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Maine Railroad Stations - History

Maine Railroad Stations - History


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Bath's Historic Downtown

The current railroad station, just south of downtown at the south end of Commercial Street, was built in 1941. The new station was constructed completely out of brick, as protection against fires. The people of Bath were very proud of the station. It was reportedly one of the finest and most modern railroad stations in New England. During the construction of the new station, William S. Newell, the president of B.I.W., gave the station a weather vane depicting a destroyer at the start of World War II. The newly built station served as a passenger station and freight depot for eighteen years until Maine Central Railroad (MCRR) shut down its passenger service in 1959. The station was open for freight business from 1959 until 1971 when the building was changed into a dental clinic for the poor, the Jessie Albert Memorial Dental Clinic. The clinic stayed in the station until 2000 when it moved to its present location on Congress Avenue. After the clinic moved, the station stayed vacant for seven years. In 2007 the building was restored and reopened as the Maine Eastern Railroad Station.

Item Contributed by
Patten Free Library

Before the current railroad station, in 1871, MCRR built a station at almost the same location. In that same year, ferries began carrying train cars across the Kennebec River to the Knox and Lincoln railroad line that ran from Woolwich to Rockland. The earliest train ferries, the City of Rockland and the Hercules, could only carry passenger and freight cars. The Fernando Gorges, which operated from 1909 to 1927, could also carry locomotives. With the opening of the Carlton Bridge in 1927, train ferries were no longer needed.

Item Contributed by
Patten Free Library

The opening of the Carlton Bridge in 1927 and its dedication in 1928 marked the beginning of a new transportation era in Bath and along the coast of Maine. Train service improved greatly and long waits for automobile ferries disappeared. Passenger and freight train traffic increased enough to justify the building of the 1941 MCRR station. In Bath, the steady increase in automobile traffic caused a number of changes in the approach to the bridge. Finally, in 1959 the viaduct was completed and cars could avoid the traffic light at Washington Street. However, drivers could also avoid stopping in Bath and spending money at local stores. Many large department stores left Bath for Brunswick and Cook's Corner. Also in 1959, passenger train service on the MCRR was discontinued.

The last big change in crossing the Kennebec River happened in 2000 with the opening of the Sagadahoc Bridge, which was built to end the congestion caused by increased car traffic, especially in the summer and when B.I.W. changed shifts. The Carlton Bridge continued to carry train traffic. Today, that train traffic includes summer tourists who ride the Maine Eastern trains from Brunswick to Rockland. Many of those tourists use the restored train station in Bath. The restored station is also a welcoming center for tourists traveling the coast on U.S. 1.

Item Contributed by
Patten Free Library

On October 25th, 1927, after the Carlton Bridge was finished, the Maine Central Railroad passed the first train over the newly built structure. There were two trains that crossed the bridge that day, carrying a total of 2,500 people with 880 of them coming from Rockland and other places along the Knox and Lincoln branch of the Maine Central Railroad.


Maine Memory Network

Purchase a reproduction of this item on VintageMaineImages.com.

Description

A passenger train is arriving from Rochester, New Hampshire at the Sanford-Springvale Railroad Station. The station was remodeled in 1908 which places the date of this photo to what is likely the early 1900s. After its stop in Springvale the train will continue to Portland via stops in Alfred, South Waterboro-Waterboro, East Waterboro (which the Boston and Maine renamed Westcott Station to avoid confusion with Waterboro), Hollis Center (which the B & M called Bradbury), Bar Mills, Buxton, Gorham, Westbrook and Woodfords. The water tower in the background stood on Pleasant Street. Tracks for the trolley line cross the railroad tracks at right angles. Rail service on the Portland and Rochester line between Portland and Springvale commenced in 1870 and was completed through to Rochester the following year. The Boston and Maine took over the Portland and Rochester in 1900. In the early years of this century more than 20 freight trains passed through Springvale daily and there were three passenger trains every day to Portland and Rochester. Passenger service came to an end in 1932 and freight service in 1961.

