Sept 13 – Salem, MA

Our trip from York, ME to Salisbury, MA was the shortest one-day drive we've ever made … just 34 miles. 

Pike School (1882), Salisbury, MA

As a result we were in to our campground well before noon

and, afer hooking -up, decided to drive to Salem, an historic city we'd never visited.

Our drive tooks us through the traffic congested center of Peabody where the electrical boxes all been creatively painted,

there is a

Soldiers and Sailors Monument

A 10' high granite sculpture of the allegorical figure of Liberty stands on a globe on top of a 40' by 15' square concrete base. Liberty is wearing a helmet and long flowing robes. She is holding a sword vertically in her right hand.  The globe, which carries the inscription E PLURIBUS UNAM, sits on top of a round shaft which is decorated at the top. The shaft rests on a square base with inscribed dados flanked by a pair of fasces on all for sides.

The south side of base contains the year of dedication, 1881 and is inscribed in recessed block letters:



and we passed a small restaurant of interest.


We quickly discovered that traffic in Salam was no better than in Peabody and looking for a parking place became an adventure.  Eventually we spotted a metered spot, did a U-turn on a two-way street, pulled in, ate the lunch Debbie had packed and then fed quarters into the meter before striking out on foot.

Located north of Boston, it was settled in 1626 and became one of the most significant seaports in early American history and played an important role during the Revolution.  However, for most people, Salem is remembered for the witch trials of the late 17th century.

So it was perhaps not coincidental that on the way to the Visitor's Center we passed one "witch"

and Witch Trial Memorial, recognizing each of the victims of the infamous Salem Witch Trials.  They began during the spring of 1692, after a group of young girls in Salem Village, Massachusetts, claimed to be possessed by the devil and accused several local women of witchcraft.  As a wave of hysteria spread throughout colonial Massachusetts, a special court convened in Salem to hear the cases; the first convicted witch, Bridget Bishop (age 50),

was hanged that June.  Five more people were hanged that July; five in August and eight more in September. In addition, seven other accused witches died in jail, while the elderly Giles Corey (age 71)

was pressed to death by stones after he refused to enter a plea at his arraignment

In addition, some 150 more men, women and children were accused over the next several months.  By September 1692, the hysteria had begun to abate and public opinion turned against the trials.  Though the Massachusetts General Court later annulled guilty verdicts against accused witches and granted indemnities to their families, bitterness lingered in the community, and the painful legacy of the Salem witch trials would endure for centuries.

At the Visitor's Center we saw a bell forged by Paul Revere in 1801,

a scale model of the Brigantine Leander

The original brig Leander was built in the shipyard of Benjamin Hawkes, next to Derby Wharf in Salem in 1821.  She made 26 voyages to Europe, India, South America, Africa and three profitable voyages to China.  In 1826, the Leander was the first vessel in Salem to pay over $90,000 in customs duties on a cargo of tea, sikl, porcelain and fireworks from China. 

Our walking tour continued down the Esseex Street pedestrian Mall

 In 1637, the first muster was held on Salem Commons, where for the first time a regiment of militia drilled for the common defense of a multi-community area, thus laying the foundation for what became the Army National Guard.  In 1637, the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony ordered the organization of the Colony's militia companies into the North, South and East Regiments. The colonists adopted the English militia system, which obligated all males between the ages of 16 and 60 to possess arms and participate in the defense of the community.  In August 2010, Governor of Massachusetts Patrick signed HB1145, "An Act Designating the City of Salem as the Birthplace of the National Guard."  This was later approved by the U.S. House of Representatives in March 2012, and was signed into law by President Obama on January 10, 2013.

Each of the street lights along the mall is adorned with the replica of a shop's foresprit figurehead

Street Museum

Folks all dressed up for the witch scene can be found on almost every corner

First Church

Gathered by the English Puritan settlers of Massachusetts Bay Colony in August of 1629, The First Church in Salem is one of the oldest churches organized in North America and the first to be governed by congregational polity.* During its long history the theological position of the Church has changed, most significantly in the early 1800's when Unitarianism was embraced. 

Starting in 1718, the Church itself broke into five different churches, with all but one rejoining the original First Church in later years. Today, the congregation worships at the meetinghouse of the North Church, built in 1836. The one congregation that remains independent is the Tabernacle Church in Salem, which separated from the First Church in 1734 over a row about a minister at the time. 

The present church edifice (dedicated in 1836) is the second Meeting House of the North Church which separated from the First Church in 1772 and reunited with it in 1923. It is early English Gothic style in design and is constructed of Quincy granite. The First Church in Salem has been responsible for several of the well known landmarks within the town of Salem including the Daniel Lowe Building on Washington Street (the meetinghouse for the First Church up until 1923 when they merged with the North Church) and the Witch Museum on Salem Common (the meetinghouse for the Second Church in Salem which split from the First Church in 1719 and reunited with it in 1956).

eventually ending up at the Bewitched statue.

We continued our trek through the city

Immaculate Conception Church – Mary, Queen of the Apostles Parish

Old Town Hall and Cobblestone Street

The Town Hall is the earliest surviving municipal structure in Salem, Massachusetts (dating from 1816-17) and an outstanding Federal Style building.   It is a beautiful federal style building located in the heart of downtown historic Salem, Massachusetts. Our venue is a two-story, brick structure featuring Palladian windows, carved wood details, antique chandeliers, decorative columns and wooden floors.  The second floor of the building, Great Hall, has always been used as a public hall, and contained Town offices until 1837. 

