Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Andover West Surplus TWP

Andover West Surplus 1945 Topographic Map

The township is immediately southwest of Andover North Surplus, host to the next northerly section of the Appalachian Trail. The Trail tracks the northwest corner of the township near the northeast slope of Little Bald Pate Mountain. In 1945, (the … Continue reading

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Androscoggin River from Gilead to West Bethel

Androscoggin River in Gilead (2013)

This relatively brief canoe trip makes about five of its six miles through the town of Gilead.  Infrequent Class I rapids are involved; shallows where the river divides around several small islands require one’s attention. Launching is near Bridge Road … Continue reading

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Animals, Vehicle Collisions

Moose Crash Map MDOT (2008)

Collisions with moose and deer are all too common in Maine.  The state Department of Transportation posts signs where crossings have been reported and prepares maps describing the frequency and locations of collisions.

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Appalachian Trail Map

This is a clickable map of the Appalachian Trail in Maine, covering each of the 36 towns and townships through which the trail passes. Photos, maps, and videos illustrate the route. Continue reading

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Argyle

Location Map for Argyle

On the old stage route (now Rt. 116) along the Penobscot River, Argyle shares the Scottish origins of adjoining Edinburg. Formed as a town in 1839, it deorganized in 1938. Continue reading

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Arnold, Benedict

Arnold

led an expedition in 1775 from Massachusetts, up the Kennebec River and through the Maine woods to join General Philip Schuyler in an attempt to defeat the British at Quebec. It left Cambridge on September 11th under orders from General … Continue reading

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Baxter, James Phinney

James Phinney Baxter, courtesy Maine State Museum

(1831-1921) moved to Portland from Massachusetts with his family when he was nine years old. He had a varied education in academies around Portland and Lynn, Massachusetts, including classical and legal training. Baxter, in partnership with William G. Davis, established … Continue reading

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Blanchard Township

Location Map for Blanchard

In the northern portion, the Appalachian Trail crosses the township following Bald Mountain Stream and the Piscataquis River, passing just north of the village, which is near the river and is accessible on the Blanchard Road from Monson village. See maps and photos. Continue reading

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Bowerbank

Location Map for Bowerbank

Bowerbank village has substantial frontage on Sebec Lake. The Montreal, Maine, and Atlantic Railway tracks span the northern portion of the township, eventually arriving at Brownville Junction. The large Maine landowner Plum Creek has substantial ownership in Bowerbank. Harvesting the forests with modern machinery is a spectacular sight. See video and map. Continue reading

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Camden

Location Map for Camden

The village, at the foot of Mt. Battie, is at Camden Harbor on Penobscot Bay and U.S. Route 1. In 1880 the first summer cottages were built and and a flood of seasonal and semi-permanent residents began. The Opera House hosts many cultural events, including the Camden Conference and the Camden Film Festival. Edna St. Vincent Millay graduated from high school here. See video and photos. Continue reading

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Canoe Trips

Canoe trips can range from several days in the Allagash Wilderness Waterway or on the Androscoggin, Kennebec, or Penobscot Rivers, to pleasant day trips often close to home. Here are few samples of accessible canoeing in Maine. (Click the film … Continue reading

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Chain of Ponds

is the name for Township T2 R6 WBKP, which contains the Chain Lakes, a waterway that provided Benedict Arnold’s expedition with the final passage to Canada on October 25th and 26th in 1775. The North Branch of the Dead River … Continue reading

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Columbia

Location Map For Columbia

in Washington County, incorporated 1796, is home to the “Great Heath” and the Pleasant River as it winds itself toward Columbia Falls. Natural resources drove the economy: logging, saw mills, fishing, boat building, bean farming and blueberries. See map and photos. U.S. Route 1 cuts the southeast corner of this small but growing community, bucking the trend of population loss in much of Washington County. Continue reading

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Counties

Maine has sixteen counties, as well as hundreds of local governments. The earliest established was York, in 1652; the latest, Knox in 1860. The structure and functions of county government are similar throughout the state. For a brief sketch of … Continue reading

