|Col. Jonathan Buck (1716-1795)|
Founder of Bucksport, Maine, 1762
Bucksport has always been one of my favorites among little Maine haunts. I have fond memories of it as a young girl during visits at my cousin’s house on the Duck Cove Road. After breakfast and chores, she and I would head off on foot and briskly walk the couple of miles into town.
At the edge of town we’d walk even brisker past the cemetery where the legendary Jonathan Buck Memorial stands with its leg and foot shaped defect that’s spawned a wealth of spooky folktales that mingle with and shroud the history of Bucksport’s founding father. We’d spend a good part of the day hiking over the bridge to Verona Island then crossing the Waldo-Hancock Bridge (which now stands vacant of travelers in the shadow of the new Penobscot Narrows Bridge) to end up at Fort Knox in Prospect. Lunch would follow our hike back to Main Street at Pop Hill’s, an absolutely “Happy Days” establishment serving burgers, shakes, and a jukebox full of the latest song hits to please its crowd of Marlboro and Lucky Strike packing teenagers who gathered there religiously. You would either leave Pop Hill’s with a class ring or a broken heart, it was guaranteed! A jaunt to the 5¢ & 10¢ store would complete our day’s plans then we’d meet up my uncle at the paper mill parking lot for a ride home when he finished his daily shift. I know I’ve dated myself with this little recollection, but the ‘50s and ‘60s were very cool in Bucksport.
Today Bucksport is as charming, if not more so, than it was back then. The community has relished its history and natural beauty the Penobscot River has provided it with. The Alamo Theatre, home to Northeast Historic Film, is a great example of this. Local residents have never forgotten their Alamo, built way back in 1916 when some folks actually arrived by boat to attend a show. In 1992, the Alamo was thankfully rescued from a state of deterioration and is now, not only, one of the oldest community cinemas currently in operation, it provides important archive and preservation headquarters for many of the historic films in the country.
Another example of community respect is the town’s historic Jed Prouty Inn and Tavern, which is now being remodeled as senior housing–saving the structure from disaster. The three-story building originally constructed in 1783 by a prominent Bucksport merchant was converted to an inn circa 1820. It has, according to history, played gracious host to four presidents and was made famous as the inspiration for a Broadway play.
Pop Hill’s may no longer be there, but there are still quaint little shops and businesses which have withstood the test of time along Bucksport’s Main Street, such as the Dairy Port—its been serving ice cream for over fifty years!
Tucked in between other businesses along Main Street, is BookStacks, one of my most favorite bookstores in the entire state of Maine. It stocks over 5,000 book titles and 1,500 periodicals—plus provides free Wi-Fi, fantastic coffee and tea, a used book section, cards, gifts, and more. The “more” includes several groups of readers and writers who meet there regularly, and book signing events by local Maine authors. In fact, I, myself, will be there Thursday, August 16, 2012, 6-7pm, signing my collection of poetry, thoughts, and recipes, Life Raked In. Another Maine author, Jane Meade, will also be there signing her book, Glimpses.
|Don't forget the ice cream!|
There’s been a lot of effort put into the Bucksport waterfront and it has an absolutely beautiful walking trail, information center, historical society, as well as a public boat launch. Where else can you view Fort Knox and the majestic Penobscot Narrows Bridge so well? Blae loves it! He wants me to remind you to be sure to keep it clean and also not to forget the ice cream.
|Bucksport Waterfront view of Fort Knox and Penobscot Narrows Bridge.|
I suggest, if you are traveling through Maine on Route 1 from the Belfast area to Bar Harbor, take a few hours, or days, to explore Bucksport, Maine. It’s worth the detour.
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