The Salem City Seal’s design is based on a very important aspect of Salem history, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.  With a merchant dressed in colorful robes standing next to palm trees on an island, and a ship in the background under full sail, the seal is actually representative of Salem’s spice trade history. The merchant featured on the seal is not meant to portray a Salem merchant, but rather a local Sumatran, where the spice trade with Salem was first established. Below the imagery are the words “Divitis Indiae usque sinum,” which translates to “To the farthest port of the rich east.” Above sits a dove holding an olive branch, symbolizing Salem’s designation as the “City of Peace.” The seal also features two specific years: 1626 when the town of Salem was incorporated, and 1836 when the city was incorporated.

The Pirates Museum

Reverend Thoebald Mathew, Apostle of Temperance (1790 – 1856)

eventually reaching the

On Derby Wharf, the Friendship is being reconstructed

Friendship of Salem

The Friendship of Salem is a 171-foot replica of the Friendship a 1797 East Indiaman.  It was built in 2000 in the Scarano Brothers Shipyard in Albany, NY. The ship usually operates as a stationary museum ship during most of the year.  But it is a fully functioning United States Coast Guard-certified vessel capable of passenger and crew voyages; it makes special sailings during various times of the year.

Masts, booms and rigging

Internet photo

The original Friendship was built in Salem in a shipyard at Stage Point on the South River.  The Friendship was launched 28 May 1797.  It weighed 342 tons and was registered at the customs house on August 18, 1797.  The Friendship was 102 feet long and 27 feet 7 inches wide.  She regularly recorded speeds of 10 knots and was known to have logged a top speed of 12 knots.  The Friendship made fifteen voyages during her career and visited Batavia, India, China, South America, the Caribbean, England, Germany, the Mediterranean and Russia.

At the far end of the wharf is a small lighthouse.

Across the street are five building that date to the eaarly 18th century, a time that Salem was one of the nation's most important seaports.

Custom House

The Custom House at Salem is the last of 13 Custom Houses in the city.  There has been a Custom House in Salem since 1649, collecting taxes on imported cargos first for the British Government during the Colonial period, then for the American Government after the establishment of the U.S. Customs Service in 1789. This Custom House was built in 1819 and housed offices for the officers of the U.S. Customs Service, as well as an attached warehouse, the Public Stores, used for the storage of bonded and impounded cargo.

In 1826, a wooden eagle was placed on the roof. It was carved by Salem craftsman Joseph True, and its original cost was $50.00. In 2004, the original wooden eagle was replaced with a fiberglass replica. After undergoing several years of conservation work, the original wooden eagle is on display inside the Custom House.

Collector's Office

Customs Officer's Private Offices

Nathaniel Hawthorne – Salem's Customs House Surveyor

Pens and Ink bottle used by Hawthorne

Hawthorne's Register of Revenue Laws

Dearborn Scale

Derby House (1762)  – The oldest surviving brick building in Salem and one of the fines examples of Georgian architecture

Richard Derby

Home for Aged Women – originaly Custom's Scale House

Hawkes House (1780)

West India Goods Store (circa 1800)


Our final stop was at the House of the Seven Gables.

On our way back to Salisbury we passed



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Sept 12 – A Second Day in York Harbor

The weather began a bit overcase, but it was the first time we'd seen high tide.  Although no huge waves, a walk along the shore proved rewarding.

Boon Island Lighthouse … 8.6 miles off the Maine coast

After lunch, we made a grocery run and trip to JoAnn Fabric (across the state line and Piscataqua River in New Hampshire).  However, the trip did provide some interesting photo ops.

Unique hinges on the York Street Baptish Church

By the afternoon, the skies had cleared and and temperatures were back in the upper 70s for the first time in more than a week.

Nubble Lighthouse

We didn't expect to see a Great Blue Heron

Boon Island Lighthouse

Late this afternoon Joe and Jean visited us aboard our motorhome for hors d'ouevres and, of coursee, wine.  Eventurally, we realized it was after 8:30 PM … time always continues to fly by when with good firends!

Our only regret about our time in York Harbor is that it was too brief.

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Sept 11 – Eighteen Years Later – Our Trip to York Harbor, ME

As I write this post, we are watching several documentaries about the tragic events of September 11th, 2001.  As we traveled one hundred miles from Boothbay to York Harbor, American flags were at half-staff in memory of those who lost their lives on that date.

We passed by the York Harbor Inn, owned by friends Joe and Jean (a childhood friend of Debbie's) Dominquez,

before reaching our campground for the next two nights.

The Campground's flag at half-staff

The guy next to us sure hates his 45-foot, "high-end" Integra Class-A motorhome!

From time to time, we've mentioned how many people travel with pets, the vast majority being dogs.  However, many of those folks not only have one dog, many have two, three or more … in the case of one of our "neighbors" FIVE.

While checking in we inquired about any reliable mobile RV services techs who covered the area as we were trying … thus far unsuccessfully … to resolve what we had determined was probably a faulty Convertor (a device which converts 120V shore power to 12V battery power), as our coach's house batteries were not fully charging. 

I got this far and knew my electrical knowldge limit had been reached. 

