With Little Fanfare

I’m changing my blog schedule around.  For starters, I’m moving my Thursday “Minimalist” series to Mondays.

E.B. White QuoteI saw this poster at the Seawicks Candle Company shop in Boothbay Harbor.  I wanted to buy a candle, but my Yankee frugality stopped me.

This entry was posted in Minimalist and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to With Little Fanfare

  1. Loosehead Prop says:

    Frugality to the wind!

    It’s hard to see in your photograph (a better view is here: http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large-5/maine-colman-map-1831-compass-rose-maps.jpg ), but there are two things striking about that map. The first is that roads such as we think of them are entirely nonexistent. The roads are there, though. They are the rivers–Androscoggin, Kennebec, Penobscot, Mattawamkeag, St John’s. In 1831 there was no road to Houlton, for example. The settlers traveled in winter on frozen rivers, although they could pole up in the summer to certain points, but the overland from there was slow, rough going. Many a man came up a froze river one winter, built a cabin and cleared some land that summer, and then brought his family up the following winter. This map, without the distractions of man-made highways, makes clear how our rivers were our roads.

    The second striking thing is that there is no border with Canada. What became the eastern border of Maine is there in close to the right place, having long been agreed upon although rarely enforced and settlers crossed back and forth across the St John’s Valley at will. But to the north and west there is an implied border following a ridge line, running far to the north and west of the St John’s Valley. We tugged back and forth with Canada over where that line was, timber interests calling the tune even then, until the toothless Aroostook County War forced the two nations to bring in the Dutch crown as a neutral arbitrator to settle on the lines we now know.

    Shortly after this map was made, a US Army garrison was established in Houlton, and they built a road down to the Kennebec north of Bangor. It’s called Military Street up here, but you know it better as 2A, the famous deathtrap of Dick Curless’ Haynesville Woods.

  2. Jim says:

    Thanks, JAB (and LP) for a little Maine history lesson. Very uncommon these days of Google searches and the flavor-of-the-month reporting, to ever read anything hearkening back to Maine’s past. Most reporters just make stuff up, or send out frantic last-minute messages, asking for others to do the heavy lifting.

    When I was writing semi-regularly for one of Portland’s alt-weeklies, it was akin to pulling teeth to get our millennial editor to allow anything from the city’s past to find its way into my articles. I guess he never visited PPL’s Portland Room and the abundant resources represented, or spent time with archivists like Abraham. No, so much easier to look it up on his smartphone, or rely on Twitter and his fellow millennial dolts for his understanding of how the city (and state) worked/works.

    It’s much better to be manning the trade beat these days. I have more control, less stress, not to mention that the pay is better and more timely. Despite the hassles, I do occasionally miss having a place to land an article or two about the state’s history, however.

Comments are closed.