Maine August 20, 2017
These 9 Unbelievable Ruins In Maine Will Transport You To The Past
We’re on a real history kick here at Only in Maine, which leads us to today’s article focused on ruins! Many of the ruins that can be explored here relate to the state and nation’s military muscle, while others provide insight into what Maine’s economy was like. From logging to paper mills to houses that have no explanation, here our some interesting state ruins to explore today!
1. Battery Steel, Peaks Island
Battery Steele was once is a military fort located on the oceanside area of Peaks Island in Casco Bay. Todays it's been taken over by plants and...artists! The Fort was built in 1942 as part of efforts to support World War II.
From the outside, the area appears to be completely left to nature. Overgrown trees and branches crowd what appears to be a crumbling facade. However, the real magic of Battery Steele lies underground. The bulk of the fort is made up of an underground area.
These tunnels have been overtaken by artists and the mark of local Maine residents and friends covers the walls. You can access the area by hopping on the ferry to Peaks Island from Portland.
2. The Goddard Mansion, Cape Elizabeth
This mansion was built in 1853-59 for Colonel John Goddard who was a businessman and commander of the 1st Maine Volunteer Cavalry Regiment for a short time during the American Civil War. The mansion was ultimately made into living quarters for non-commissioned officers. Today, you can find the remaining walls of the mansion overlooking Fort Williams in Fort Williams Park.
3. The abandoned locomotives deep in the North Woods.
You'll find them about two hours north of Millinocket, accessible primarily via rough and tumble logging roads. The trains came in when lumber needed to move South into nearby towns. Sadly, when the Great Depression hit the lumber business in Northern Maine was ruined - the trains were no longer needed, but the cost to remove them wasn't worth paying. So, they sit in the North Woods waiting for intrepid explorers to visit and remember an important part of Maine's history.
4. Loring Air Force Base, Aroostook County
Fears ran especially high during the Cold War, which made the decision to build the Loring Air Force Base in Limestone a very strategic one. Today, the hangers echo with only the sounds of nesting birds, and the nuclear storage vaults hold only the shadows of secrets.
5. Moulton’s Mill, Newfield
This remnant of Maine’s lumbering heritage was originally built in 1790 and was in operation until the later part of the 20th century.
6. Kennebec Arsenal, Augusta
Following its transfer from military to state use in 1901, the nearly 200-year-old Kennebec Arsenal in Augusta became a facility to house the mentally ill. One look at the imposing granite structure and you can almost hear the cries of the tortured souls who called this place home. It closed its doors for good in 2004, but has recently been slated for redevelopment.
7. Bates Mill #5 on the banks of the Androscoggin
On the banks of the roaring Androscoggin sits Bates Mill #5, one part of a hulking brick textile factory that was once the backbone of the Lewiston economy. Sadly, like many of the mills that dot Maine’s landscape, this once bustling building has gone quiet, left to be reclaimed by the elements. Among the rust and splintered floorboards, artifacts of an industry gone still remain. Here, discarded canisters reveal cotton still waiting to be woven into fine Maine textiles.
8. Swan Island, Kennebec River
Some say Swan Island was abandoned as a result of pollution in the river. The businesses located on the island were forced to shut, causing the families to move elsewhere. The more official story says that the state of Maine began acquiring bits of the land over time. The ghost island still has five standing homes - each dating back to the 1700s. While you can't enter the homes, peering through the windows is a glimpse into the past.
9. And...we don't know.
Just about everyone in Maine has seen this home, if only in photos. Does anyone know anything about it? We think it might be gone now, but what a ruin it was!
Did you know that there’s a haunted dorm at the University of Maine in Farmington?
Check it out here!