So, wisely, we contacted the recommended Marxway RV Service who was fortunately going to be in the campground this afternoon.  Mark, with over 30 years of experience, not only zeroed in on the source of the problem

which was a faulty Convertor which was shorting out its fuses, but also had a spare unit in his truck which he was able to install.  Below is the culprit.

With our 12V system operating properly again, we took a walk along the sidewalk, which is only feet from the water during high tide.

Nubble Lighthouse

Birds almost always face into the breeze


There was the predictable grafatti … most of it egocentric and awful

While not codoning grafitti anywhere, there was one specimen which showed the "artist" had some sense of the area and some modest talent.

This evening, we met Joe and Jean at the Chapman Cottage

one of their B&B restaurants

for a great dinner.

Debbie & I along with Jean and Joe

Returning to our campground, we found that "our flag was still there"

A walk along the ocean with the moon shining on the water on an unseasonablly warm breeze capped a near perfect day.


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Sept 10 – Our Last Day in Boothbay

After battling with a minor 12V electrical problem, we took a walk around the campground where we've been staying, discovreing it was larger than we were aware and several sites (none with the 50 amp power, cable and sewer we needed) were beautifully situated among an inlet off Boothbay's shoreline.

We also "discovered" some old, rusting farm equipment,

(l to r)  Seed spreader, pulled tiller and hay baler

a one-horse carriage,

and antique Spartanette Tandem travel trailer.  These RV's were manufactured from 1945 to 1962 by the Spartan Aircraft Company … owned by one of the richest man in America at the time, J. Paul Getty

Near the campground's entrance, we ran a cross a sign we'd driven by several times and yet not noticed.

We then decided to return to Boothbay Harbor to walk around and have lunch on the water.  At the recommendation of friends from Phoenix (of all placces), we ate at

We then wandered along the waterfront and among the narrow, one-way streets lined with restaurants, ice cream and fudge shops, jewelry stores, all manner of retail outlets catering to the town's influx of tourists.

an occasional mural,

a marine msueum,

Wood Clamp used by Shipwrights

Old Fog Horn

and interesting architecture.

Unique to Boothbay Harbor is a 1,000 foot-long footbridge across the harbor permitting people easy access to the commercial areas from some of the inns across the water.


looking toward the end of the harbor

looking out toward the harbor entrance

In the middle of the bridge is a cottage.

The building was constructed in 1902 by the bridge tender, William Foster. After he sold it in 1912, the bridge house had three more owners until Ethel Fowler bought it in 1926.  She spent summers in it and had an art studio in the front room until 1963.  Marian and David Dash purchased the building and ran boat excursions from it and are credited with starting the Windjammer Days.  Mrs. Dash was the first licensed female boat captain in the State of Maine.  

In 1992, Larz and Nancy Fitts-Neilson bought the bridge house and operated a gift shop in it for several years.  The present owners purchased the building in 2001 and spent their first season refurbishing it for use as a summer cottage. 

Local legend has it that the bridge house was used during prohibition for smuggling rum … there is a trap door in the floor of the kitchen to this day.

This evening, together with Bob and Sue Goodrich,

we went to the Linekin Bay Resort 

for dinner.

The resort sits on a section of the bay which normally provides gorgeous sunsets.  Unortunately, tonight's cloud cover precluded any such vistas.  However, there were some great views.

Low Tide – we've yet to see any high tides

Looking toward Cabbage Island where tourist clam bakes are a regular occurance



Lobsterman hauling in one of his traps

Multi-colored ledge in front of the restaurant

We had a great meal and have thoroughly enjoyed finally spending some time these past few days with Sue and Bob!



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Sept 09 – Maine’s State Capitol in Augusta

Today it was destination Augusta to visit Maine's State Capitol, our 48th.

The drive provided its own points of interest.

A true homemade RV

Colorful Bee Hives

Beautiful Lake Refelction

A Touch of Autumn

Several Sculptures

Another Misplaced Lighthouse – promoting a miniature golf course

Crossing the Kennebec River to Wiscasset

Wind Vanes

St John's Episcopal Church, Dresden, ME  (circa 1769)

Another mirror-like pond


Can't believe there is a restaurant that specializes in one of my favorite desserts

A rainbow of chairs along the Kennebec River in Howell, just south of Augusta

And several more additions to my growing mailbox collection

Ariving in Augusta, we found a parking place in one of the State ofifce building parking lots just a block away from the Capitol

When Maine separated from Massachusetts on March 15, 1820 and  became the 23rd state, Brunswick, Hallwell, Waterville, Portland, Belfast, Wiscasset and Augusta all lobbied to become the state capitol.  Portland won out and a two-story federal style building beame Maine's first State House was completed in that same year.

Ultimately destroyed by fire in 1866

For reasons of security (the Portland State House was at risk for being shelled by enemy sailing ships) and to posiiton the capitol more centrally, Governor Enoch Lincoln signed a bill on February 24, 1827 extablishing Aaugusta as the official Capitol.  The land on which the capitol now sits was donated to the state for the sum of ten dollars.

The new Capitol building was designed by Boston architect Charles Bulfinch, who has previsouly designed the nation's capitol in Washington, DC.  Originaly budgeted at $80,000, the final price came in at $139,000.  Much of the construction materials came from just south of Augusta in Hallowell.

