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SOME MAINE CITIES
WE shall not enter further into a description of delightful Portland, since what we have said of it is all that our chief aim, rural beauty, will allow.
Augusta, owing to its fine Bulfinch capitol of fair native granite, its age and other attractions, must now have our attention. The capitol is located in a manner to set off advantageously its fine proportions. Happily the additions have been made in the spirit of the original. The edifice is nearly perfect in its way, for the purpose intended and for the state which it embodies.
We show in Fort Western a delightful reminder of the early days, when Augusta was a trading port. Mr. William H. Gannett deserves well of his city and state for the thoughtful, faithful, complete restoration as does also his technical adviser, Mr. George Francis Dow. We have nothing else of this sort restored for us. It may serve to give life to Parkman's histories which should be read here in preference to any other spot. The Plymouth Colony traded up the Kennebec. The Kennebec at Augusta has just the proper width for beauty. Looking up from Hallowell through good clusters of birches, the two towns are seen together.
The dignity of Augusta, viewed from either bank, is striking. Here such brilliant men as Blaine and Bradbury made their homes. But there has been long a line of people of quiet cultivation and delightful home life to give tone to Augusta. Here also is, so some say, the noblest modern private residence in New England. Here a great dam on the river marks the limit of tidal water and provides a basis for that manufacturing which forms some part of the life of all Maine's cities.
As a touring center Augusta has undeniable claims. It is here also that the peculiar contour of the fields formed by the quick dips of clay hills, is seen in perfection. The country is rich in green farms.
Gardiner is a thriving rival of Augusta, to the south, and Waterville to the north, and each is the center of alluring drives on both sides of the Kennebec. Gardiner is the point where ocean-going steamers must end their ascent of the river. It is the site of a home of old world dignity and stability, the noble Gardiner mansion still the center of a charming hospitality. The approaches along the "outlet" to Winthrop pond, as we used in childhood to call the great lake, is to be commended, as well as the drives to Richmond, Randolph and beyond. Indeed the east bank of the river where no cities are, is very pleasing for a long, long way.
Waterville derives éclat from Colby University, and of course the city rejoices in its river power. Winslow with its Fort Fairfax, or the remnant of it, is virtually a part of Waterville, while Oakland is the other suburb.
The Kennebec from Waterville to Richmond is a little empire of fair fields and trim homes of activity and alertness. It is one of the four groups which make the body of Maine's activities of the old sort, the others being Portland, Lewiston-Auburn, and Bangor. Bangor is really a center of all the Penobscot country, with Bucksport, Castine, Oldtown and Orono for its outposts. Thriving, ambitious, rich in resources, open to the sea, the base of the Aroostook and lake district, it may well consider itself the second center in Maine, and the first in natural wealth. The great island above in the river with the contiguous waterways may have stimulated the development of the Oldtown canoe to its present perfection.
Where would one live in Maine, if a choice lay open? A dangerous question, like choosing a wife. There are many calls and so many tastes that we must leave the matter open in some degree. If one desires the double advantage of salt and fresh waters, without urban conditions, several shore towns call us. We have named them. Portland is the supreme city for all attractions in Maine. The college towns of course appeal to the person who though out of school is always a student. Towns with mountains and lakes near are found satisfactory in every respect to not a few, who enjoy their work within sight of God's work. A river town is as rich as any in the variety of its possible routes, by land or water, in the association with worth-while people, and the opportunity for carrying on an occupation. Which river town? Oh! that would be telling. The one of course that feeds your nature and need and your loves most satisfactorily.
BETWEEN PINES - EAST BOOTHBAY
ELM GABLES - WATERBORO
A SPRING WEDDING - ALNA
THE ORCHARD COTTAGE - RICHMOND
A PATH ON THE SACO - FRYEBURG
AN OPEN ROAD
AN OLD SALT POND - EAST BOOTHBAY
LET US GO DOWN INTO MAINE!
WHERE Mount Agamenticus calls us, and Cape Niddick and Ogunquit, and Webhannet, and Kennebunk. From Bauneg Beg Pond to Mousam river and Alewives pond, let us feel at home at Goose Fair bay, and cross the river where the hen did at Biddeford, to reach Casco Bay. Up Merriconeag Sound we sail. We dodge Overset and Bustling and Stave islands, and make salute at Little Bang. We leave Rogue island behind, and doff our caps at Isaiah cove and Ministerial island. Fearful of Sister island, we run past Flying Point and Wolfe Neck, and up Harraseekit river, or Maquoit bay, to Bunganuc landing. Where Androscoggin bounds Sagadahoc we sail boldly on, leaving the islands, Bold Dick to wrestle with White Bull and Brown Cow, and refresh ourselves at Gooseberry island and Bald Head cove. At Sequin we glimpse Popham and the Kennebec.
