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History

Touring Boothbay Harbor

Two vintage postcards from Boothbay Harbor, excerpted from the book Maine on Glass: The Early Twentieth Century in Glass Plate Photography.

Charting the Coast

Nautical charts of the Maine coast were first produced in the late 1860s. Since then, evolving technology has led to increasingly detailed knowledge of the ocean bottom.

Way Back When — Issue 143

An early-1900s view of the Penobscot River from the book "Maine On Glass," show an array of vessels.

The Revenue Man

Catching rumrunners during Prohibition was one thing, but convicting them was another, as a customs agent on Mount Desert Island learned, much to his frustration.

From Rum to Lobsters

The qualities that made them good for rum-running during Prohibition also made builder Will Frost’s boats good for lobstering. His semi-displacement hulls, renowned for maintaining speed at capacity, have influenced the design of lobsterboats ever since.

Remembering the Oakey L. Alexander

Sometimes when disaster strikes, the official rescuers need help. In 1947, a whole community came out to save a shipwrecked crew off Cape Elizabeth.

The Hidden Life of Seaweed

While some beachcombers turn up their nose at a slimy piece of seaweed on the beach, they should not. What keeps that seaweed flexible and slippery is also what keeps our ice cream smooth in our mouths, our lipstick smooth on our lips, and our shaving cream smooth across our cheeks.

Influenced by Nature

Charles Eliot was a noted landscape architect who helped create the land trust model that led to the formation of Acadia National Park. Sailing vacations to Maine with his family when he was young helped inspire his later work.

Eliot Porter’s Golden Isle

World-famous photographer Eliot Porter honed his eye in Maine on a Penobscot Bay island owned by his family. His book, Summer Island: Penobscot Country, was published 50 years ago, but the essays and images remain incredibly relevant today.

Grand, Wild, and Terrific

Naturalist John James Audubon’s epic trip to Labrador in search of the Great Auk began in Maine.

Dr. Gould’s Flying Nurses

Rockland physician Dr. Edwin Gould used homing pigeons to communicate with his patients on Penobscot Bay islands, where telephones did not yet exist.

Fishing and the Rangeley Boat

The iconic Rangeley Boat emerged from the Rangeley Lake region of Western Maine in the 1800s and was crafted to suit the needs of sportfishermen.

Maine’s First Summer Home

Built for a Louisiana hotelier and his wife, the jaw-dropping rooms of Portland’s Victoria Mansion constitute the first and only extant interior by 19th-century design star Gustave Herter. Today, more than 150 years after it was built, the mansion retains 90 percent of its original furnishings and grants a rare look at 19th-century design.

On the Land and on the Lake: the amphicar

Who hasn’t dreamed about a car that can go in the water? A German company made amphibious cars in the 1960s and exported them to the United States. Some are still on the road today. Bob Stover of Belfast, Maine, has owned and restored three of these plucky hybrids, which are at home both on land and in the water.

A Ticket to Ride, the Boston Whaler

Why does every teenager want a Boston Whaler? Freedom, adventure, and fun play a big part.