About This Item

  • Title: Sanford-Springvale Railroad Station, before 1908
  • Creator: Philpot, Fred
  • Creation Date: circa 1905
  • Subject Date: circa 1905
  • Local Name: Springvale
  • Town: Sanford
  • County: York
  • State: ME
  • Media: Print from Glass Negative
  • Dimensions: 16 cm x 21 cm
  • Local Code: C104
  • Collection: Index to the Glass Negatives
  • Object Type: Image

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Contents

Charter and creation Edit

The Maine Central was created in 1862 through the merger of the Androscoggin and Kennebec Railroad and the Penobscot and Kennebec Railroad, resulting in a line from Danville (now Auburn) to Bangor. The line connected with the Grand Trunk Railway on its Portland-Chicago mainline at Danville and with the Bangor and Piscataquis Railroad in Bangor. As a result of its connection with the Grand Trunk, the Maine Central initially operated on a track gauge of 5 ft 6 in ( 1,676 mm ) known as "Canadian" or "Portland gauge".

Expansion Edit

Maine Central purchased the Portland and Kennebec Railroad, which ran from Portland to Augusta and was built to standard track gauge, since it connected with the Boston and Maine Railroad at Portland. By 1871, the Maine Central completed its conversion to standard gauge to facilitate interchange of cars. [5]

The MEC established rail service to the Penobscot Bay in 1871 by leasing (for fifty years) the then just-completed 33-mile (53 km) of track built by the Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad (B&ML). The B&ML's grade ran the length of Waldo County from the port town of Belfast inland to Burnham Junction, where its single track connected with the MEC's Portland to Bangor mainline. Maine Central operated the road as its "Belfast Branch" for the next 55 years, but on June 30, 1925, MEC President Morris McDonald — after repeated public denials [6] — gave the B&ML (and the city of Belfast as its majority owner) the required six months notice that it would not renew its by then year-to-year lease when it expired on December 31, 1925. [7] The reason eventually given was a net loss to the MEC on the Belfast Branch operations of $113,230 for the year 1924. [6] The B&ML took over operation of its road on January 1, 1926. It continued to exchange passengers and mail with the MEC at their jointly owned station at Burnham Junction until 1960 and freight interchange traffic until 2002.

In 1882, Maine Central leased the European and North American Railway (E&NA) between Bangor and Vanceboro. In 1889, the Canadian Pacific Railway purchased trackage rights from the Maine Central on the portion of the former E&NA from Mattawamkeag to Vanceboro. This Maine Central trackage formed part of the CPR's Montreal-Saint John mainline, upon completion of the International Railway of Maine. This line was an important rail route for Canadian war material heading to the port of Saint John for shipment overseas to Europe. In the months before the United States entered World War I, a German Army lieutenant attempted to blow up the railway bridge which crossed the St. Croix River at the international boundary. The lieutenant was arrested by Washington County sheriff Still Woodman, who later became chairman of Maine's Highway Department. [3]

In 1888, the Maine Central leased the Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad, which ran from Portland, through the White Mountains of New Hampshire via Crawford Notch, and into St. Johnsbury, Vermont, where it connected with the Southeastern Railway (owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway). Maine Central also operated a line southeast from Bangor along the coast through Machias to Calais, with branches to Bucksport, Bar Harbor and Eastport. Maine Central gained stock control of the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad in 1911 and the Bridgton and Saco River Railroad in 1912, and operated both as narrow gauge branch lines.

The Maine Central was at its height by 1917 when it became nationalized during World War I under the United States Railroad Administration, having trackage which extended over 1,358 miles (2,185 km). It ran from Vanceboro, Calais and Eastport in the east, to Portland in the south, St. Johnsbury, Vermont in the west, and to Lime Ridge, Quebec in the north. It also operated resorts and coastal steamships and ferries.