Remodeling took place in 1852 and 1860 with a three-story wing added in 1890-91 to accommodate the State Library and additional offices.  A subsequent enlargement in 1909-10 created the current appearanace.  Among all of the state capitols we've visited, Augusta stands out as providing the most dramatic views from all directions.

East Facade


Top of the Copula

"Lady of Wisdom" (sometimes referred to as "Minervaa") – The draped female figure stands 15 feet tall and holds a pine bough in the form of a torch in her right hand and a pine cone in her left.

Northeast View

West Facade

Southwest View

Souteast View

The copper on the dome and gold leaf on the Lady of Wisdom were replaced in 2014.

We arrived about 20 minutes before the next tour was to begin so we were able to mosy around for a while. 

The official state seal of Maine was adopted in 1820. The coat of arms featured on the seal also appears on Maine's state flag and all state seals.

The farmer is a symbol of pride in Maine's agricultural roots. The sailor represents Maine's strong ties to the sea. They stand on a banner with the name "MAINE" (in capital letters).  Symbols of the natural richness of the state are pictured on the center shield – a pine tree (white pine is the official state tree, and Maine's nickname is "The Pine Tree State"), a moose (Maine's state animal), the sea and sky.

The North star shines above Maine's state motto: "DIRIGO" ("I Lead," or "I Direct"). The North star (Polaris) is not merely a symbol of guidance – travelers have depended on it for many centuries to find their way (it always marks due north). 

Collage of business cards (some painted – othersnot) to create a picture of the Capitol

Benches with unique hand carvings

Plaque telling the story of the Portland and Augusta State Capitol Buildings

Note the wearing of the marble steps due to more than nearly two centuries of foot traffic


Unfortunately, the regular tour guide was out today.  However, he was replaced by Fred Hart, the Sargeat-at-Arms for the Maine House of Representatives … and was one of the most knowledgeable tour guides we had anywhere across the county.

Our tour began in the Hall of Flags, so named because of the many battle flags from Maine Regiments that fought in the Civil War and donated by returning soldiers.  Later flags from the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam and Desert Storm were added.  In fact, these flags are replicas with the originals maintained for preservation in the State Musuem.  

The floor is made up of thousands of small Italian tiles which were shipped to the United States along with two Italian tile workers.  When they completed their work, the remained in America.

Plaques recognizing veterans of these wars are also prominently displayed.

There are several portraits on the walls, with the two most notable Margaret Chase Smith

who has the distinction of being the first woman to have been elected to both the U.S. House of Rrpresentatives and the U.S. Senate and George Mitchell

a District Judge, U.S. Senator, and Senate Majority Leader and later chaired the successful Good Friday Agreements ending the armed conflict between the Republic or Ireland and Northern Ireland.

In the center of the Hall is a bust of former Governor Percival Proctor Baxter. 

Over a thrity year period the succesful businessman purchased land for what is now Baxter State Park and eventually donated it to the State.

Behind Baxter's bust, is the grand staircase which leads to the second floor.

On the landing as you climb the stairs is a life-sized painting of General George Wasshington.

On the second floor this is a working fire place (however, never used),

scores of photos of past governors, state senators and state representatives.

The individual second from the right on the bottom row was a freshman representative who was killed in the last duel in the United States …with muskets, no less.

In the rotunda, looking up the interior of the dome is impressive

and looking down, fossils, some of animals which perished close to 500 million years ago are clearly visible.

Maclurites is an extinct genus of Ordovician gastropods (snails) found as fossils and useful for stratigraphic correlations (the Ordovician Period lasted from about 488 million to 444 million years ago). The shell is distinctively coiled and easily recognized.

The State House of Representatives

(151 Members of the House, incluing three from Native Tribes who can fully participate other than actual voting, the only state with such reprsentation)

Two idential chairs , one on either side of the dias are reserved for important guests who will address the chamber

The chairs are being replaced this year.  Apparently they are far less comfortable than they look and when viewed up close, they show a lot of "wear and tear"

Electronic board to record member's votes.  Once a vote is called for, no member is permitted to leave the chamber and all members must vote "Yea" or "Nay" … abstentions are not permitted

Original House ballot box into which paper ballots were placed before counting

Until the last rennovation, the capstones in the House chamber were coated with gold leaf

Sara Gideon, only the third female Speaker of the House

In her absence another lady has taken the gavel

The State Senate

(30 Senators)

One of only three known paintings of Abraham Lincoln in which he is standing.  There is another in the Massachusetts State House.  The where abouts of the thrid such painting is unknown.

A native of Maine, Hannibal Hamlin was Lincoln's Vice President during his first term

General Henry Knox, a Revolutionary war friend of George Washington and most noted for traveling to Fort Ticonderoga and haul its guns to Dorchester Heights during the seige of Boston in November 1775.  He and his men moved 60 tons of cannons and other armaments over the course of three winter months by boat, horse, ox-drawn sledges, and manpower along poor-quality roads, across two semi-frozen rivers, and through the forests and swamps of the lightly inhabited Berkshires to the Boston area, covering approximately 300 miles. c Victor Brooks has called Knox's exploit "one of the most stupendous feats of logistics" of the entire American Revolutionary War. The route which he followed is now known as the Henry Knox Trail, and the states of New York and Massachusetts (passing within just one mile from where I grew up) have erected markers along the way.