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County Differences by Age

Map: Percent Under 18 by County, 2009

The distribution of people by age varies among the sixteen counties. Census reports for 2009 show young people under 18 years of age form a greater portion of the populations in western and southern counties.  Three mid-coast counties (Lincoln, Knox … Continue reading

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Cranberry Isles

Location Map for Cranberry Isles

in Hancock County, incorporated 1830, requires ferries or water taxis to access. The 200 acre cranberry marsh on Great Cranberry Island influenced Governor Bernard in 1762 to name the town as it is. Little Cranberry hosts the Islesford Historical Museum; The Baker Island and Bear Island light stations provide navigation assistance near Acadia National Park. See map. Continue reading

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Crystal

Location Map for Crystal

in Aroostook County, organized as a plantation 1878 and incorporated 1901. Its Thousand Acre Bog is considered one of Maine’s “Focus Areas of Statewide Ecological Significance.” See map. A pedestrian trail from Patten to Sherman winds through the bog. Continue reading

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Dead River TWP

Myron Avery Memorial (2003)

The township is immediately west of Carrying Place Town Township, host to the next northerly section of the AT. Little Bigelow Mountain, Myron H. Avery Peak, and West Peak challenge Appalachian Trail hikers. Bigelow Public Reserve Land, through which the … Continue reading

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Demographic Data Resources

Crime Incidence of Crimes Since 1980 Economy Education Scholastic Aptitude Test Scores and Trends Population Maine Population Since 1741 Population Density by County 1990 – Map Population Density by County 2000 – Map Average Family Size by County 2000 – … Continue reading

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Dixfield

Location Map for Dixfield

Dr. Elijah Dix bought the town (and Dixmont); his granddaughter was social reformer Dorothy Dix. See video and photos. Inventor Leonard Norcross was a resident in the early 19th century. The town town in Oxford County incorporated in 1803. Continue reading

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Earthquakes

Earthquakes in Maine, Maine Geological Survey

in Maine have been relatively mild since the reported “big one” on November 18, 1755, which was felt widely across New England and did great damage in Massachusetts. On April 20, 2002 people in Maine felt their houses shaking at … Continue reading

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Franklin County Nature Preserves

Pond in Bigelow Preserve (2003)

Bald Mountain Public Reserved Land, Rangeley. Bald Mountain’s one mile trail to the summit offers panoramic views of Rangeley, Cupsuptic and Mooselookmeguntic lakes and the Height of Land. Especially popular in the fall with autumn colors, the area contains more … Continue reading

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Garfield

Location Map for Garfield

has had population loss from 1970 through 2010. Realty Road runs east-west across the northern portion beginning at the Ashland town line. A hunting camp and lodge, and a section of Maine Public Reserved Land, are here. See map. Aroostook County’s Machias River flows through the plantation to join the Aroostook River in Ashland. Continue reading

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Glenburn

Location Map for Glenburn

The town is becoming a major suburb of the Bangor area with population expanding nearly four-fold in the 40 years 1970-2010, and growing 16 percent 2000-2010. Glenburn’s school contains the public library. See photos. In Penobscot County, it was incorporated in 1822 under the name of Dutton, changed to Glenburn in 1837. Dutton held a major interest in the original township, became a Judge of Probate and a founder of Bangor Theological Seminary. Continue reading

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Glenwood

Location Map for Glenwood

Glenwood contains most of Wytopitlock Lake (the balance is in T2 R4 WELS) and Orcutt Brook, which empties into it. In 2004 only a few camps were scattered along the rocky shore. The Bureau of State Parks and Public Lands owns and maintains a boat launch in the shallow outlet cove, located in Glenwood. Wytopitlock Stream is the outlet and the start of a popular canoe trip. Glenwood is subject to the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission, which has identified critical natural areas in the plantation. Continue reading

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Greenleaf, Moses

Moses Greenleaf Map of the District of Maine…1815

(1777-1834) was a geographer and one who believed that Maine’s economic and civil success would be best supported by a clear understanding of its geographic, economic, and demographic resources. He became know as “Maine’s First Mapmaker.” [Click each map to … Continue reading

