Lucy Fitch Perkins.

The New England states online

. (page 1 of 6)
Online LibraryLucy Fitch PerkinsThe New England states → online text (page 1 of 6)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


F 9
Copy 1





[Area, 33 040 square miles. Total population, 661,0S6.]

Situation and Extent. — Maine, one of the New England States, and
the most easterly state in the Union, is situated between 42* 57' and
47° 32' north latitude, and between dG"^ 52' and 71° 6' west longitude.

Its greatest length (from north to south) is 303 miles ; its greatest
width, 212 miles. Its area is almost as great as that of the five other
New England States together.

As established by the treaty of 1842, the boundary on the east is the St. Croix
River and a line running due north from a monument at its source to St. John
River ; on the north the line follows the St. John and St. Francis rivers to a
monument on Lake Pohenagamook ; on the northwest the line extends from this
lake in a southwesterly direction to a point on a branch of St. John River,
which it follows to a monument point, whence it extends along the crest of
the mountain range to the northeast corner of New Hampshire.

Coast.— The bold and rocky coast is deeply indented by numerous
bays and inlets, and fringed with many islands. From Kittery Point
to Quoddy Head the coast extends 218 miles in a right line ; but follow-
ing its exact contour, and including the islands, the shore-line is about
2,500 miles in length. Many of the bays and inlets afford excellent

Off the coast are numerous islands, the largest of which, Mount
Desert (100 square miles), is famous for its striking and picturesque

LAND States. Copyright, l8g6, by American Book Company.




General Character. — A broken chain of detached mountain-
groups, belonging to the Appalachian system (and connected
more or less directly with the White Mountains of New Hamp-
shire), crosses the state from southwest to northeast, terminal- !
ing in Mars Hill, on the borders of New Brunswick. The |
greater slope is southward to the coast ; the lesser slope, north-
eastward to St. John River.

Details. — The northern section is somewhat rugged, and is covered

with primeval forest.
The central mountain-chain (which consists of scattered groups with ,
no appearance of regular ranges) presents various lofty summits,
among wliich maybe namet" Mount Katahdin(5, 200 feet), the highest
elevation, Mount Abraham, Mount Blue, Sugar Loaf, and Mounts I
Saddleback, Bigelow, Bald, Kineo, North and South Russell, Hay-
stack, etc.
In the coast region the surface is comparatively level.

Scenery. — Among the objects of interest to tourists in
Maine are its bold and rocky seacoast, with its thousand bays
and its picturesque islands, its myriad beautiful lakes and
waterfalls, its majestic mountains, and the solemn grandeur
of its primeval forests.

"What is most striking in the Maine wilderness is the continuousness
of the forest, with fewer open intervals or glades than you had
imagined. Except the few burnt lands, the narrow intervals on the
rivers, the bare tops of the high mountains, and the lakes and
streams, the forest is uninterrupted. The aspect of the country,
indeed, is universally stern and savage, excepting the distant views
of the forest from hills, and the lake prospects, which are mild and
civilizing in a degree. The lakes are something which you are un-
prepared for: they lie up so high, exposed to the light, and the
forest is diminished to a fine fringe on their edges, with here and
there a blue mountain, like amethyst jewels set around some jewel
of the first water. Who shall describe the inexpressible tenderness
and immortal life of the grim forest, where Nature, though it be
mid-winter, is ever in her spring, where the moss-grown and decay-
ing trees are not old, but seem to enjoy a perpetual youth, and
blissful, innocent Nature, like a serene infant, is too happy to make I
a noise, except by a few tinkling, lisping birds, and trickhng rills ? " |
— Thoreau : Maine Woods.


Rivers. — The small northern slope is drained by the tribu-
taries of St. John River, of which the most important is the
Aroostook River.

The southerly slope is drained by numerous streams, of
which the most important are St. Croix, Penobscot, Kennebec,
Androscoggin, and Saco rivers.

St. Croix River (called also Passamaquoddy and Schoodic) forms
for its whole course a boundary between the United States and
The Penobscot, the largest river of the state, flows from its source in
Somerset County, near the frontier of Canada, into Penobscot H.ay,
a course of 300 miles. With its tributaries and connecting lakes it
drains the central region of the state. The tide ascends (about 55
miles) to Bangor, to which point the Penobscot is navigable for the
largest vessels.
The Kennebec, which rises in Moosehead Lake, and has a course of
about 200 miles, is navigable for ships and steamers to Augusta
(50 miles). The navigation is closed by ice for three or four months
in tlie year.
The Androscoggin (formed by the junction of Magalloway River and
the outlet of Umbagog Lake) has a course of about 160 miles, and
enters the Kennebec about five miles above Bath. The total fall
of the Androscoggin proper is about 1,250 feet.

