LIVING IN MAINE
Maine is a state rich in history. Thirteen years before the Pilgrims arrived at Massachusetts, the English established a colony in an area that is now part of the state. However, a severe winter forced most of the settlers back to England in 1608. Augusta, Maine’s capital, was built where Pilgrims set up a trading post in 1628. The state was part of Massachusetts for about 200 years before it entered the Union as the 23rd state.
The state of Maine has been the home to countless artists, writers, leaders and builders who found inspiration in the landscape, tradition and people. Oceanside cliffs and barren fields made up the landscapes on the canvases of Winslow Homer and Andrew Wyeth. Tangled woods and tiny towns grew into essential characters in the poems and novels of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Sarah Orne Jewett and E.B. White. Those same influences still shape the works of Maine authors, poets and artists such as Stephen King, Richard Russo and Alex Katz.
Maine’s pine-covered mountains and rugged coast not only inspired great artists but also men and women whose courage and leadership shaped our country. Those individuals included Brig. Gen. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, the Civil War hero and former governor; Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman to serve in both houses of the U.S. Congress; and Edmund Muskie, the former U.S. senator and secretary of state.
Maine is famous for its rugged coastline. Lighthouses, sandy beaches, fishing villages, and thousands of offshore islands offer the postcard scenes that thousands of visitors flock to see every year. The array of activities including surfing, fishing, boating, and skiing, to name a few, has made recreation an important industry and a tremendous draw for locals and tourists alike.
Forests cover 90 percent of Maine’s land ensuring no shortage of opportunities to hike, camp or mountain bike in pristine wilderness. Water, including lakes, rivers, the Atlantic Ocean, islands, inlets, and harbors, also makes up part of Maine’s landscape. The power of the state’s rivers and waterfalls is used to provide electricity to its industries. Industry makes up an important part of Maine’s economy. Commercial fishing is important to the state; more lobsters are caught in Maine than in any other state.
Portland offers many opportunities for cultural activities such as touring art museums, sailing in Casco Bay or simply people watching in the Old Port. This fun and lively city offers a small town feel that offers big city variety. Portsmouth, NH, another New England gem, is only 45 minutes away while Boston is a mere hour and thirty minute driving, offering countless opportunities for exploration no matter where your interests lie.