Let us fish in the waters of Cobbosseecontee, of Purgatory Pond or Winnegance bay. Let us glide through Fiddler reach, past Doughty point, or Widgeon cove to Hockamock bay or Nequasset brook, coming to rest on Mt. Ararat in Cumberland county. Let us put in a sentimental day at Loves brook or Knight pond, sailing on Nonesuch river, stopping at Dark harbor, or Half Moon pond, and resting at last on Doddling hill. Why not?
Oh! let us go down into Maine, to Neontaquet river or Watchic pond, to peep through Isinglass hill, at Shy Beaver pond. Setting out from Brave Boat harbor, marking progress at Notched pond, hunting on Panther lake, let us pass the week-end at Sabbath Day lake or Jordan bay on Sebago, but writing home from Inkhorn brook, and renewing our flask at Powderhorn island. Dodging Folly and Rum islands, we shall naturally land at Bumpkin. We have nothing to do with Bareneck, or Spurwink river, as we prefer Oriocoag and Presumpscot rivers, and Knubble bay. Thomas. Great Toe we leave, with Cain pond, to find Pemaquid, oldest of sites, whence away to Souadabascook stream, Alamoosook lake, near the Penobscot, for a real fishing trip, there and on the Kenduskeag, or Sunkhaze stream or Nehumkeag pond.
Let us go down into Maine! At Skowhegan and Norridgewock, in Indian wise we fish, and carry to Messalonskee lake, by Crooked river and Coffee pond, leaping Breakneck brook, we rest at Anonymous pond and wish they all had that name. For why is Papoose pond and Squapan lake, when the Indian lived who named Umbazookus, Chemquassabumtook and Pattagumpus, "wonderful lakes of Maine?" While Pataquongomis and Penneseewasee, Passadumkeak and Sisladobsis remain, the waters of Allaquash, Keoka, Masardis and Saboois seem tame.
Let us go down into Maine! There only on Pocomoonshine and Meddybemps may we fish, there alone break on our ears the euphonious wave sounds of Pamedecook, of Moteseniock, of Parmachene, the beauties of Caucomgomock, of Musquacook and Maranacook, of Mopang and Madawaska and Mattagamonsis! From Rackabema and Wallagrass we pass in a maze to Casabexis, Seboomack, and run the rapids of Ripogenus and Ambajemackomus. We pause at the post office of Ko-dad-jo, and hasten to Macwahoc and Meduxikeag, to Skitiwok, and Nahmakanta lakes, for is not salmon there? Past Nolsemuck and Baskagegan to Pennaquam and Musquash, Madagascal and Gassabias, we paddle enraptured over Migarrawock and Umbajejus and cast anchor in Medunkeunk. At Mooselukmeguntic is hunting. At Annabessacook, Megunticook and Chesuncook all is well done. You know you are in Maine.
A NATIONAL ASSET
MAINE is a present or prospective joy to every intelligent citizen of our country. It is becoming the most attractive recreational district in the United States. We owe it the same attachment that we feel for our home grounds, since most of us, when we do have leisure, g0 to Maine.
Its extent is ample for all visitors. Its appeals are various enough t0 attract every taste. For in Maine is lonely shore, lonely mountain and lonely lake and stream. There is also shore, lake, stream and mountain where society congregates. At Poland, Bar Harbor, and Mt. Kineo one may be luxurious. In the camps one may live like an Indian or even like a lazy poor white man. On the farms one may smell the new hay, wander over the berry pasture, enjoy the farm animals and study the economy of present day agriculture. In a village like Winthrop one is in the midst of orchards, convenient to lakes, by roads lined with the elm and maple. At Paris, in Oxford county, one is high above a fair country, and amid conditions much as they used to be in old Maine. At Kingfield by the cascading Carrabasset we may drive many miles, returning filled with the joys of that lovely stream to our headquarters. At Strong, under the mountains, we may revel in their fine outlines or wander over their ruggedness, as the mood suggests.
At the Rangeleys there are all sorts of retreats, all near the bustle of the greater hotels. At Moosehead lake one need not proceed beyond Greenville for a most satisfactory base, with the beauty of Squaw mountain, Wilson pond and the gemmed isles near. Monson, and farther into the hills, at Onawa, we are in the center of a region altogether good and noble in its prospects.
In Penobscot and Aroostook counties are camps as well provided as metropolitan hotels, hard by the freedom of leaping waters and slumberous mountains.
Who could count the bays in Maine or find an end of those secluded, artistic, yet accessible water sites waiting for us to develop them, or to enjoy those already made ready? Maine holds everything in her great heart that the weary man or woman could desire — or should desire.
The finest pleasure the writer derives from Maine is not its scenery, pleasing as that is, or its recreations, however various they may be. To talk with a farmer sitting by the open door, in the twilight while the blue and gold change in the soft sky and the trees whisper their evening goodnight, that is among the best of joys.
A day on a high hill of Manchester, where the great farm house is open and gentle sounds of content reach us from the barns, this is enrichment, because it is repeating the experience of a myriad generations. To talk with a family who that very day has wrestled successfully with the land, and to note the sense of quiet mastery, the knowledge of their own pleasure in their work is as good as any experience can be. What is the matter with the farm and the farmer? Nothing here. It is a good farm, a good farmer and a good farmer's wife. You like it, you cannot help admitting that here are the victors, here the sane people, who are in themselves the answers to the hectic unrest of our day.