Saco River, which rises in the White Mountains of New Hampshire,
has a course in Maine of about 95 miles, and enters the Atlantic
six miles below Biddeford. It has a fall of 72 feet near the southern
extremitv of Oxford County.
Water Power. — In the extent of its water power Maine is
unrivaled. The courses of its great rivers are favorable to the
utilizing of this natural force. The water power of the prin-
cipal streams is constant, and is extensively employed by
manufacturers in a variety of industries which, as well as those
carried on by means of steam power, play an important part
in the development and prosperity of this state.

Lakes. — The fresh waters of Maine cover one tenth of her
area, the surface of the state being dotted with hundreds of
lakes, great and small. The largest arc in the central and
northern sections, and form the feeders of the great rivers.

Moosehe.-id, the largest lake, is 35 miles long and from four to twelve
miles wide. .Among others are Chesuncook, Chamberlain, Heron,
Long, Pamedumcook. .Millinoket, Grand, Schoodic, Sebago, Umba-
gog, and the Rangeley lakes.


General Character. — The climate of Maine is marked by

great extremes, — short, warm summers, and long, cold winters.

Details.— In the the temperature varies from 20° or 30° below

zero (and in the extreme northern part 5° to 10° lower) to 100° above

zero. The snow lies on the ground for four or five months.

A leading authority says, " The great drawback to agriculture in Maine

is the shortness of its summers; but the deep snows prevent the

ground from freezing deeply, and in the spring vegetation advances

with exceedingly rapid steps.'


Lumbering. — The forests of Maine cover about one half
the entire area of the state.- The most useful timber trees are
the noble white pine, spruce, hemlock, cedar, beech, birch, hard
maple, and black and white ash. The felling of trees, and their
floating and rafting to the points of manufacture, employ large
numbers of lumbermen.

At the mills the logs are cut and sawed into planks, deals, boards,
scantlings, palings, laths, clapboards, shingles, shocks, headings,
ship-timber, etc.
The forest products include potash, charcoal, firewood, tanners' bark,
and maple
Fisheries and Other Maritime Pursuits. — The waters off
the coast abound with fish ; and this fact, in connection with the
fine harbor facilitie.s, makes fishing an important industry.

Immense quantities of cod, herring, mackerel, etc., are put up for ex-
port ; salmon, trout, pickerel, are found in great abundance in the
lakes and rivers ; and various oil-producing fishes (especially the
menhaden) are taken, and used in the manufacture of oil and guano.
The lobster catch is very important, and canned lobster is exten-
sively prepared for the general market.

Ship-building, though not so -flourishing as it was before the
war, is still a leading pursuit in the coast towns. Maine owns
many schooners and other vessels engaged in the carrying
trade of other states.

Manufactures. — Manufacturing is the leading industry of
the state. In addition to the important manufactures of lumber,
ship-building, etc., the leading articles of production are cotton
and woolen goods, boots and shoes, grist-mill products, leather,
machinery, wood pulp, and paper.


Agriculture. — Agriculture, owing to the climate and nature
of the soil, is a secondary industry in this state. The leading
farm products are oats, corn, barley, hay, and potatoes, and of
the last two there is a large surplus for export.

The breeding of horses and cattle for the Massachusetts
market is important ; the wool clip is large ; and the dairy
products are of great value.

Other Pursuits. — The quarrying of roofing slate, granite, and lime-
stone, is extensively carried on; large quantities of lime of excellent
quality are burned : and a fine iron ore is mined and smelted near
Mount Katahdin. It is known that the mineral wealth of the state
is very considerable ; but as yet it is not largely developed.

Ice is gathered on a very large scale, and its collection, storage, and
export form an important industry.

Commerce. — Maine has a large and growing commerce,
domestic, interstate, and foreign. The chief articles of export
are cotton goods, lumber and its varied manufactures, canned
fruit, fish, and vegetables, granite, slate, and lime, and hay,
butter, potatoes, wool, and ice.