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Johnson Mountain Township

Entrance to Capital Road from U.S. Route 201 (2014)

For travelers driving north from The Forks to Jackman, and maybe Quebec, Johnson Mount Township is probably just another strip of U.S.Route 201 through the woods. However, for the adventurous seeking a mountain to climb, waterfall or a primitive campsite … Continue reading

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Legislature, House of Representatives

Maine State House Districts 1994-2002

The Maine House of Representatives, on of the two houses of the Maine Legislature, contains 151 voting members elected from as many House Districts. House members are assigned to Joint Standing Committees, as are members of the Senate, to hear … Continue reading

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Legislature, Senate Party Balance

2004 Senate Election

Political party electoral strength has followed certain geographic patterns in recent years.  In the maps below Maine Senate district election results are illustrated: blue for Democrats, red for Republicans, and yellow for non-party (“independent”) candidates.  During this period the only … Continue reading

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Long Island

Location Map for Long Island

is a town in Cumberland County incorporated in 1992, the first new town in Maine since 1925, from an island in Casco Bay once a part of Portland. See map. It has several beaches, harbors, a fresh water marsh, and a 125 acre conservation area. In addition to the post office, there is one year-round store, and a store and a gift shop open seasonally. A “guest house” is also open all year. The village is at the southwestern end with the town office, community center, library, and a K-5 school. Continue reading

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Map Cabinet

Map of Maine 1778

The Map Cabinet offers selected images of historic maps of Maine. Most are from the Library of Congress where higher resolution versions are available by following the links listed under “Sources” below. The Library’s “permalinks” are permanent links to the … Continue reading

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Map of Municipalities

Map of Maine Minor Civil Divisions

Maine has nearly 500 municipalities – cities, towns, and plantations. The forms of local government vary, but each municipality is placed within one of Maine’s sixteen counties. To go to an article describing a particular municipality, move the cursor over … Continue reading

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Margaretta

Map: 1785 Survey of Machias Bay

On May 9, 1775, Captain James Moore sailed the British warship, the Margaretta, into Machias harbor with news of the battles of Lexington and Concord. The vessel had traveled to Maine to insure that a load of lumber was delivered … Continue reading

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Median Value of Housing Units

Map: Median Value of Housing Units 1990

The value of housing tells a lot about income and the competition for housing in a particular area. For nearly three decades the coastal counties (except for Washington) have registered higher housing values, while the northern counties and Washington County … Continue reading

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Millinocket

Location Map for Millinocket

The Great Northern Paper Mill and the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad have been keys to the economic life of Millinocket for many years. See photos. The declining employment in the paper industry contributed to the steady loss of population over the past forty years – 42%. Millinocket is the gateway to Baxter State Park and its famed Mount Katahdin. Continue reading

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Monhegan Island

Location of Manana and Monhegan

Attractive to artists since the late 19th century, its first draw was fish. See video and photos. After early European explorers passed by (Cabot in 1497, Weymouth and Champlain in 1605), the abundance of fish soon became apparent. Botanists have identified over six hundred varieties of wildflowers on the island. Monhegan Light was commissioned on July 2, 1824. Continue reading

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Mount Desert

Location Map for Mount Desert

The town is located on Mount Desert Island, between Bar Harbor and Tremont. See map and photos. Several granite quarries were located in the town. In 1902 the Quarrymen’s Protective Union was organized. Continue reading

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Native Americans by County, Percent

Map: Native Americans by County 2010

In 2010 the three counties in which Indian reservations exist had the largest proportion of Native American residents.  Washington leads with 4.5 percent of the county’s population.  Aroostook (1.5%) and Penobscot (.9%) follow.  The Native American population statewide is 0.6%. … Continue reading

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Nezinscot Canoe Trip: Buckfield to Turner Center

This portion of the Nezinscot River canoe trip begins in Buckfield Village and terminates in Turner Center Village. Entrance to the canoe launch area is off Route 117 (Turner Street) in Buckfield, just downstream from the bridge, where the the … Continue reading