Chronology Edit

  • 1862 Merger of the Androscoggin & Kennebec and Penobscot & Kennebec created a Portland gauge Maine Central Railroad mainline from Danville Junction to Bangor.
  • 1869 Maine Central leased the Foxcroft branch.
  • 1870 Maine Central leased the competing standard gauge Portland & Kennebec Railroad from Portland to Skowhegan as the "lower road" mainline and Skowhegan branch and completed the "back road" mainline from Royal Junction to Danville Junction.
  • 1871 Maine Central leased the Belfast branch, Farmington branch, and Lewiston branch.
  • 1882 Maine Central leased the European and North American Railway as the Eastern Division mainline from Bangor to Vanceboro and gained majority stock control of Maine coastal steamboat service.
  • 1883 Maine Central leased the Bucksport Branch.
  • 1884 Maine Central leased the Bar Harbor branch.
  • 1888 Maine Central leased the Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad as the Mountain Division from Portland to Saint Johnsbury, Vermont.
  • 1888 Portland Union Station opened.
  • 1890 Maine Central leased the Quebec Division.
  • 1891 Maine Central leased the Rockland Branch.
  • 1904 Maine Central gained majority stock control of the Calais Branch.
  • 1907 Maine Central leased the Portland and Rumford Falls Railway as the Livermore Falls branch and Rangeley branch.
  • 1907 Bangor Union Station opened.
  • 1910 Maine Central leased the Harmony branch.
  • 1911 Maine Central purchased the Kineo House and Kineo branch formed the Portland Terminal Company and gained majority stock control of the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad.
  • 1912 Maine Central gained majority stock control of the Bridgton and Saco River Railroad and purchased the Samoset Hotel in Rockland. [3]

Retraction Edit

Following World War I, Maine Central began retracting. It sold or abandoned lines such as the narrow gauge and logging branches, as well as its hotels, ferries and steamships. [3] In the 1930s it began to change its locomotives from steam-powered to diesel-powered. Beginning in 1933, Maine Central entered into a "joint management" agreement with the Boston and Maine Railroad, with which it shared the Portland Terminal Company (a switching railroad in Portland).

Faced with increased competition from cars, trucks and buses, Maine Central operated its last passenger train on September 5, 1960, and continued to reduce its freight business to reflect changing traffic.

Guilford Edit

In 1980, the railroad was purchased by U.S. Filter Corporation and was then sold in 1981 to Guilford Transportation Industries, which later purchased the Boston and Maine Railroad (and thereby the Portland Terminal) in 1983 and the Delaware and Hudson Railway in 1984. Initially Guilford operated the system intact, although the system now permitted run-through traffic between central Maine and Boston. By the mid-1980s, Guilford began to rationalize its system and fully one-third of Maine Central's trackage was eliminated, including the "Mountain Division" from Portland to St. Johnsbury, Vermont the "Rockland Branch" from Brunswick to Rockland the "Calais Branch" from Bangor to Calais and the "Lower Road" from Augusta to Brunswick. Guilford also forced many management and salary changes, resulting in a major strike against the company in 1986. Guilford Transportation also moved the Maine Central's headquarters from Portland to North Billerica, Massachusetts, in the mid-1980s.

One of the instigating factors which led to the labor strife at Guilford relates to a corporate reorganization at one of the company's former Maine Central properties. After the Calais Branch was abandoned, a small portion of trackage between Calais and Woodland remained in service to a pulp mill. It was joined to the rest of the North American rail network through a connection with the Canadian Pacific Railway at St. Stephen, New Brunswick, and operated through New Brunswick territory for several miles between Calais and Woodland. In order to avoid union agreements that the rest of the rail system was forced to follow, Guilford leased this operation to an obscure B&M subsidiary known as Springfield Terminal Railway, because shortlines operate under different federal rules. Eventually, the corporate reorganization under Springfield Terminal would extend to the full extent of Guilford operations, and attempting to run a class 1 under short line rules would lead to years of union troubles.

The former Maine Central locomotive shops in Waterville continue as Guilford's main repair shops.

In the early 1990s, Guilford ended its practice of putting the full "Maine Central" name on the long hoods of MEC locomotives. Instead, the locomotives would wear the "Guilford Rail System" moniker, with small "MEC" reporting marks underneath the cab windows.

