-drawn carriage from the Critter Barn in Berwick, Maine. …

Texas Civil War park restored just in time for another hurricane season

Source: AP (5-30-09)

The bronze likeness of Lt. Richard W. Dowling, a Confederate officer, has survived two hurricanes in the last five years, an accomplishment as against the odds as the victory he and few dozen rebel Texas soldiers won against a huge Union force almost 150 years ago.

But the double whammy of Hurricane Rita in 2005 and Hurricane Ike last year left the Sabine Pass Battleground Park in shambles. Trees were toppled and ripped out. Historical markers were snapped off and creature comforts for visitors were swept away from one of the few Civil War battlefield sites in Texas….

Now, after a healthy dose of tender loving care from the man who alone oversees the park maintenance, and a $600,000 rebuilding program directed by the Texas Historical Commission, the battlefield site is to reopen, probably in September and just in time for the most dangerous part of the hurricane season.

History Video News…

From the wild west…

On historic preservation…

Historic Railroading news…

Categories: civil war | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Maine History News for 29 May, 2009

This piece is one of those “Holy crap, I wish it would happen to me!” stories. Just couldn’t pass it up, enjoy….

Great Finds: Walking into a Hidden Time Capsule
by Christopher Kent (05/27/09).

For many years I hosted the popular radio show, “Antique Talk,” that was syndicated throughout the U.S. and sponsored by the UAW out of Detroit. The three-hour live show originated as “Trash or Treasure” and was then hosted by its creator, genius and author of the informative book “Trash or Treasure,” Dr Tony Hyman.

I was brought in as guest host when Tony decided on some other career ventures and I eventually took over as host with a run for almost eight years. I used Tony’s book, which was a guide to buyers coast to coast, with more than 2,200 categories and 1,000 expert buyers, to help callers first identify what it was they had, appraise the piece based on current buying market trends, and then shoot them to the right buyer, forearmed and forewarned. I instructed people how to look at their items, taught them, through specific instruction how to identify specific marks, styles, points of construction, and, basically give them the tools that would make them experts at least in this one particular area….more

Today in History – May 29

The Associated Press – In 1995, Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman to serve in both the House and Senate, died in Skowhegan,Maine, at age 97. In 1998, Republican elder 

HISTORY CAMP, FREE FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, OFFERED BY MAINE – May 27, 2009 The second, at Museum LA in Lewiston, from July 27 – 31st, 2009, will explore Maine’s long history as a home for immigrants from other countries. 

HISTORY CHANNEL’S ‘MODERN MARVELS’ TO FEATURE The CAT FERRY  popular show on the History Channel, will feature The CAT in an upcoming episode. The CAT is a high-speed ferry operating between Maine and Nova Scotia. 

Paddling Film Festival to benefit The Maine Island Trail – The 740-mile water trail traces historic Native American travel routes through the rivers of this region, and is a living reminder of our history

Local Refuge Offers Native American History

WABI – May 27, 2009 This weekend, Maine Tribal Specialist David Sligger is offering some background on Native American history. “Explain to people some of the plants and 

Open House Day June 6: Discover Historic New England!

Discover New England history with a visit to one of twenty-five Historic New England properties open free to the public on Saturday, June 6.

From the 1664 Jackson House, the oldest surviving house in New Hampshire and Maine, to the 1938 Gropius House, home to Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius and his family, Historic New England shares four hundred years of stories with visitors. From Wiscasset, Maine, to Saunderstown, Rhode Island, learn about the people who lived in high-style mansions, and on rural estates and working farms.

The following historic sites offer free tours on June 6:

Hamilton House, South Berwick – c. 1785
Sarah Orne Jewett House, South Berwick – 1774
Marrett House, Standish – 1789
Castle Tucker, Wiscasset – 1807
Nickels-Sortwell House, Wiscasset – 1807
Sayward-Wheeler House, York Harbor – c. 1718

Categories: events, Maine things to do, museum news | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: