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.
Founded by Bill Lowe of Owls Head, Maine, who started out making special metal fittings for yachts, Lowe Hardware has expanded into the high-end custom hardware home market. The company makes doorknobs, pulls, hinges, cabinet handles, and even fittings for furniture, in finishes that range from shiny or rough bronze to gold-plated brass or nickel.
The New-York Historical Society has sent an impressive array of its marine and maritime art holdings, mostly 19th century, to the Portland Museum Art for the 2014-2015 winter season. “The Coast & the Sea: Marine and Maritime Art in America” offers an excellent opportunity to take in a clutch of sea-going artifacts, plus ships, seascapes, and portraits by a top-notch lineup of painters.
If you heat your house with wood or own a woodstove, winter is the perfect time to make sea salt. The process, explains Karen O. Zimmermann, is simple: collect salt water in buckets and boil it down in a large pan on the top of your woodstove.
Seafood shacks have strung together a summer narrative for writer Deborah Corey's family. Each spring she and her family wait for the seafood shacks to open, marking each of their opening days on the family calendar. When Corey envisions a map of the Maine coast, she sees the shacks marked by red thumbtacks.
Whelks are not one of Maine’s more glamorous seafood offerings; gnarly and intimidating they require careful cleaning and preparation, including getting them out of their spiral shells. But as food writer Nancy Harmon Jenkins explains, once the hard work is done, whelks make a tasty meal.
Martha Ballard, a midwife who lived in the Hallowell area of Maine at the turn of the eighteenth century, kept a journal of her daily life for 27 years. Looking back at the entries is a wonderful way to learn about early gardening and food preparation. Food writer and Contributing Editor Sandy Oliver takes a look at what Martha was doing in June.
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.