On November 1, 2003, the Morristown and Erie Railway (M&E) took over the former Maine Central "Lower Road" (main line) and Rockland Branch routes (aided by significant public funding from the state Department of Transportation). M&E is operating these state-owned lines as the Maine Eastern Railroad. Prior to M&E, the Rockland Branch had been operated by Safe Handling, and before that, the Maine Coast Railroad. Several railroad preservation and promotion groups are seeking to have the state-owned Calais Branch and Mountain Division routes reactivated for use by short line or tourist rail operations.

Pan Am Railways Edit

In the first quarter of 2006, Guilford Transportation Industries officially changed its name to Pan Am Systems, reflecting GTI's purchase of Pan American World Airways in 1998. The rail division of GTI changed its name from Guilford Rail System to Pan Am Railways (PAR). PAR began repainting locomotives in the sky-blue Pan Am colors shortly thereafter.

The MEC passenger trains, often advertised as "M.C. R.R." in the early 20th century, were essential to the sporting camp movement as early as the 1880s when people from Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Detroit would make their way north to hunt and fish in the western mountains and the Maine North Woods. From Portland's Union Station the MEC had unnamed trains to Bangor via Lewiston, to Bangor via Augusta, to Rockland, to Calais via Ellsworth, to Farmington and to Montreal via North Conway. [8]

Among the named trains operated by the MEC prior to ending passenger service in 1960 were the Bar Harbor Express, Down Easter, Flying Yankee, Gull, Katahdin, Kennebec, Mountaineer, Penobscot, Pine Tree, and Skipper. [9] The Down Easter name is in use by Amtrak (now spelled Downeaster), which began passenger service between Boston and Brunswick, Maine in 2001. [10]


Boston & Maine's Many Passenger Trains And Services

Cheshire: (Boston - White River Junction)

Day White Mountains: (New York - Berlin, New Hampshire)

Green Mountain Flyer: (Boston - Montreal)

The Gull : (Boston - Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Minute Man: (Boston - Troy, New York)

Mountaineer: (Boston - Littleton/Bethlehem, New Hampshire)

Boston & Maine Railroad logo. Author's work.

The Eastern was originally chartered onਊpril 14, 1836 and began construction over a year later in August of 1837.  It worked its way northward out of Boston and reached the New Hampshire state line on November 9, 1840.  

It would eventually purchase the system outright in the spring of 1890. ਋y then, the Boston & Maine was fast becoming the dominant railroad in the region.  

As Mike Schafer notes in his book, "Classic American Railroads," until the late 19th century the B&M had remained a relatively small, obscure operation with a network of only around 200 miles.  

Its substantial growth occurred after the Civil War following the manufacturing base which sprang up across New England.  This explosion of new industry fueled the construction of numerous railroads, several of which the B&M would later control.  

Boston & Maine F3A #4228 rests inside the Mystic Roundhouse in Somerville, Massachusetts on February 8, 1970. Roger Puta photo.

Its notable additions at this time included:

  • Boston & Lowell (Originally chartered in 1830 it connected its namesake cities and stretched as far west as Keene, New Hampshire.  It went on to form part of the B&M's Southern Division.)
  • Worcester, Nashua & Portland (Created in 1883 through the merger of two predecessors, the line linked Worcester, Massachusetts with Portland, Maine.   It provided the B&M with a third main line to Portland and became superfluous, slowly abandoned after 1932.)
  • Northern Railroad (Running from Concord to White River Junction, Vermont it opened for service in 1847 and was acquired by the B&L in 1884.)
  • Concord & Montreal (It began construction in 1846 as the Boston, Concord & Montreal eventually linking Concord with Wells River, Vermont.  It came under B&L control and then B&M until being spun-off forming the Concord & Montreal.  The B&M reacquired the road in 1895.)
  • Fitchburg Railroad (This system was leased by the B&M on July 1, 1900 providing it access across Massachusetts and the important Hoosac Tunnel which finally tackled the previously impenetrable Green Mountains.  It also offered western connections at Albany, New York and Rotterdam Junction.)
A pair of Boston & Maine GP9's at South Portland, Maine on September 25, 1978. Warren Calloway photo.

