Apropos to Elizabeth Hand’s “My Life in Lincolnville” and “From Our Archives, a Look Back at Our First Issue” in the August issue, readers might be interested to know that Down East was born in Lincolnville in an old farmhouse on Moody Mountain Road in 1954 by my stepfather, Duane Doolittle — one of his reasons being to live in Maine year-round. During the 1940s and fifties, the barn was home to square dances (with Everett Greaves and, later, Howie Davison, calling), still fondly remembered by many locals.
The Tree That Shouldn’t Be
Bernd Heinrich’s article, “The Tree That Shouldn’t Be,” in the September issue, resonated with me. I love solving genealogical and historical puzzles and know how excited and satisfied he must have felt when he found the old photo of the apple tree and stone wall. It most certainly bridges the gap between yesterday and today. I have had several of those, and the thrill is immense. Thank you, Mr. Heinrich, for describing yours so vividly.
East Boothbay, Maine
On page 160 of your September issue, under the title “From Our Archives,” you printed a classified real estate ad from 1964. You were probably delighted by the anachronism of a three-bedroom house with “warm-air furnace” and “view of salt water bay” priced at $18,000. What you did not know is the ugly backstory. The rest of the description, “near churches, post office, stores, etc.,” was a common code in the real estate business in those days for No Sale to Jews. If you review listings for prime properties of the thirties, forties, fifties, even sixties, you will regularly see ads mentioning nearby churches.
Room at the Inn
I read with interest your September’s “Editor’s Note,” as I know the Black Point Inn very well. I enjoyed its pool numerous times with a professional violin player serenading us — this was back in the late fifties. When I was a young boy, my parents would drive my sister and me from the Philadelphia area up to Prouts Neck to visit my grandmother. Her house, built in 1888, is located next to the Black Point Inn, above the rocks and overlooking the Prouts Neck Beach Club. I always had wonderful times climbing around the rocks and looking for small crabs in the tide pools. Even as an adult, I have had the pleasure of returning on occasion, and I never take for granted the many special times I have spent there.
“In Texas we have around 1.5 million feral pigs. The good news is they taste awesome.”
Woodville, Texas, via Facebook.
Having been born in Aroostook County, and spent most of my time visiting along the Maine Turnpike, I really think that you did a disservice to most of Maine by choosing only towns that are in four seaside counties. I know that this is what most people from away think when they think of Maine, but it truly isn’t correct. Maine is not just the rocky seashore. When I tell people about visiting the lakes and streams and evergreen forests of northern Maine, they are amazed. Maybe you could run another piece on Maine villages where you can’t smell the sea?
The list of Maine’s 10 Prettiest Villages was selected by you, our readers, by popular vote. While our own lists may have looked a bit different, we respect and value your opinions about the state you love. If nothing else, we see the list as debate fodder at all of our Thanksgiving tables!
Prettiest Villages Runners-Up:
11. York Harbor
13. Southwest Harbor
14. Monhegan Village
15. Deer Isle
16. New Harbor
17. Port Clyde
18. Cape Porpoise
21. Round Pond
22. Winter Harbor
23. Belgrade Lakes
24. Tenants Harbor
25. Rangeley Village
Where in Maine?
Photographed by Pat & Chuck Blackley
Seeing the photo of Doubletop Mountain brought on a deluge of memories of Baxter State Park. Sitting with us at the kitchen table was our grown daughter, who, at the early age of four, would hike through the woods of Baxter. I rose from the table, pulled down the shed attic steps, and brought down our forty-five-year-old L.L.Bean Allagash pack basket, unused for many years, but still filled with so many memories. Sitting it in the middle of the table, I let the stories unfold. Suddenly it seemed like only yesterday.
Palm Bay, Florida
I’ve taken this same picture dozens of times while crossing the bridge over the Nesowadnehunk Stream. There is a plaque on the southern summit of Doubletop in memory of a man named Kappele Hall, whose wife scattered his ashes from that spot in 1926. Mount Katahdin may get more attention, but this smaller neighbor seems to pull more strongly on the heartstrings.
My husband and I and our three daughters climbed Doubletop for practice before climbing Katahdin. Our oldest daughter insisted on going ahead of us to get “great photos.” However, soon we saw her running back to us. She and a very large moose with a huge rack had met face to face, scared each other, and ran off very quicky in opposite directions. We still tease her about wanting to be the “first” while hiking.
Our Favorite Letter
My wife, who I met at South Branch Pond campground in 1966 when I was a summer assistant ranger, and I enjoy a magnificent view of Doubletop and beyond from our cabin deck on Ambajejus Lake. I have never hiked the trails to it and as a retired senior I know it to be beyond my current capabilities if not beyond my imagination.
Each month Down East editors select our favorite response to “Where in Maine?” The winner receives a Down East wall calendar. See pages 8-9 for details.
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