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North Haven

Location of North Haven Island

Located in Penobscot Bay, it is accessible via the State Ferry Service from Rockland, with connections to Vinalhaven. See video and photos. Fishing was the major industry on the island for many years, with a brief venture into canning. Boat building emerged as a major economic activity producing both fishing vessels and yachts for summer people. Long a resort community, it has few permanent residents. The “Turner Farm Site,” on the National Register, is a treasure of artifacts from Maine pre-history. Calderwood Island nature preserve is here. Continue reading

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Northfield

Location Map for Northfield

This sparsely populated, but growing community, is blessed with water resources including Bog Lake, Fulton Lake, the lower portion of Long Lake, and the winding upper reaches of the Machias River. See map. The main village lies on Maine Route 192 about ten miles north of Machias. A small settlement, Smith Landing, lies on the Machias River in the south of the town. Blueberries are the main crop produced in the old fields and harvested much the same way as in early times. Timber harvesting continues both privately by individuals and commercially by paper companies. Continue reading

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Oxbow

Location Map for Oxbow

Virtually all of the plantation’s population is located along the Oxbow Road, leading West from Maine Route 11. See photos. Aroostook River through the area make shapes similar to oxbows, the harness that keeps oxen attached to their loads. The western end of the Oxbow Road is marked by the “Oxbow Checkpoint,” an entry point to the North Maine Woods, most of which is privately owned. Continue reading

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Oxford County

Map of Maine Counties and Baxter Park

is the seventh largest in population of the sixteen counties, located in western Maine along the New Hampshire border to the east and the Province of Quebec border to the north. The northern parts of York and Cumberland counties were … Continue reading

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Passadumkeag

Location Map for Passadumkeag

The current village of Passadumkeag includes a small residential area east of U.S. Route 2. A community center (in a Quonset building), fire station, historical society, town office, post office, and the Passadumkeag Baptist are all on or near Pleasant Street in this small village. Continue reading

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Penobscot County

Map of Maine Counties and Baxter Park

is the thirdlargest in population of the sixteen counties, located in east central Maine, bisected by the Penobscot River and, the newer avenue of transportation, Interstate 95. Formed on April 1, 1816 from the northern part of what was then … Continue reading

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Penobscot River

Grand Lake Matagamon from the Baxter Park Access Road before the Matagamon Gate

Windows on the River: East Branch Windows on the River: West Branch The Penobscot River Basin drains 8,680 +/- square miles in northeastern Maine. The main stem of the river flows for 105 miles from the confluence of its East … Continue reading

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Penobscot West Branch and Lobster Lake

Penobscot West Branch Lobster Lake Map (1954)

The Roll Dam campsite is a fine location from which to launch the brief trip to Lobster Stream and then to Lobster Lake.  The AMC River Guide notes that “This is the smoothwater section of the West Branch [of the … Continue reading

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Percent African American by County

African Americans by County 2010

The proportion of Black or African Americans reported living in Maine by the U.S. Census more than doubled between 2000 and 2010, from .5% to 1.2%.  The total number in 2010 was nearly 16,000. Significantly affected by an influx of … Continue reading

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Percent of Population Who are Veterans

Map: Civilians over 18 who are Veterans by County 2000

According to the U.S. Census, 139,410 Maine residents are civilians over 18 years of age who are veterans of the armed forces.  This number (an average from 2005 to 2009) is down from 159,333 in 1990 and 154,590 in 2000.  … Continue reading

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Piscataquis County

Map of Maine Counties and Baxter Park

is the least populous of the sixteen counties, located in north central Maine. Formed on April 38, 1838 from portions of Somerset and Penobscot counties. Initially it had twenty-two towns, two more were incorporated later, Dover and Foxcroft combined, and … Continue reading

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Population Density by County

Map: Population Density by County 1990

Maine continues to see a migration of its population away from the most northern areas and toward the south and mid-coast.  Within counties such as Oxford and Penobscot, their southern most communities are growing while the smaller northern towns decline … Continue reading