Its main line to eastern New York was its most important freight route since it provided interchanges with the Delaware & Hudson and Erie/Erie Lackawanna.  

It also worked with other carriers in the region such as the Rutland, Maine Central, and Central Vermont, to provide efficient service across New England.  

Since the railroad's network was concentrated within only a few states it offered limited long-distance passenger services to accompanying its expansive commuter operations.  

Its most known trains included:

  • Ambassador (Boston - Montreal), Alouette (Boston - Montreal)
  • Green Mountain Flyer (Boston to Montreal via Canadian National and Rutland)
  • The seasonal East Wind (Washington - Bangor)
  • The lightweight streamliner Flying Yankee ,  operated in conjunction with the Maine Central,ਊ nearly identical sister to the famous Burlington's Zephyr 9900

As you can see, many of these services were operated in tandem with other carriers. ਊside from the East Wind, the Gull਌overed the greatest territory a passenger taking this train its entire length boarded at Boston and de-trained at Halifax, Nova Scotia.

It was handled by the B&M, Maine Central, Canadian National, and Canadian Pacific surviving until 1960. ꂯter the depression it rebounded during the hectic World War II period but then again declined after this time.  

Notable Boston & Maine Predecessors

Boston & Lowell: The B&L was chartered on June 5, 1830, opening for service between its namesake cities (26 miles) in 1835.

From the very start the road handled a wide variety of freight and also enjoyed a healthy passenger business.  It eventually opened service to Keene, New Hampshire via Milford and Nashua while branches reached Salem, Concord, and Ayer Junction.  

It went to form part of the B&M's Southern Division and always remained a relatively busy corridor throughout the years.  Today, much of its original trackage is operated as part of Pan Am Railways.

An A-B set of Boston & Maine F2's wearing one of the road's eye-catching experimental liveries in Somerville, Massachusetts during the 1960's. Author's collection.

Concord & Montreal:  The C&Mꂾgan as the਋oston, Concord & Montreal incorporated in 1844.

Its first segment opened between Concord and Tilton, New Hampshire on May 22, 1848 and continued snaking northward until reaching Plymouth on June 21, 1850 (via Laconia and Meredith). ਏinally, on May 10, 1853 rails reached Wells River, Vermont on May 10, 1853.  

The addition of this system provided the railroad with a majority stake in New Hampshire's railroads providing service to all of its major cities such as Bellows Falls, Wells River, Concord, Nashua, and Manchester.

Boston & Maine's only E8A, #3821, is seen here all shined up in Boston, Massachusetts on December 26, 1956. Ed DeVito photo/Warren Calloway collection.

Fitchburg Railroad: The most important component of the B&M was the Fitchburg Railroad, leased on July 1, 1900.  It provided access across Massachusetts to important interchange points in New York at Albany and Rotterdam Junction.  

The Fitchburg was incorporated on March 3, 1842, opening between Boston and Fitchburg on March 5, 1845.  It was a substantial operation prior to the B&M takeover connecting Bellows Falls and Worcester in addition to eastern New York.  

Its most important infrastructure project was the completion of the 4.75-mile Hoosac Tunnel in western Massachusetts which finally tackled the formidable Green Mountains.  

After the B&M takeover the property became known as its Fitchburg Division.  Mike Schafer notes in his book that the route still handled more than a dozen scheduled freights daily after World War II and today remains a vital component of Pan Am.

/>Boston & Maine 4-6-2 #3713 (P-4) leads its own farewell excursion with the last steam-powered fan trip departing Dover, New Hampshire on April 22, 1956. This locomotive is currently preserved at Steamtown in Scranton, Pennsylvania. David Johnson photo.

Northern Railroad:  A later subsidiary of the B&L, acquired in 1884, it operated from Concord to White River Junction, Vermont.  It was first chartered in 1844 by the New Hampshire state legislature to "construct a line running from Concord to some point along the Connecticut River." 