Transportation The extensive seaboard and numerous

harbors give Maine unrivaled facilities for water transporta-
tion. The state has also an extensive system of railroads,
which connect with the trunk lines of other states, and of the
Dominion of Canada.

In 1841 Maine had only 11 miles of railroad: she has now over 1,700


The government of Maine is founded on the Constitution of

The executive officers are a governor, with a council of
.seven members, secretary of state, treasurer, attorney-general,
adjutant-general, and superintendent of common schools.

The governor is elected biennially ; the adjutant-general and the
superintendent of common schools are appointed by the governor
and council ; the other executive officers are chosen by the legis-
The legislature is composed of a Senate of 31 members,
and a House of Representatives of 151 members, all elected
biennially by the people.

The general election is held on the second Monday in September, and
the legislature meets in Augusta on the first Wednesday in January

The judiciary consists of a Supreme Court (composed of
eight judges appointed for seven years), the Superior Court
of Cumberland and of Kennebec counties, a probate and an in-
solvency court in each county, municipal and police courts, and
trial justices.

National Representation Maine is represented in Con-
gress by two senators and four representatives, and has there-
fore six votes in the electoral college.


Public. — The state has a superior system of public schools,
the supervision of which is intrusted to the state superintend-
ent and local superintendents and committees. The cities and
large villages have graded schools, and most of the large towns
have high schools.

There are three State Normal Schools, — the Northern at
Farmington, the Eastern at Castine, and the Western at Gor-
ham. There is also a training school at Madawaska.

The public schools are supported by the income of a per-
manent school fund, by state appropriations, and by general,
special, and local taxation.

Colleges and Academies. — For higher instruction there
are several institutions of superior rank, among which may be
named Bowdoin College (opened in 1802) at Brunswick, Colby
University (organized in 1820) at Waterville, Bates College at
Lewiston, the State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts
at Orono, the Maine Wesleyan Seminary and Female College
at Kents Hill, the Westbrook Seminary at Deering, etc.

There are also many academies and denominational schools
and seminaries of excellent reputation.


Maine formed a part of the grant made by James I. to the
Plymouth Company ; and a permanent settlement was made by
the English in 1622, near the mouth of Piscataqua River. In
1635 the Plymouth Company, having resolved to give up its
charter to the government, divided the territory among its
members, Sir Ferdinando Gorges taking the whole region
'between the Piscataqua and the Kennebec, of which he subse-
quently (1639) received a formal charter from Charles I., under
the title of "the Province of Maine." After Sir Ferdinando
Gorges died (1647), Maine became (1651) a part of Massachu-
setts ; and the jurisdiction of that colony was confirmed by the
provincial charter of 1691, and again by the treaty of 1783.
The " District of Maine." as the region was then called, con-
tinued to hold its political relations with Massachusetts till
1820, when it was admitted into the Union as a state. Ever
since the treaty of 1783 a dispute had existed between the
government of the United States and Great Britain as to
the boundary between Maine and the British possessions.
The controversy was finally settled in 1842 by the famous
Ashburton treaty.


Counties. — The state is divided into sixteen counties;
namely, Androscoggin, Aroostook, Cumberland, Franklin, Han-
cock, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis,
Sagadahoc, Somerset, Waldo, Washington, and York.

Subdivisions. — These counties include twenty cities and
numerous towns. The cities are Portland, Lewiston, Bangor,
Biddeford, Auburn, Augusta, Bath, Rockland, Calais, Water-
ville, Westbrook, Saco, Gardiner, Deering, Old Town, Belfast,
Eastport, Ellsworth, Brewer and Hallowell

Augusta, county seat of Kennebec County, on Kennebec
River, at the head of tidal navigation, is the capital. Good
water power is obtained by a dam (1,000 feet long) in the
river just above the city, and is utilized in the manufacture
of cotton goods, wood pulp, etc. The facilities for water and rail
transportation make Augusta an important center of trade. It
is the seat of an asylum for the insane and of a United States
arsenal. The state-house is a handsome edifice of granite.

Portland (population, 36,425), a port of entry, and county seat
of Cumberland County, is the metropolis of the state. It is
finely situated on a peninsula extending into an arm of Casco
Bay, of which the elevated situation of the city afTords beauti-
ful views. The harbor is deep, capacious, and well sheltered.