On the fourth floor, we got an even better view of the Capitol's interior dome

As is the case with every State House around the country, the grounds of the Maine State Capitol have several monuments and memorials.

Maine State Flag

EMS Memorial

Firefighters Memorial

Law Enforcement Officers Memorial

Fountain surrounded by a patio with the names of each of Maine's counties

Replica of the Liberty Bell donated by the American Legion

Exact Replica of the Liberty Bell received in 1950 along with the other 49 states and the District of Columbia – donated by the Department of the Treasury to help promote its Savings Bond Independence Drive.  It weighs 2,080 lbs., has an aged-oak yoke, iron straps and hand forged bolts

Monumnet recognizing the contributions of the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC)

Samantha Reed Smith was born in Houlton, Maine 1972 and later moved to Manchester.  At the age of 10, she wrote Soviet Premie Yuri  Andropov expressing her concerns about the possibility of nuclear war.

Premier Andropov repied and invited Samantha and her parents to the Soviet Union.  Upon returning ot the United States she became an activist for peace, wrote a book with her dad's help, appeared on the Disney Channel and spoke internationally.  Tragically, Samantha and her dad were killed in a plane crash in 1983 … when Samantha was just 13 years old.

Memroial to Dedicated to Maine's Vietnam Veterans

A memorial to the victims of 911

Directly across the street to the north of the Capitol Building is Blaine House, the Governor's residence.  Unfortunately, it is closed for tours on Mondays (today).

Immediatley south of the Capitol is the State Museum, also closed on Mondays.  We were. however, able to see two of the exhibits.


Retruning to our campground, we again passed through Wiscasset and were again amazed at the number of poeple in line at "Red's" waiting to order lunch … at 2:30 PM




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Sept 08 – Boothbay Railway Village

Returning from the Botanical Gardens, we pulled into the Boothbay Railway Village, less than 100 yards from our campground.

Track gauge is measured between the inner faces of the load-bearing rails. Gauge matters because all of the equipment running within a network needs to have running gear to match the gauge. The U.S. standard railroad gauge is 4 ft. 8.5 in. Maine had a unique system of narrow gauge railroads on track just 24 inches apart developed to lower the cost of railroad construction and operation, allowing them to be built in areas where it would not otherwise be economically feasible.

At their peak, the Maine Two-Footers operated on over 200 miles of track transporting both passengers and freight in and out of rural Maine. They played a key role in the timber industry as well as early tourism efforts. These companies were the smallest narrow gauge common carrier railroads in the United States.

The museum operates a fleet of steam and diesel locomotives, along with vintage and replicas of Maine narrow gauge rolling stock, on over three-quarters of a mile of two foot gauge track.

In addition to riding the train, visitors experience two authentic train stations (1912 Freeport and 1871 Thorndike) as well as 12 other buildings from Maine railroads including several car houses and a very unique octagonal crossing shanty once located in Portland, Maine.

Railroad station built in 1912 by the Maine Central Railroad in Freeport, Maine.  The station was moved to the Boothbay Railway Village in 1964.

Station interior

Original Lantern Light

Globe Time Recorder

Assortment of Telegraph Keys used throughout Maine

Two door Safe, weighing in over 2,000 lbs…. making it almost impossoible to move or steal

To open, one of the "bumps" on the outside had to be moved to open the slot wher the key went in – Once the outer door was opened, an inner door did not require a key

Baggage Truck

Green signal means the track ahead is clear

Today, the museum operates three Henschel steam locomotives (c. 1913–1938).  These particular engines were originally used on short lines for railyard and construction work.  The engine configuration is 0–4–0, meaning no pilot wheels (leading wheels) and no trailing wheels, only four driving wheels.  Their steam locomotives are fired with coal and operate with a boiler pressure of 100 to 150 psi.  The water is stored in the frame under the boiler, between the wheels.  Each locomotive weighs approximately 10 tons.

A 1940s Whitcomb diesel locomotive joined the fleet in 2016.  Although historically the Narrow Gauge railroad lines didn’t last long enough to convert to diesel, the Maine Central and Belfast & Moosehead standard gauge railroads (which our historic stations and associated buildings served) did.  Diesel locomotives gained favor with American railroads starting in the 1930s.  They were easier and cheaper to operate and helped the railroad industry continue to compete with trucks, planes and automobiles.  Whether powered by our steam or diesel locomotives passengers ride aboard vintage and replicas of Maine narrow gauge rolling stock, on over three-quarters of a mile of track.

The Main Central Railroad Company was organized in 1862 in Waterville, ME.  The main line ran from Waterville to Portland, via Augusta and Brunswick and was known as the “Lower Road”.  Over the next several decades, Main Central acquired other Maine railroads.

The Calais Branch between Bangor and Calais was originally built in 1832 with woden rails and horse-drawn power.  This was the first railroad built in the state of Maine.  In 1871, the railroad changed from wide gauge (5’ 6”) to standard gague (4’ 8.5”).

The crossing gate guarded the Route 1 crossing of the Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad of the Route 1 bridge in the Town of Belfast.

Main Central Railroad Caboose 563 (circa 1910)

As it was getting late in the afternoon and with dinner plans with Sue and Bob, we opted to pass on touring the heart of the Village itself.