Construction of the Northern proceeded quickly on December 28, 1846 the line was open to Franklin and by November 17, 1847 reached Lebanon.  

After a few months of additional work the bridge across the Connecticut River was completed and the route finished to White River Junction.  In total, the Northern Railroad stretched nearly 70 miles.  

An A-B-B set of Boston & Maine F7's with a piggyback freight at Ayer, Massachusetts circa 1960s. The B&M owned only a few of these covered wagons.

The company’s sole branch was also acquired at this time when it leased, and eventually took control, of the small Franklin & Bristol in 1849.  This little system ran from a connection at Franklin to Bristol, New Hampshire.   

According to Bruce Heald’s book, "A History Of The Boston & Maine Railroad," on July 24, 1889 the New Hampshire General Court gave Boston & Maine permission to formally lease the Northern.

The route prospered until the postwar period the last passenger train ran on January 3, 1965.  It survived intact until the Guilford era when 59 miles was abandoned between਋oscawen and Lebanon in 1991.

An Electro-Motive builder's photo featuring freshly-outshopped Boston & Maine GP9 #1701 in early 1957.

In 1886, the B&M acquired control of the WN&R and renamed it as the Worcester, Nashua & Portland Division (WN&P Division) with a total length of 146.9 miles.

At this time the first reductions took place. ꂯter the Great Depression hit the WN&P was looked upon as redundant.  

The first abandonments took place in 1932 when sections in New Hampshire were let go. ਋y the 1950s, only two large sections remained west of Portland and between Worcester and Hollis. By the 1980s most of the the old WN&P was gone.

The postwar period proved especially problematic for the B&M.   Its traffic base continued to erode as manufacturing, and business in general, either closed its doors or switched to trucks.  The region's short-haul freight business meant that area railroads were especially susceptible to highways.

The B&M took on a stance of deferred maintenance and its infrastructure fell apart during the 1960s coupled with declining traffic the railroad entered receivership on February 1, 1970.  

Boston & Maine GP38-2 #200 (built as #212) wearing its Bicentennial livery during the mid-1970s.

Miraculously, it was able to avoid inclusion into the Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail), which began operations on April 1, 1976.  

Under the direction of new president Alan G. Dustin the railroad was rescued from the brink through aggressive management, marketing, and sound railroading.  

Diesel Locomotive Roster

The American Locomotive Company

Model Type Road Number Date Built Quantity
S5860-86519546
HH600110119381
HH660116219391
S11163-11721944-194910
S31173-11881950-195216
S21260-12651944-19456
S41266-127319508
RS21501-1504, 1530-153419499
RS31505-1519, 1535-15451952-195426

Electro-Motive Corporation/Electro-Motive Division

Model Type Road Number Date Built Quantity
GP38-2201-212197312
GP40-2300-317197718
SW8800-80719538
SC1103-11081936-19386
SW11109-11321939-195324
NW21200-12131941-194914
SW91220-12311952-195312
BL21550-155319484
GP71555-15771950-195323
GP91700-1749195750
GP181750-175519616
E7A3800-38201945-194921
E8A382119501
FTA4200A-4223A1943-194424
FTB4200B-4223B1943-194424
F2A4250-4264, 4224A-4226A194618
F2B4224B-4226B19463
F3A4227A-4228A19482
F3B4227B-4228B19482
F7A4265-426819494
F7B4265B-4268B19504
"Flying Yankee" Trainset600019351
Model Type Road Number Date Built Quantity
44-Tonner110-1191940-194810
U33B (Ex-Penn Central)190-19219683

Steam Locomotive Roster

Class Type Wheel Arrangement
A-13 Through A-47American4-4-0
B (Various)Mogul2-6-0
C-3 Through C-21Ten-Wheeler4-6-0
D-2Saddle Tank0-4-4T
E-1-a/bSaddle Tank2-6-4T
FSwitcher0-4-0/0-4-0T
GSwitcher0-6-0
H-1 Through H-3Switcher0-8-0
J-1Atlantic4-4-2
KConsolidation2-8-0
L-1Twelve-Wheeler4-8-0
M-1Articulated2-6-6-2
M-2Articulated0-8-8-0
N-1Mikado2-8-2
P-1 Through P-5Pacific4-6-2
R-1Mountain4-8-2
T-1Berkshire2-8-4
A trio of new Boston & Maine GP40-2's on their first run are ahead of freight NE-1 at Newfields, New Hampshire on January 5, 1978. Ronald Johnson photo.

