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.
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.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was happiest on Campobello Island, which straddles the border between Maine and Canada. The 50th anniversary of Roosevelt-Campobello International Park, the centerpiece of which is the former first family’s 34-room, red-shingled summer “cottage,” was in 2014.
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.
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.
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.
Although Henry David Thoreau published his book about the Maine woods 150 years ago, his vision and words still resonate today. Thoreau’s experience of the Maine woods was a confrontation with himself, with humans’ place on the planet, and with the meaning of civilization.