Showing posts with label History. Show all posts
Showing posts with label History. Show all posts

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Maine’s Historic and Beautiful Penobscot Bay

© Copyright 2012 Gail J. VanWart All Rights Reserved
View of Penobscot Bay at Castine, Maine 
Since the very beginning of the colonization of what is now the United States of America, Penobscot Bay has been witness to some very important moments in the nation’s history. Walking through the streets of Castine, Searsport, or numerous other coastal Maine communities along Penobscot Bay, will point you to memories of a rich maritime past, as well as the historic charm so delicately woven into its present day beauty.

© Copyright 2012 Gail J. VanWart All Rights Reserved
Castine provides signage for a walking tour of historic sights. 
By land or by sea, the area is well worth nosing around in for tourists and locals alike. I strongly suggest you enjoy it from both angles to fully appreciate Penobscot Bay from all perspectives. Guildive Cruises offers you an opportunity to do just that on its Down East excursions with Ports of Call in both Castine and Searsport scheduled through the end of September. Guildive's Captains, Zander Parker and Kate Kana, have both sailed the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans extensively and are pleased to offer public sails onboard the vintage 1934, 56’ long, 46-ton, motorsail, Guildive as an added summer attraction on picturesque Penobscot Bay.

G Copyright Guildive Cruises
Guildive Under Sail
Photo Courtesy of Guildive Cruises
© Copyright 2012 Gail J. VanWart All Rights ReservedThe Guildive is docked in Castine with excursions departing from Dennett’s Wharf at 15 Sea Street. It also offers two-hour sails departing from the Public Wharf on Steamboat Avenue in Searsport on Mondays and Saturdays with Penobscot Marine Museum admission included in the ticket price; a great way to enjoy a complete seafaring experience from start to finish as you can even take a picnic lunch along to enjoy during your cruise. Besides its regular excursions, Guildive Cruises offers customized and specialty sails for bird watchers, artists and writers, private events, and even a full moon sail for stargazers on July 14-16 and August 12-14. Reservations are suggested, as space is limited to six persons per voyage.

© Copyright 2012 Gail J. VanWart All Rights ReservedIn either Castine or Searsport, you can’t help but want to tour the town and soak in the history that’s so evident in its buildings and preserved by its dedicated historians and community members. Just walking through Castine is a history lesson as you read signage of major events that have taken place there. To view more treasures of the past, a visit to the Wilson Museum on Perkins Street is always a good place to start. Admission is free, except for guided tours of the John Perkins House. The Castine Historical Society on School Street is another great resource.

2012 Exhibit at Penobscot Marine Museum
Summer Folk, Penobscot Marine Museum 2012 Exhibit
Searsport proudly hails the Penobscot Maritime Museum. It's Maine’s oldest maritime museum, and designed as a 19th century seafaring village, providing a home for a regionally important library and archives focused on maritime history—plus the genealogy of the Penobscot Bay area. The area has been a tourist destination for more than 150 years, the theme of Penobscot Marine Museum's 2012 exhibits and events is Summer Folk, The Tourists of Penobscot Bay, spanning time from steamship to motorcar.

For more information click these links:

© Copyright 2012 Gail J. VanWart All Rights Reserved
Blae at Dyce Head Lighthouse
Castine, Maine
You can read more about Guildive Cruises and other coastal Maine attractions in an issue of theSCENE, an entertainment magazine published monthly by Courier Publications LLC in Rockland, Maine.

Reminder from Blae: If you are out and about on a hot summer day, be sure your dog is not too hot in the car. Sometimes it's best if a pet stays cool at home watching the house, especially if you plan to visit places he/she can't. 

© 2012 Copyright Gail J. VanWart All Rights Reserved

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Low's Bridge

Nosing Around Maine - Low's Bridge
Low's Bridge spans 182 years of history on the Piscataquis River.
Ice chunks flowed under it on March 22, 2012.
Photos by Gail J. VanWart

Maine’s Historic Wooden Covered Bridges; Nine Left, Guilford Claims One of Them

Guilford claims to be the Chickadee and Lilac Capital of Maine and is a town known for its efforts to promote its natural resources to create green economic opportunities, beautification and recreation. The town has been hosting a River Festival for more than half a decade and the community prides itself for the development of the Guilford Memorial River Walk that provides a place for community members and visitors to experience Bald Eagles, Osprey, Blue Heron and other natural wonders along the banks of the Piscataquis River.

Nosing Around Maine - Marker at Low's BridgeAs you travel through Guilford along Route 15 it is the Piscataquis River and a wooden covered bridge, which suddenly pops into view, that captures your attention. The Maine Department of Transportation has provided a picnic area and turnout so you can stop and appreciate the amazing structure and learn about its historic significance to the area. There is something about its presence that makes you hope it will remain long into the future, and, looking at its history, I get the feeling others have had that same hope over the past 182 years. Nosing Around Maine - Low's Bridge, Guilford, ME

In 1830, the original covered bridge was built at this location, adjacent to land once owned by an early Guilford settler named Robert Low, to provide an easy commerce route between the towns of Guilford and Sangerville, The Piscataquis River, which it spans, took the original structure down in a flood in 1832. It was rebuilt and again destroyed by floodwaters in1857. In that same year, it was reconstructed by Isaac Wharff, who hauled granite by oxen team from Guilford Mountain (over seven miles away) and Leonard Knowlton who used mathematical calculations and a patented Long-truss design to develop a sturdier bridge. The third bridge lasted for 130 years, but the river still proved to be stronger when it once again washed the bridge away in a flood on April 1, 1987. The bridge now standing in its place is a replica in appearance, but even studier to meet today’s building standards. It was designed and constructed off site then placed on the original stone-masonry abutments which were raised about three feet in hopes to avoid possible flood damage in the future. Only time will tell if it was worth the effort. Let’s hope it was.

At one time, more than 120 covered bridges graced waterways throughout the state of Maine, today, there are only nine left standing. In 1985 the Maine Department of Transportation was given the authority to maintain and preserve the states historic bridges. This included the remaining wooden covered bridges (Babbs Bridge, Hemlock Bridge, Low’s Bridge, Robyville Bridge, Watson’s Settlement Bridge, Bennett Bridge, Lovejoy Bridge, Porter Parsonsfield Bridge, and Sunday River Bridge), as well as, four other historic bridge structures (Bailey Island Bridge, Grist Mill Bridge, Sewall’s Bridge, and Wire Bridge).

© Copyright 2012 Gail J. VanWart
All Rights Reserved

If there is a place in Maine you'd like me and Blae to sniff out for you, just send us an e-mail to with "Nosing Around Maine" in the subject line, cause you can get the-ah from he-ah.