Historically significant structures house artifacts and displays of rural Maine from the mid-19th through the mid-20th centuries. The village transports the visitor to a time well before computers, cell phones and even television.

The Village Green – Historically, village greens or commons were an important aspect of village life.  Greens could provide grazing for animals or gardening areas for villagers.  They were gathering locations for celebrations and debates.  The village is arranged around our Village Green.

Boothbay Town Hall – Circa 1847. The earliest structure on the Museum grounds.

Spruce Point Chapel  – Circa 1923.  The Chapel was relocated from the Spruce Point area of Boothbay Harbor in 1995.  Well-to-do summer residents largely funded this restored chapel and schoolhouse, providing a place of worship for their staffs and a Sunday school for local children.

Grover’s Hardware – Named after a local family hardware store, it contains many of the tools and household goods sold in hardware stores at the turn of the century.  Many of the artifacts were donated by Grover’s Hardware store in Boothbay Harbor.

Stover’s Salt & Pepper House -Unique collection of shakers has over 600 sets that include a variety of designs.

Farm Equipment Shed – Included in this exhibit are a 1930 Farm all F-12; 1927 Fortson tractor (powered by a Model-T type drive train); 1953 Oliver V-Plow tractor outfitted with a Sergeant V plow built in Portland, Maine (donated and once used by the Town of Southport), 1950 Huber road-grader and other equipment.

Dingle’s Store – A typical turn of the century general store. displaying a variety of dry goods and tin containers of tea, crackers, and other wares.  A peanut roaster and a coffee grinder are also on display. It was named for Bob Dingle who donated several artifacts and assisted in the founding of the Museum.

Boothbay Volunteer Fire Department – This building includes the Minnehaha #1, a hand tub pumper from 1850; the 1925 Cosmopolitan Fire Truck, Southport’s first motorized fire truck; and the 1929 McCann Portland built Hook & Ladder Truck from Boothbay Harbor. The tower incorporated in the structure is for hanging canvas fire hoses to dry.

Carriage Display – This exhibit includes carriages from mid to late 1800’s such as a Portland cutter, a Victorian, and a Mail coach.  Also on display are various wagon accessories, horse treadmills to provide power on the farm and ice harvesting tools.

Barrel House – A collection of necessary barrel making tools can be seen inside.  Barrels were one of New England’s early exports.  A versatile shipping and storage container created by soaking wood strips in water, drying them over a mold and pounding pre-molded metal rings down around the wood strips.

Blacksmith Shop – On view are a variety of tools and equipment used by blacksmiths … who were critically important to the railroad as they crafted parts essential to the train like the steam boiler and wheels.

Summit Post Office – The Summit Post Office contains the mailboxes from what was once the working summer post office for Bayville, a small community located on the way to East Boothbay.

Diorama Collection or Miniature Mechanical Parables – This collection is believed to have belonged to a traveling carnival in the 1920’s.

Tompkins’s Filling Station – This building was an actual service station once in use in East Boothbay, Maine.  It contains vintage auto parts and parts catalogs.  During this era service stations were for servicing cars and trucks and rarely sold food, snacks or coffee.

Antique Engine Display – Featuring the “Otto” and other early twentieth century internal and external combustion engines.  The large 5-ton engine was developed in the late 1800’s.  The museum occasionally operates this engine at special events.  Other sources of mechanical power include stationary steam engines, a Sterling cycle hot air engine and a variety of single cylinder stationary and marine gasoline engines plus more than 200 early outboard motors.

One Room Schoolhouse – This schoolhouse is a replica of the original, made famous by the children’s nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” which is now on the grounds of the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts.  The desks and school supplies are turn of the century. Desks were bolted to the floor and citizenship and conduct were emphasized.

Village Toy Shop – This shop contains early toys from simple board games to dolls, to a variety of transportation related toys. 

Harrington Homestead & Livery Stable – This exhibit recreates the interior of an early 1900’s house, complete with kitchen appliances such as a monitor top 1927 refrigerator, a thermostatically controlled iron and a hot water storage tank.  In addition, throughout the house are period pieces of furniture, fixtures and personal items to impart the nature of rural life in the 1900s.

With nothing else on our agenda at the moment for Tuesday, we may return to tour the Village.

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Sept 08 – Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Leaving our campground, we headed to the much touted Botanical Gardens.  Our GPS, which too often has a mind of its own, took us on an unusual … and not the shortest … route.  However, it did provide one great photo op.

However, we finally arrived at the

where several sculptures lined the entrance road.

Opened in 2007, our “People’s Garden” invites visitors of all ages and abilities to create and to explore meaningful connections to plants and nature at their own pace.  A small group of MidCoast residents dreamed of building a world-class public garden on 148 acres of rocky coastal forest that would one day be both an economic engine and cultural anchor for our region. After 16 years of planning, the Gardens opened officially in the summer of 2007.

Since then, the Gardens has become one of Maine’s top attractions and one of the most distinguished botanical destinations in the country. Its exquisite gardens, dramatic and compelling natural landscape—including nearly a mile of tidal saltwater frontage—make it ever-changing, endlessly captivating and thoroughly unique. The Gardens presents limitless potential to inspire learning about natural history, habitats, botany, horticulture and ecological connections.

As the largest botanical garden in New England, the Gardens comprises 295 acres, 17 of which are gardens featuring native plants of Maine and other plants suited to northern coastal conditions.