They read, they think, they talk well. They have tallied their opinions by their work, and both are good. We are tired of theories in this so speculative world. These farmers have "all the comforts of home,"— a good home with every modern convenience. There is electric light and power in house and barn. Warmth, cheer, a center for a calm and fair life is here. No use to upset the world for these people. They have acquired of the world, without cavil, all they need. Yes, they have good heads, else they could not have done all this.
THE BRIDGE AT NEW VINYARD
But does not a successful merchant require a good head? Can a poor head make headway in the professions? Amid all the laments at the failures of farmers why does not some one point out that citizens in every calling fail, and fail so often and so completely that a farmers. failure is success in comparison.
Now the finest asset of a nation is the object lesson of men who succeed on the land. Not merely to keep the land and enrich it but to become broad and intelligent at the same time.
Nations like Rome knew that the farmers of Italy were her hope and shield. Find then a successful Maine farmer and study him. He lives in the northern temperate zone where winters are cold. Neither he nor his are cold. He is able to know human history, to enjoy nature, to mingle in the fellowship, religious or scientific, of the place, and of the larger center. What does he want, at least what does he need, more than he has? His needs indoors are neither more nor different from the city man's needs. And outdoors he of the country enjoys an immense advantage.
So we believe, from experience, that Maine's chief asset is her people who have proved that they can live sanely, comfortably and as good citizens where they are, not somewhere else. There are some longings that prove shallowness, and some that show a vicious desire to collect a living without earning it. While millions complain that society and government is wrong, others, knowing the complaint to be well based, go forward and carve themselves out a life serene and rising. They are then, and all along their road, better able to assist in the evolution of better society.
We are not overlooking the shocking evils, the horrors of modern life. We are recognizing them fully. And we are pointing out that the hope of modern life, and in fact the only hope, is the steady going farmer, such as the one who is making good to-day in Maine.
It is not the nation's wealth in gold or manufactures that constitutes its assets. It is the men that live successfully, and help the rest of us to do the same.
While millions growl and thousands howl the only really successful men are saying little for publication and speak briefly in the town meeting. But when they talk it is out of knowledge. They know what they can do because of what they have done. They are constructive and they hold the world together. Some one has asked whether the delegates to our national nominating conventions consisted of men who had been successful at their work. The question was pertinent. What was their work? "Working" other men? Could any great number of them justify their conscience for the outlay of time and money required by this conventioning? Was their time worth anything? What are they producing? They hired steam noise producers to help their hooting. That was the only production we heard.
The Maine farmer, say a thousand of him in that two weeks, produced on his farm a lot of hay, potatoes, strawberries, pork and — character. We put it last, because production guided by the producer makes character. And that poised, strong, kind, faithful character is the greatest production possible and the lasting asset for the nation. It can be drawn on at need. It is stronger than the federal bank, and will outlast Maine beautiful.
A people who can make a state, can tame and comb it, can lift its materials into forms to fit human needs, a people who can make a state we love to live in are the only really rich possession of a nation.
LITTLE TWIN CASCADES - DAMARISCOTTA
A DISAPPEARING CURVE
THE NARROWS - FRYEBURG
A BOOTHBAY BYROAD - EDGECOMB
CLOUD MEETING SEA
KATAHDIN FROM SOURDNAHUNK DAM
SOMETHING NOT BEAUTIFUL
A RURAL community must work together more closely than a city community. As country communities unite in their granges they may also have religious communion by uniting their churches. One little Maine town has four church edifices but no church organization. Some good man might now perhaps unite these people in righteousness. Either pure paganism — if paganism is ever pure — or union must ensue.
The inspiration of some mind, not our own, living and setting forth the higher aspects of human nature, and emphasizing from week to week such mellowness and kindliness of spirit as must obtain if society is to endure, is a crying necessity of country life. There are so many now who almost grow to manhood without one noble appeal made to their better natures that we tremble.
The lifting power of a sane teaching in righteousness is too great to ignore. Country churches in Maine are largely going backward, and many are not going at all. Of course many of the old church edifices are not needed, now that we have better roads. Federated churches seem to answer the need. So few people these days have any denominational convictions that union is happily more possible than it used to be. The person who built himself a church where he maintains worship is happily an anomaly and a horrible example.
In Maine nearly "every prospect pleases." Some Maine farmers have made their farms successful and they themselves are failures. The prevention is some means to carry new visions before the farmers. Moving pictures are new visions. Whether they are stimulants to honor and public spirit and purity we do not know. We strike no balance. But there never was a good people without a good religion. Unless the Maine farmer has an opportunity occasionally to forget himself he will not be worth remembering.
Hitherto denominations have counted for more in the eyes of their exponents, it would almost seem, than character. Those who believe in the beatitudes and ten commandments should get together to keep our rural states from being merely producers of pork, without principles.