Maine Almanac

ACCENT

How to speak like a New Englander, including Maine

BEARS

Sun Journal – Maine has a large and healthy black bear population estimated to exceed 23,000. . . Each year hunters take about 10 percent of Maine”’s bear population. Over the past few years, a couple of bears have been taken taken that weighed in at well over 500 lbs. More bears are bagged in Aroostook County than in any other county.

BOOKSHELF

Portland’s Past, Stories from the City by the Sea

Hidden history of Maine

The Lobster Coast

CIVIL WAR

Maine in the Civil War

CLIMATE

Coldest days in Portland

Maine ranked 14th among states for extreme weather this year with a total of 227 records set. New records were hotter by an average of 6.3° F. There were 28 times more record high temps than record lows

CRUISING GUIDE TO THE NEW ENGLAND COAST

Obituary of Roger Duncan

DESERT OF MAINE

How it happened

DIRECTIONS

How much further is it to Freeport? . . .
About 25,000 miles the way you’re headed.

How do I get to Skowhegan? . . .
Don’t you move a goddamn inch.

Where does this road go?. . . .
Don’t go nowhere. Stays right here.

How do I get to Boothbay Harbor? . . .
Can’t get there from here.

How do we get to Topsham? . . . Don’t rightly know . . . Well, how about Gorham then? . . . Nope, don’t know that ithah . . . You don’t seem to know much . . . Ayah, but I ain’t lost.

How do you get to Bangor? . . .
Well, I usually get my brother to drive me.

Make any difference which of these roads I take to Bangor?….
Not to me it don’t.

HISTORY

In 1939, Maine passed legislation to make it illegal to put tomatoes in clam chowder.

JEWS

Documenting Maine Jewry

Maine Jewish Museum

JUMPING FRENCHMEN OF MAINE

JUSTICE

Sentencing Project – Maine is one of six states – the others are Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota – along with the federal government, where all life sentences are imposed without the possibility of parole

HAUNTED MAINE

FIVE TOP HAUNTED PLACES IN MAINE

HURRICANES

MAINE HURRICANE HISTORY

 Press Herald – About 700 people died when the storm known variously as the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 or the Long Island Express began plowing up the Northeast coastline at 2:45 p.m. on Sept. 21, 1938. A weather station in Massachusetts recorded sustained winds of 121 mph and gusts as high as 186 mph — a major storm by modern standards that dwarfs the land wind speeds recorded in storms Irene and Sandy, which also devastated parts of the Northeast in recent years.

LEPAGE PAUL

A guide to the worst of Paul LePage

LESBIANS

LESBIANS IN MAINE: SOME HISTORY

LOBSTERS

LOBSTER WARS OF THE 1950s

LYME DISEASE

MAINE’S LYME DISEASE PROBLEM IS GROWING [2010]

MAINE PENNY

IS IT PROOF OF A VIKING VISIT OR IS IT A FRAUD?

MALAGA ISLAND

In 1912, a mixed-race community of about forty-five people was evicted by the state of Maine from Malaga Island, just off the coast of Phippsburg. It was an act motivated by economics, racism, eugenics, and political retribution. Eight islanders were committed to the Maine School for the Feeble-Minded. The remaining islanders faired as best they could after moving to the mainland. Once the island was clear, the state moved the Malaga school to another island. Then they dug up the graves and reburied the remains in the graveyard at the Maine School for the Feeble-Minded. The Malaga community was erased. For generations, descendents have feared to speak about what happened to their families because of the local stigma of mixed-blood and feeble-mindedness. Others in Phippsburg would rather forget the incident – a story best left untold, some say.Here is a radio and photo doc on the story

Another account

MEDIA

Casco Bay Weekly

MISC

Half of state is unorganized
90% is wooded
36,000 miles of river and streams
3500 miles of coastline

MOOSE

According to the Grand Forks Herald, Maine has the second largest moose population in the U.S. Here are the top states for moose: Alaska: 150,0000 Maine: 60,000 Idaho: 15,000 Wyoming: 7700 Minnesota: 7600 New Hampshire: 4600 Vermont: 4000 Michigan: 1000

MOUNT KATAHDIN

MOXIE

Brunswick Times Record – Moxie was the nation’s first mass-marketed soft drink. Dr. Augustin Thompson of Union devised the concoction, purportedly for medicinal purposes. Moxie was first marketed as a patent medicine in 1876 in Lowell, Mass. One spoonful of Moxie was said to cure multiple ills, including “loss of manhood, paralysis and softening of the brain,” according to the festival’s website, http://www.moxiefestival.com.

In 1884, Thompson decided to change Moxie and put it on the soft drink market to take advantage of the new and growing industry. He labeled it “Beverage Moxie Nerve Food,” which later became known simply as “Moxie.”

The drink, which Boston Red Sox slugger Ted Williams famously touted in both print and radio, is now owned by a subsidiary of the Coca-Cola Bottling Co.

What makes Moxie unlike other soft drinks is its unique flavor. Indeed, the beverage has generated a catalog of YouTube videos dedicated to descriptions of its distinctive taste.

“It is a bittersweet drink,” described Anicetti. “Made with various root and herbs, it is the gentian that gives it a bittersweet taste like you get with a gourmet herbal tea.”