Even with fall approaching, the floral display was amaing.

Queen Red Lime Zinnea

Acidanthera Gladiola

Angel Wings

Black Sprite Mountain Cornflower

Blanket Flower

Blue and White Hydrangea

Britt-Marie Crawford Bigleaf Ligulara

Cappucino Black-eyed Susan

Field of Sunflowers




Blue Forget-me-nots and Spider Flowers

Hameln Dwarf Fountain Grass



Lime Light Hydrangea

Meadow Rue

Joe Pye Eye

Red Paperbark Maple

Persian Fritillary

Pink Zinnea


Purple Cornflower

Purple Tip Verbena Bonariensis

Reeds reflecting on the water

Roof of Grass

Salvia Patens Patio Deep Blue


A Splash of Color

Star of Persia

Strawberry Hydrangea


Sweetbay Magnolia Bud


Tree Aenium

Water lily

Yellow Submarine Rose

Then there were some flowers we've thus far been unable to identify … any assistance would be appreciated.

There was also an interesting number of "vertical" gardens.

We also spotted a couple of "locals".

Bumble Bee

Cecropia Moth Caterpillar

Cecropia Moth Pupa

Cabbage White Butterfly

Monaarch Butterfly Caterpillar

Monarch Butterfly

Silver Spotted Skipper Butterfly


Cihpmunk Debbie Spied

Finally, there were a number of other schulptures, wind pumps and vanes, bridges, decorative stone patios and fountains & ponds througout the gardens.

"Bird Wind" – an amazing sculpture which moved under even the slightest breeze

"Rabbit" … what else



"Wind Orchid"

"Stalking Wolves"

"Chasing Waves" (left)  –  "Fiddlehead Chaise" (right)

One of which I found surprisingly comfortable

Lerner Pond

Fountain offset to the right so the waves created would bounce off the rocks to the left before reaching the waterfall

Rock fountain in Children's Garden

Dinner at Sue and Bob's … where we could watch a schooner taking guests for a sunset cruise

and the sunset after glow.

In the distance, the rhythmic flashing of the Inn of Cuckold light.

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Sept 07 – An Afternoon In and Around Boothbay

We woke to predicted cool temperatures and heavy rains which continued until early afternoon. As the rains ceased, we decided to take a drive into Boothbay and around some surrounding areas.

Just south of our cmapground is the Boothbay Railway Village is a 10-acre re-created historic New England town featuring a village green surrounded by over 12 historic buildings, a working narrow gauge coal-fire steam train,

old fashioned shops, beautiful gardens, and one of the finest presentations of antique vehicles in New England. With more than 60 vintage cars on display, including a 1916 Model T Speedster, a 1940 Cadillac convertible limo, and a 1962 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II, the village is also a fascinating look back at the history of automobiles.

Continuing toward Boothbay Harbor, we passed the first of more than twenty sculptures.

The most moving of those we saw was Fishermen's Memorial, "In honor of the proud independent Maine fishermen who lost their lives at sea."  A plaque lists the names of 244 men who died at sea between May 17, 1798 (Captain John Murray, 27, who died after falling down an aft hatch) and April 22, 2012 (Earl L. Brewer, 77, who fell overboard while lobstering aboard his boat "Sea Foam").

The center of Boothbay Harbor is made up of a number of stores, restaurants and inns lined streets, many of the one-way making navigation to the uninitiatied.

Many of the stately old homes have been transformed into beautiful inns and B&Bs.

Some seacoast-themed wind vanes top churches and other buildings.

Throughout the area, "Old Glory" can be found on almost every street.

The eclectic is also evident.


However, like most Maine seacoast towns it is the waterfront which becomes the focal point for visitiors and locals, alike.


And moored throughout the harbor are many sailboats, the most beautiful we saw …

Crossing the bridge on Route 27,

Taking a detour from the loop road which circled the island, we arrived at a small cove from where we could see Hendrick's Lighthouse.

A lone plover watched as I snapped away

From there we headed for a protected cove

at the south end of the island where views of the surf breaking beyond some nearby islands

and the Cuckold Light Station.


Heading back to Boothbay, we passed several marinas

and I even got a chance to add to my colleciton of mailbox photos.

Our last stop was at

for some badly-needed grocery shopping we'd put off for more than a week.


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Sept 06 – Drive to Boothbay, ME and Sunset Dinner with Sue and Bob Goodrich

We'd no sooner left our Wolfeboro campground than we encountered

Our streak is in tact … everyday we've been driving our motorhome we have, without exception, encountered Road Work.

We contiue to see lighthouses in places far removed from oceans, lakes or rivers. 

In all the hundreds of mailbox photos I've taken, this was the first for a cemetery.

After a slow tri[p across Route 25 we finally made it to

for the second time on this trip … if you reaad our recent blog posts, you'll recall we missed a turn in Gorham, NH and found outselves in Maine before realizing our mistake and backtracked to return to Twin Mountain.

A Jeep of a different color

For the most part, Route 25 wound its way through rural areas on which the traffic was minimal or non-existent.

Speed limit signs were everywhere and when on or below the posted speed looked normal.

However, when exceeding the speed limit, bright lights around the signs blinked brightly.

