From a rabid-fox tale to a fisherman's elegy to a mystery of an enigmatic author, these are the Maine stories you read and shared most this year.
Deeply reported, elegantly told stories about Maine’s personalities and history, its towns and landscapes, and the trends shaping our state and culture — these are why readers have come to Down East since 1954. This year, the most-read and most-shared stories on our site captured the aspirations and anxieties of a state in transition, weighing the promises and costs of new development, considering the future of Maine’s marine industries, and exploring frontiers in agriculture and conservation. (Also: rabid foxes and great white sharks.)
From our September 2021 issue: Stonington’s Abby Barrows dialed back a globetrotting research career to take over an oyster farm in her hometown. Now, she’s out to refashion the equipment of her new profession, to keep Maine’s booming aquaculture sector from fouling the waters it relies upon.
By Susan Conley | Photographed by Ryan David Brown
From our May 2021 issue: Once robust, Maine’s groundfishery is on the ropes, leaving the future uncertain for even the most dedicated fishermen — and the harbor towns that give the Maine coast its character.
From our February 2021 issue: Big terrain, deep snow, and frigid air at Saddleback Mountain make the resort one of New England skidom’s undisputed greats. But that wasn’t enough to keep it from closing five years ago. Now, Saddleback is back, with a fresh drop of investment — and some lofty ideas.
From our May 2021 issue: Residents have long enjoyed Kittery’s livable, leafy vibe, but some worry that tourists and house hunters are eroding the town’s character and pricing out all but the well-heeled. So they’ve hatched an ambitious plan.
From our June 2021 issue: Last year’s first-ever fatal shark attack jolted Mainers into acknowledging that great whites regularly swim off the state’s shores — and that there’s plenty about them we don’t know.