MUSIC

NEW ENGLAND JAZZ HISTORY

OFFICIAL STATE MARCH  Listen

MUSKIE, ED

A PBS documentary on Muskie

PHOTOGRAPHS

Maine Memory Network

PORTLAND

AN 1886 HISTORY OF PORTLAND

HISTORY OF THE OLD PORT

PHOTOS OF PORTLAND AREA IN THE 1960s, 70s, 80s

1916 Portland streetcar map

Portland shipbuilding WWII

POLITICS

GOVERNORS OF MAINE

PROUT’S NECK

WINSLOW HOMER’S MAINE

PUBLIC LANDS

Maine owns more than 500,000 acres of public lands, organized into 29 units ranging in size from 500 to more than 43,000 acres and many other smaller scattered lots. These lands are available for recreation and offer unique, back-country experiences. “Your Maine Lands: Reflections of a Maine Guide,” is a series of essays written by Tom Hanrahan, Master Maine Guide. For a free copy

QUOTES

We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate. -Henry David Thoreau

SEAGULLS

SNOW STORMS

David Epstein, Portland Press Herald -There have been very few times over recorded weather history that Portland has received over 2 feet of snow in a single storm. Back in January 1979 a storm of light fluffy snow would end up giving the city just over 27 inches of powder. That particular storm isn’t very memorable to many because it didn’t do a lot of damage to the shoreline nor did it cause widespread power outages. I didn’t have school for three days, so I do remember that storm. 35 years ago, the famous Blizzard of 1978 pounded southern New England with nearly 4 feet of snow in places, but here in Maine a foot was more common. However, that storm was memorable because of the damage it did to the Old Orchard Beach Pier. From February 24th to the 28th 1969 it snowed for nearly 100 hours and Portland would again end up with about 27 inches of snow. Those storms are some of our largest to ever hit southern Maine.

…For an official blizzard to end up in the record books our winds must remain sustained at 35 miles per hour or higher have to coincide with the very intense snow. Visibilities need to be recorded under 1/4 of a mile for three hours or longer. Sometimes, in these storms a town like York could experience blizzard conditions while 40 miles away in Sebago winds are just under blizzard criteria. There have been many storms with near blizzard conditions, but very few ever reach blizzard criteria over a wide area.

STOWE, HARRIET BEECHER

Bowdoin Daily Sun – Novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in 1811. Her anti-slavery book, the seminal Uncle Tom’s Cabin, is called “the most influential novel in American history and a catalyst for radical change both at home and abroad” by author and Stowe scholar David S. Reynolds . . .. [A] Walking Tour of Stowe’s Brunswick, led by historian Dr. Polly Kaufman and sponsored by the Pejepscot Historical Society, begins at 12:30 p.m., Sunday, June 26, outside the Pejepscot Historical Society building at 159 Park Row, Brunswick.

Stowe wrote in her husband’s study in Appleton hall and in the family home on Federal Street, where she hosted Bowdoin students to read and discuss the book before it was published. Among the students that gathered at her home was Joshua Chamberlain. . . Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, of the Class of 1852, called Stowe a genius, and he would later recall the privilege of Saturday evenings spent with the author and fellow students on Federal Street.

TOWN NAMES

Why are so many Maine towns named after foreign places?

UMBRELLA MUSEUM

UMBRELLA COVER MUSEUM – The World’s First and Only Umbrella Cover Museum opened with firecrackers and cupcakes on Peaks Island off the coast of Maine during the summer of 1996. The brainchild of U.C.M. Director and Curator, Nancy 3. Hoffman, the Museum exhibited close to eighty umbrella covers (also known as “sheaths” or “pockets”). Each cover has its provenance and story posted along with the actual cover. When asked what inspired her to open such an unusual museum, Nancy replied, “I was cleaning out my house one day, and discovered that I still had all of the covers from all of the umbrellas I’d ever bought (seven or so). That got me thinking. Then one day, around 1992, I was in a dime store and I stole a cover off of an umbrella . . . just the cover. Then I knew I was hooked. After that I started planning the Museum and soliciting donations for the exhibits.”

After 6 years, the Umbrella Cover Museum outgrew its place in Nancy 3’s kitchen and is now housed at 62-B Island Avenue, Peaks Island, Maine. It is open during the summer, call or e-mail for hours and directions to the museum from Portland, Maine. It’s a lovely 20 minute ferry ride from Portland and a five minute walk from the landing on Peaks.

Umbrella covers currently on display at the Umbrella Cover Museum hail from thirty countries. Regular Museum events include guided tours and the singing of “Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella,” with accordion accompaniment. A $2-$5 donation is requested. For more information contact Director, Nancy 3. Hoffman or phone 207-766-4496.

As of June, 2009, there are over 600 covers in the collection from 37 countries. The museum has been featured on National Public Radio, BBC Radio London, as well as in numerous published articles.

WEATHER

Album of the Blizzard of 1978

WOMEN

Bangor Daily News – Maine sent mixed messages about extending voting rights to women, before finally doing so. After the Legislature strongly endorsed women”s suffrage in 1917, a people’s veto took back those voting rights. Two years later, however, Maine voters changed course and voted to ratify the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which extended the right to vote to women.

WORLD WAR II

Photos of Maine shipbuilding in WWII

Maine’s prisoner or war camp

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