As anyone who has grown up in Maine can tell you, we’ve got a pretty long and storied history. From the early colonial settlers that made their way north in strenuous conditions, to epic and destructive fires, it’s easy to see why Mainers are able to get through anything! In order to celebrate our strength and remember all that this state has seen, we’ve gathered a fascinating bunch of photos allowing us all to take a trip down memory lane.
1. The great fire of 1911, Bangor (1911)
On April 30th, 1911, a fire began on Broad Street in downtown Bangor. High winds caused it to spread to Exchange Street and the Universalist Church on Center Street in just a few hours. It soon traveled to the residential neighborhood on Center Street Hill. The fire was so huge that the glow could be seen as far away as Belfast.
2. Camp Russell near Moosehead Lake (1888)
Never was there a more epic Maine camping photo than this one! It's hard to imagine camping in a suit, but these guys make it look manageable, if not easy! "John Dunn and his party of hunters built Camp Russell, an outpost at Russell Pond at the base of Russell Mountain, some fifteen miles north of Northeast Cove on Moosehead Lake, Maine. Dunn and his hunters likely took a steamship to the north end of Moosehead Lake, and traveled by packhorse for another day to reach their remote camp." Credit: Maine Historical Society
3. Main Street in ghost town, Flagstaff (1915)
It's hard to tell if Flagstaff would still look like this today. The town was abandoned and dismantled in 1950 for the construction of a hydroelectric dam on the Dead River. This enlarged Flagstaff Lake and submerged the site of the settlement.
For more about the sad story of Flagstaff Lake,
4. Lover's Rock, Wilton (1905)
"Lover's" might be a bit of an exaggeration based on the stoic poses of these folks, but we love this one nonetheless! Wilton was known as a mill town back when this photo was taken.
5. The Williamson House, Belfast (circa 1920)
By Unknown - from a c. 1920 postcard., Public Domain
6. Painters at Fish Beach, Monhegan Island (circa 1940)
By Warner Taylor - Boston Public Library, Public Domain
In this photo, American artist Sears Gallagher (left) paints Frank Pierce. Sears Gallagher was known for his art work in multiple media: drawing, etching, watercolor and oil painting. His work consists of landscapes, seascapes, and cityscapes depicting his native Boston and northern New England, especially Monhegan Island, Maine.
7. Sebago Lake, Cumberland County (1915)
This photo looks like it could have been taken today with a fancy Instagram filter. The only thing that might give away its age are the trees. They're a lot bigger today!
8. Hard work at Pink Granite Quarry, Vinalhaven (1936)
Vinalhaven is known historically for its quarries, which is where this photo is from. Once filled, the entire truck bed full of stone would be lifted off the truck and hoisted out. Today, a hike through the Basin Preserve will reveal the unmistakable clean line remnants of granite quarry work.
9. A stone manufactory, Vinalhaven (circa 1880)
This is another from Vinalhaven's granite history. It's nice to see that Mainers knew the importance of showing up to work dressed for success.
10. Mars Hill from a distance (1915)
Mars Hill is located in Aroostook County near the border of New Brunswick, Canada. Fun Fact: the town is named for Hezekiah Mars, who camped for three years at the base of Mars Hill Mountain. The first industry here was cutting timber.
11. Whaleback Lighthouse, Kittery (circa 1950)
This is one of our favorites. It's incredible to know that these structures still stand. This lighthouse stands at the mouth of the Piscataqua River between New Castle, New Hampshire and Kittery. A light has been active at this location since 1820; the present tower was built in 1872.
12. Factories of Lewiston (1910)
River & factories, Lewiston, Me., c 1910. / Wikimedia Commons
This is another one that could have been taken today and edits. Looks like a cold and dreary workday day in Lewiston, Maine.
13. The Limerick Academy, Limerick (1915)
The Limerick Academy served as a school from 1881 to 1925. Today, it is owned by the Limerick Historical Society and is accessible to the public for an annual open house featuring special exhibits. You can also make an appointment to stop in and see what's on display.
The old days are interesting, but we bet they didn’t have this awesome ice cream trail!
Check it out here!