More stylized lighthouses, these outside a Gorham, ME gas station

The skis and ski lift car seemed a bit out of place along the Maine coast

It looks like a science fiction advertisement at the Taste of Maine Restaurant.

A new bridge and the remains of the one it replaced in Bath

Bath shipyards

Yet another inland lighthouse

Lunchtime Crowd at Reds' Eats in Wiscassett

Our home in Boothbay for the next five nights

This evening we visited my cousing Sue (Newbert) and Bob Goodrich

at their home on the water in East Boothbay. 


Planter Silouhettes

One-legged Pirate Wind Vane

Inn at Cuckolds Light at the entrance to Boothbay Harbor at Sunset

Sunset Afterglow

The four of us then had a wonderful dinner at the Ocean Point Inn & Restaaurant where our table provided us with a spectacular view.


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Sept 05 – Wolfeboro – Northwoods YMCA Camp – Visiting with Sister-in-Law Diana Louis

Having summered on Lake Winnipesaukee for more than 45 years and Debbie for more than 30, much of in and around Wolfeboro,

we decided to take the morning and take a nostalgic walk around the downtown area

Our first stop was Black's

where as kids we bought Sports Illustrated, comic books, toys and maple sugar candy.  Today, however, it was to just walk through the store, noticing changes, including those resulting from technology … the prominent area formerly dedicated to books, magazines, newspapers and comic books has been moved and drastically downsized, replaced by a rainbow of Sweat and Tee Shirts.  The store owner held up his cell phone and siad, this is the reason.

We spluged on some post cards and a coffee cup to replace Debbie's which had recently broken.

Then on to my favorite bakery

Not that we needed them, but Debbie had an incredibly delicious raspberry "something or other" and me a huge bear-claw … Yum Yum!


On up the street, the steeple of the First Christian Church was dramatic against the bllue sky.

Unusual daisy


Then down to the town docks – looking out over Wolfeboro Bay

Debbie chatting with a cute 4-year old

"Sharing" – a boy and his grandfather in Cate Park

Wolfeboro Train Depot (1872), now the Visitor's Center

Huggins Hospital piano – we've seen these in other public places across the country

Our next stop was at

a boarding camp I attended the summer of 1957.  I was fortunate to be one of just eight boys in the WIlderness Group as we spent more than six of the eight weeks out of the camp season on backpacking trips through the White Mountains or canoeing along the Saco River or Lake Aziscohos in northeastern Maine.  It was a great summer!

However, the landscape of so much of the camp has changed, including the area where the three WIlderness tents were located … only the remains of a fire pit remain

A view from where our Wilderness tents were located.

Olny the bell at the waterfront

and Great Hall where campers ate their meals seem unchanged.

Leaving along the one-lane dirt road, we saw yet another sign autumn was not far away

as well as a fawn standing just feet off the road, obviousy not intimidated by our presence.

After leaving Northwoods, we contiued north through Twenty Mile Bay where we pulled over to have lunch.

Then on to Melvin Village, passing the "frog rock" which has been kept well painted for as many years as we can recollect,

where a number of "old" gas pumps are on display.

We'd originally planned to circumnavigate the lake.  However, when we reached Mountonborough, wee suddenly realized we were only ten miles from our sister-in-law, Diana Louis

who ives in South Tamworth.  So, insteaad of a left, we turned right for her Red Horse Hill Farm.

Note the "bonnet covering the horse's face and ears.  We'd never seen anything like it before.  Well, we leaarned something. 

The earliest form of a horse bonnet or hat is found in the mid-14th century when horses became targets in battle in order to dismount the knights on them. In order to protect the horses from archers and other attackers, barding, or horse armour, was invented. In most cases, the horse had iron plates on its body for protection, including the head. These protective shields for a horse’s face were called ‘chanfron,’ and covered the whole front of the horses face as well as much of the ears and cheeks.

At the turn of the century, however, barding was not really necessary anymore. Horses became mostly modes of transportation and companion animals.  A more modern take on the horse bonnet came to play. In the 1890’s “sun bonnets” for horses were all the rage in France. These sun bonnets were basically hats for horses, keeping the sun out of their eyes and shielding them from the heat of the day. These ranged from simple straw hats to elegant and frivolous masterpieces.

As these original “hats” evolved into their modern-day look, they actually were not used for style. These crocheted ear bonnets were used mostly in the Grand Prix arena, as riders were noticing that their horses would often get distracted at bugs flying around their ears. The tightly woven fabric helped keep the pesky insects from bothering a horse while on course.

Today, ear bonnets are a fashion statement in the jumper arena. Though they have kept their functionality as bug repellants and sometimes sound mufflers, most riders now accessorize their horse with a bonnet simply to keep up with their color scheme

A pupa is the life stage of some insects undergoing transformation between immature and mature stages. The pupal stage is found only in holometabolous insects, those that undergo a complete metamorphosis, with four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and imago

The symbolism of her wind vane was not lost on us

when we were intriduced to her 800 lb. pet pig (which had been the runt of his litter) … aptly named "Mr. Pig Pig".

Back in Wolfeboro, we drove down Springfield Point where my folks had a summer and later permanent home, both of which my dad designed.  Unfortunately, we could only see it from a nearby bridge.

The beach is new

Original building … the "Corn Crib" … is still there

Dinner with Sandy and Jeff ended a perfect day!




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