The city is for the most part regularly laid out, and hand-
somely built. Among the public buildings are a splendid city
hall of colored sandstone, a spacious granite custom-house, a
post-office of marble, the Maine General Hospital, and a granite;
.Mechanics' Hall. i

Tlic manufactures of Portland are varied and extensive. j

The principal articles of manufacture are boots and shoes, rolling mill
and foundr)' products, machinery, locomotives, paper, wire window
screens, kerosene; matches, drain pipes, paints, soap, leather, var-
nish, canned goods, carriages, sleighs, refined sugar, etc.
The city has an extensive foreign and domestic commerce.
There are excellent facilities for the transfer of freight, such as
tlie marginal railroad, and large warehouses and grain elevators.
Lines of steamers ply regularly between Portland and the
various cities of the United States and Canada ; and the exten-
sive trade of the St. Lawrence Valley finds here its winter:
outlet by steamship lines to Liverpool and Glasgow.

The culture of the people is manifested in the various literary
and scientific institutions, among which are the Society ofj
Natural History, the Portland Institute and Public Library,!
etc. The educational facilities are ample.

Portland, the Indian name of which was Machigonne, was settled by |
an English colony in 1632. During the French and Indian wars
and the Revolution, the town was three times entirely destroyed.
The city charter was granted in 1832. In 1866 about one third of
the city was destroyed by fire ; but it was soon rebuilt by its energetic

Lewiston, in Androscoggin County, at the falls of Androscoggin River, is
the second city in population, and an important railroad center. The river
is here crossed by two iron railroad bridges, and two other bridges. The
falls (about 60 feet) afford abundant water power ; and a system of dams has
been constructed, the water being conveyed to the mills by canals.

The most important manufactures are those of cotton and woolen goods,
of which more than forty million yards are produced here annually. Among
the other articles made are boots and shoes, brushes, files, looms, trunks,
brooms, machinery for cotton mills, ticking, seersucker, duck, burlaps,
checks, jute bags, and grain bags. Lewiston is the seat of Bates College,
an excellent institution of learning.

Bangor, a port of entry, county seat of Penobscot County, is finely
situated on the right bank of Penobscot River, about 60 miles from the
ocean, and at the head of navigation. A bridge (about 1,300 feet long)
crossing the Penobscot connects Bangor with Brewer. A dam across the
river just above the city supplies great motive power ; and Kenduskeag River,
which here joins the Penobscot, also affords abundant water power.

The Penobscot and its tributaries traverse the great northern forests,
and arc used in the flotation of immense quantities of lumber, which passes
mto the mills of Bangor. After Chicago, Bangor is one of the greatest lumber
ports in the world, the average quantity annually exported being about one
hundred and fifty million feet. It also carries on a variety of manufactures,
and is engaged in the coast trade, foreign commerce, and ship-building.
Its facilities for transportation make it the business center of a large agricul-
tural and lumbering region. The city has a good school system, and is the
seat of the Bangor Theological Seminary.

Biddeford, a city of York County, on the right bank of the Saco River,
which separates it from the city of Saco, is six miles from the ocean.
The falls of the Saco (about 40 feet) afford abundant water power. The
prosperity of the city is derived chiefly from trade, and manufactures of
white cotton goods, machinery, and lumber. The quarrying of granite is
largely carried on in the vicinity.

Auburn, county seat of Androscoggin County, is situated on the west
bank of the Androscoggin. This river, which here falls 60 feet, separates
the city from Lewiston. Auburn ranks as the first city of the state in the
manufacture of boots and shoes. Among its other manufactures are cotton
goods, castings, agricultural implements, and wooden boxes.

Bath, a city and port of entry, county seat of Sagadahoc County, is
situated on the Kennebec, twelve miles from the ocean. The city enjoys
superior advantages for navigation, as the river here is seldom frozen in |
winter. The chief business is ship-building. The manufactures are chiefly |

such as relate to the construction of ships, as cordage, ship-blocks, etc.
The schools are among the best in the state.

Rockland, county seat of Knox County, is situated on the west shore of
Penobscot Bay, about ten miles from the ocean. The harbor is broad and
deep. On islands near Rockland are large quarries of excellent granite,
which have supplied material for the custom-house of St. Louis, the post-
offices of New York and Cincinnati, and other public edifices. The manu-
facture of lime is a leading industry ; and ship-building and the manufacture
of shoes, castings, carriages, etc., are largely carried on.

