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  • Published
    August 10, 2011

    Coastal ingenuity: Then and now at the Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors Show

    Mainers are a creative lot. They have always adapted to the times while maintaining a high standard of craftsmanship and a pride that is reflected in their products. The Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors Show brings together modern-day creations by boat builders, furniture makers, artists and architects, and many others, yet we have always felt it important to also pay homage to previous generations of thinkers and …

  • Published
    August 6, 2011

    Art of the Coast: The contemporary scene

    Images of Maine and the lives lived here have inspired great art for hundreds of years. The tradition is alive and well today with art both representational and abstract. Not only is Maine home to internationally acclaimed painters, photographers and other crafts folk, but art is the centerpiece of what some people call “the creative economy,” a movement that has helped to revive towns ranging from Rockland to …

  • Published
    August 2, 2011

    A giant step in land preservation

    Hard times can have lasting effects on a region. Unlikely as it seems, we are very fortunate here on Penobscot Bay to have two positive legacies of the Great Depression of the 1930s: Camden Hills State Park and the Camden Snow Bowl, both developed 75 years ago. While these projects were different in their inception, both have added immeasurably to the quality of life on the Midcoast. Every time I look out over …

  • Published
    July 31, 2011

    Maine as muse in the 1930s

    Ten years ago or so, an art museum in New York had a show of Maine painters, most of whom were residents of Maine during the 1930s. The catalog described the combined power of their work as presenting the “myth of an American Eden,” a phrase that has resonated with me ever since. Perhaps for these artists during that time — the time of the Depression — this Eden, this Maine, was no myth. Of course, Maine had …

  • Published
    July 23, 2011

    Yachting’s lasting legacy: The scene today

    While the sailor of 1936 would find much changed today along the Penobscot Bay waterfront, he would easily recognize some of the types of boats that Maine builders are currently launching, similar as they are in appearance to the boats from his day. This is particularly true of two distinct types, whose antecedents were popular 75 years ago: One the lobsterboat-inspired cruiser; the other the long, lean sailboat. …

  • Published
    July 18, 2011

    The rise of yachting

    Coming east from Boothbay in a yacht in 1936 could be an adventure. There weren’t many yachts unless you landed in one of the summer colony harbors, and most of the other harbors were commercial. In those days, the Boothbay/South Bristol area was Maine’s yacht-building land. There were few facilities for yachts to the east, with the only serious builder in that area being Morse’s of Thomaston. Major harbors …

  • Published
    June 25, 2011

    An innovative answer to getting around

    Seventy-five years ago on the coast of Maine, the automobile was beginning to dominate as a mode of transportation. Its popularity, along with the roads and bridges that were being built for it, spelled doom for passenger rail and ferry service, except small island ferries. The car was well on its way to becoming triumphant. Today, the car is still the primary mode of transportation along the Maine coast; yet, …

  • Published
    June 21, 2011

    Travel by sea, rail, and road

    Seventy-five years ago, a transportation revolution was happening on Maine’s coast. In January 1936 at Snow’s Shipyard in Rockland, the keel was laid for a new type of boat to be used on Penobscot Bay: a drive-through ferry to transport vehicles from the mainland to the island of Islesboro. Christened the Gov. Brann, the diesel-powered ferry was launched in May. By the end of the first season, some 6,500 …

  • Published
    June 6, 2011

    75 years on Penobscot Bay

    Imagine that it’s 75 years ago. 1936. Hamburger is 12 cents per pound. The Great Depression is full on. Unemployment is at 16.9 percent. The winds of war are building across Europe and the Pacific. Radium E has been synthesized. People are singing “Pennies from Heaven,” reading “Gone With the Wind,” and rooting for Jesse Owens in the Olympics. Radio is the dominant social media. The pace of change is accelerating …

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