Maine, Vintage Images circa 1900 (2018 calendar)
Paddle a canoe, row a boat, take a sail, Maine invites all those activities. Participants a century ago didn’t see the need for special equipment: men canoed wearing a suit, women wore a floor-length costume and an elegant hat. A century ago, the Pine Tree state offered summer pleasures now to be recalled in Maine, Vintage Images circa 1900.
Published by Tide-mark, the 2018 calendar opens to 13.75 by 20.5 inches.
Places featured in the Maine, Vintage Images circa 1900 calendar include:
The design of Union Station in Portland was inspired by a medieval French châteaux. Built largely of granite, with a 188-foot-tall clock tower, the railroad station opened on June 25, 1888. For almost 80 years this elegant, but imposing structure served passengers of the Boston and Maine, Maine Central and Portland and Ogdensburg railroads, until 1960 when passenger service ended. Union Station was demolished in 1961 and was replaced by a mall.
In February, it is good to think of Maine in August, especially if you enjoy beaches there, like this one in York. This picture suggests the way people enjoyed a day at the beach a century ago, rather more formally that we do today. Long Sands and Short Sands beaches open on to the Gulf of Maine and the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
The Western Promenade is an historic 18-acre public park and recreation area in the West End neighborhood of Portland. The park was designed by the Olmstead Brothers and developed beginning in 1836, though the park was not actually “completed” until early in the 20th century. Western Promenade was listed on the National register of Historic Places in 1989.
After planning for 42 years, Congress approved funding for the Cape Neddick Light Station in 1874. It was dedicated into the U.S. Lighthouse Service in 1879. This picture shows the light station shortly after its completion. Also known as Nubble Light, the tower is 41 feet tall and constructed of cast iron lined with bricks. The light continues to use its original Fresnel lens.
The old wharf at Kittery Point suggests how the 19th century must have looked in Maine. In 1647 Kittery became the first incorporated town in the Pine Tree State. Located across the Portsmouth River from New Hampshire, fishing long fueled Kittery’s economy, but tourism has become an economic engine there today.
The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard was established on June 12, 1800 on a cluster of islands in the Piscataqua River. That location proved ingenious because the rivers rapid tidal currents prevent ice from blocking navigation to the shipyard. This picture shows off the dry dock at Portsmouth, which is the U.S. Navy’s oldest continuously operating shipyard
In 1862 Harriet Beecher Stowe published The Pearl of Orr’s Island. A love story set in Maine, the book features this house on Orr’s Island, which is located in Casco Bay and is part of the town of Harpswell. Today Bowdoin College operates a 118-acre ocean studies center on the island.
Old Orchard Beach seems to have discovered the advantages of tourism as early as 1631, when the first settler there established a “Garden by the Sea.” The first Public House opened in 1829, and a decade later tourists paid about $1.50 to stay at a local farm. This picture was taken before the fire in 1907 destroyed many of the large hotels that lined the beach. The Ocean Hotel survived the fire and continues to operate on the beach today.
At the height of its popularity, the piazza at the Poland Spring House saw hundreds of guests every day during summer seasons at the end of the 19th century. The Ricker family had operated a hotel nearby since 1797. They discovered the healthful properties of Poland Spring water in the 1840s and began selling the water a decade later. Poland Spring House opened as a resort in 1876.
By 1870 Kennebunkport had become a popular summer destination. This picture must have been taken a decade or two later, and shows rather formally dressed summer folk boating at what the photographer described as a “club house.” Ownership of the club house and its location are unclear, but the picture let us see into that storied past.
The hand of President George Washington is at work whenever Portland Head Light shines its beacon toward ships sailing through Casco Bay. The first president ordered the construction of Portland Head Light in 1787, and the whale oil lamps used for illumination were first lit in 1791. Today the lighthouse, located on Cape Elizabeth, is illuminated by a modern DCB-224 aerobeacon installed in 1991.
Picnic Rocks, along the banks of the Kennebunk River, has attracted visitors by sea and by land for decades. During the 19th century, arrival by canoe was fashionable, but one could swim, or the more pedestrian might arrive on foot after traversing the short trail from Old Port Road. Today the area is part of Butler Preserve, an area owned by the Kennebunk Land Trust, which preserves and protects land in southern Maine.