Calais, one of the county seats of Washington County, is situated at
the head of navigation on St. Croix River, about twelve miles from Passa-
maquoddy Bay. It has excellent water power, and the sawing of lumber is
the leading industry. It is the business center of the surrounding country.
Waterville, in the northern part of Kennebec County, is well situated at
a fine water power on Kennebec River, and is the center of a fertile farming
region. Among its principal manufactures are cotton goods. It is the
seat of Colby University.

Westbrook, at a fine water power on Presumpscot River, is in Cumberland
County, six miles northwest of Portland. Adopted a city charter in 1891.
It has a fine .public library and excellent schools. Among the principal
manufactures are paper, cotton goods, and silk.

Saco, a port of entry in York County, is situated on the left bank of Saco
River, opposite Biddeford, with which city it is connected by bridges. The
falls (about 40 feet) afford excellent water power, which is largely utilized in
the numerous cotton factories, machine shops, shoe factories, sawmills,
etc. Ice harvesting is an important industry in winter. The coasting
trade is of considerable importance.

Gardiner, in Kennebec County, on the west bank of the Kennebec, at the
mouth of Cobbossecontee River, is six miles below Augusta. Large vessels
can ascend to this place, which has a bridge across the Kennebec, and is
liberally supplied with water power. It has manufactures of paper, lumber,
axles, axes, machinery, furniture, etc. Lumber and ice are the chief articles
of export.

Deering, in Cumberland County, adjacent to Portland, with which it
has electric railroad connection. There are fine educational facilities, and
manufactories of drain tiling, shoes, etc.

Old Town, in Penobscot County, on the Penobscot River, twelve miles
aliove Bangor. The marketing and manufacture of lumber are the prin-
cipal industries. Woolen cloth and pulp are also manufactured.

Belfast, a port of entry, and county seat of Waldo County, is sit-
uated on the west side of Penobscot Bay, about thirty miles from the
ocean. The harbor is deep and capacious. The leading industries
are manufacturing (sawed lumber, boots and shoes, etc.), the fisheries,
and ship-building. Hay, granite, and potatoes are the chief articles
of export.

Eastport, a port of entry in Washington County, is situated on Moose
Island, in Passamaquoddy Bay. On eastern frontier of United States.
Fine, open harbor. Industries, — fisheries and coast trade.

Ellsworth, a port of entry, and county seat of Hancock County, is sit-
uated at the head of navigation on Union River, a few miles from the
ocean. Its leading interests are manufactures of lumber, and boots and
shoes, the fisheries, and shipping.

Brewer, in Penobscot County, opposite Bangor, is a flourishing place.
Being at the head of tide water on Penobscot River, it has an important
commerce. It is largely engaged in the manufacture of lumber, brick,
pulp, and paper. There are many shipyards. Ice-harvesting is important.

Hallowell, in Kennebec County, is situated on the west bank of Kenne-
bec River, two miles below Augusta. Granite and ice are largely exported,
and the city carries on varied manufactures.

Farmington — county seat of Franklin County,
on Sandy River. .Agriculture, trade, and
manufactures. Popular summer resort.
Educatioual center. Seat of Northern Stale
Normal School.

Houlton— county seat of Aroostook County,
i.s an important railroad junction. Varied
manufactures. Center of fine farming
country, and trading depot for the lum-

Sanford — in York County, on Mousam River.

In fine fanning region. Has one of the

largest manufactories of plush goods in the

Skowhegan — county seat of Somerset County,
n Kennebec River. Fine water power.

V.incd manufactures.

Brunswick — a town of Cumberland County, is
on the right bank of Androscoggin River,
about twenty-five miles northeast of
Portland. The (alls, or rapids, of the
river aflFord abundant yvater power, which
is used in manufacturing. Seat of Bow-
doin College.

Cainden — in Knox County. Beautifully situ-
ated on Ptnob>i:ut R.-iy, Favorite summer
resort. Ship and boat building, and ex-
tensive manufactures of woolen goods,
anchors, pumps, building materials, shirts,
etc. Much lime is exported.

Caribou — in Aroostook County, in an agricultural
region on .Aroostook River. Good railroad
connections ; large local trade ; a foundry, i
and manufactures of lumber, woolen goods.i
starch, carriages, doors and sash, etc.

1 3 4 5 6

Online LibraryLucy Fitch PerkinsThe New England states → online text (page 1 of 6)