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Population Since 1741

Map: Maine Population 1742-2010

The population of Maine is measured every ten years by the U.S. Census Bureau, and is estimated annually by the Department of Human Services. The graph at right illustrates the increases since 1742 and the declining portion of the U.S. … Continue reading

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Railroads

Maine Rail Map

A Brief History of Railroads Maine Railroad technology was first developed in Great Britain, and included Richard Trevithick’s steam locomotive of 1804 and George Stevenson’s locomotive “Rocket” of 1829. In addition to the standard gauge (width) lines reviewed here, narrow … Continue reading

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Railroads, Narrow Gauge

Narrow Gauge Railroad Map

Starting in the latter part of the 19th century, Maine had a unique system of railroads that ran on rails only two feet apart. Eventually five of these railroads served rural areas in western and central Maine. They were the … Continue reading

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Rome

Location Map for Rome

The town has substantial frontage on Long Pond (at right) and Great Pond in the Belgrade Lakes region, with many camping, boating, and other recreational opportunities. The town line is adjacent to the small village of Belgrade Lakes in the town of Belgrade. Continue reading

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Sandy River Plantation

Location Map for Sandy River Plantation

About 35 miles northwest of Farmington on Maine Route 4, just south of Rangeley, the community marks the source of the Sandy River in the Sandy River Ponds. See map, video and photos. Four Ponds Public Reserve Land lies just east of Mooselookmeguntic Lake. Access is by the Appalachian Trail off Route 4 in Sandy River. Continue reading

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Sheepscot River Whitefield to Head Tide

Sheepscot River Map from Whitefield to Head Tide Village

canoe tripsThis is a pleasant, scenic, and sometimes challenging trip, on the Sheepscot River. Click on numbered canoe icons at right for video clips. The river at this point runs north to south for about six miles from the East … Continue reading

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Soldiertown Township Penobscot

Location Map for Soldiertown TWP

The East Branch of the Penobscot River travels from north to south on its east side. Three small ponds, Soldier, Little Soldier and Trout are here. Hay Brook is the village on the Grindstone Road. Continue reading

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TA R10 WELS

AT South Boot Icon

This township is immediately adjacent to T1 R11 WELS, host to the next northerly section of the AT. The trail generally tracks east-west, except for a short northwest-southeast section between Mud Pond and Lower Jo-Mary Lake. It enters the township … Continue reading

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TA R12 WELS

1952 TA R12 Topographic Map

The township is immediately adjacent to T1 R11 WELS, host to the next northerly section of the AT. The Appalachian Trail cuts briefly through the southeast corner of the township, also known as Shawtown. Shawtown is a very watery township, … Continue reading

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TB R11 WELS

A view from the ridges in TB R11 WELS 2007

The township is immediately southeast of TA R12 WELS, host to the next northerly section of the Appalachian Trail. The AT briefly (about two miles) passes through the northwest corner of the township as it ascends White Cap Mountain for … Continue reading

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Vacant Housing Units

Map: Percent of Housing Units Vacant 2005-2009

During the period 2005 through 2009, housing unit vacancy rates varied widely from 10% in Androscoggin County to over 46% in Washington County.  This represents a slightly decreased disparity compared to the 2000 Census range for Maine, which was from … Continue reading

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Vinalhaven Island

Carver

The island town is home to two nature preserves, both managed by the Nature Conservancy. See photos. Granite quarrying was an important industry in the 19th and early 20th centuries, both on the main island and on nearby Hurricane Island, which is in the town of Vinalhaven. Now a community of summer residents and Maine residents, it is accessible by the State Ferry Service, which provides transportation, for passengers and vehicles, to and from Rockland. Continue reading

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Woolwich

Woolwich Shore on the Kennebec River from Thorne Head in North Bath (2010)

Woolwich, across the Kennebec River from Bath and with long shores on Merrymeeting Bay, is home to two nature preserves. Settled in the 1600s, it has several historic buildings. Alewives have been a historic part of the community. Continue reading

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