The B&M was purchased by Timothy Mellon, founder of Guilford Transportation Industries, on June 30, 1983 for a price of $24 million.

Mellon’s new railroad system included a black livery with bright orange trim and while sub-lettering was applied to the owning railroad's equipment (a practice that continues today under Pan Am).  

In 2006, new-parent Pan Am Systems renamed Guilford as Pan Am Railways. It currently operates four principal B&M routes Boston - Portland, Boston - Concord, Boston - Rotterdam Junction and Springfield - White River Junction.  Today the Boston and Maine Railroad is still officially on the books although it survives now mostly in name only.


Support the Railway Village Museum

Help Us Preserve Maine’s History for Generations to Come

On some days, instead of a train ride, guests are invited to experience special historic rail equipment. The 1925 Model T was converted into a crew car for the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad at Phillips, Maine. A motorized inspection car was a significant upgrade from the earlier hand cars that were used to transport tools and workers to locations on the tracks that needed repair. It is on loan from the Owls Head Transportation Museum in Owls Head, Maine.

That same year, the SR&RL built a 12-passenger railbus to accommodate dwindling passenger counts. The bus was originally built using a REO truck frame and motor. In 1936, when the SR&RL was abandoned, it was sold and later given to the Bridgton & Harrison Railroad, where it operated from 1937 to 1941. When the B&H failed, it went to Edaville where the REO parts were replaced with equivalent from a Model A Ford. It operated at Edaville until 1961 when it was wrecked at a grade crossing. It was restored and returned to Maine nearly 20 years ago but has rarely operated during that time. It is on loan from Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum in Portland, Maine.


Maine Memory Network

Purchase a reproduction of this item on VintageMaineImages.com.

Description

The railroad station at Woodfords Corner in Portland, as it was in 1911. Photographer Harry Miles Freeman took photographs of the areas around Portland from 1895-1915.

About This Item

  • Title: Railroad station, Woodfords Corner, Portland, 1911
  • Creator: Freeman, Harold Miles
  • Creation Date: 1911
  • Subject Date: 1911
  • Town: Portland
  • County: Cumberland
  • State: ME
  • Media: Photo negative
  • Dimensions: 5 cm x 7 cm
  • Local Code: Coll. 1920, Box 2 #322
  • Collection: Harry Miles Freeman photograph collection
  • Object Type: Image

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Maine Memory Network

Contributed by Walker Memorial Library

Description

This Westbrook station of the Boston and Maine Railroad as it looked around 1900. The railroad depot was located at the end of Fitch Street and operated there for 50 years, from 1886-1936.

The station was constructed in sections that arrived via a flat Railroad car from Rochester New Hampshire and was then assembled on the site in 1886. The station was closed in 1936, and the agent, Frank P. Stewart, was transferred to the Cumberland Mills depot.

The station was later purchased by Fred V. Turgeon, who disassembled it to move to his Brown Street property.

About This Item

  • Title: Boston and Maine railroad station, Westbrook, ca. 1900
  • Creation Date: circa 1900
  • Subject Date: circa 1900
  • Town: Westbrook
  • County: Cumberland
  • State: ME
  • Media: Photographic print
  • Dimensions: 11.5 cm x 17 cm
  • Local Code: Notebook 2, page 18
  • Object Type: Image

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King Ed Lacroix

Edouard Lacroix would go wherever he thought he could make a buck cutting down trees.

At one time he employed more than 3,000 workers — clerks, scalers and lumbermen — mostly French-Canadian. And unlike some other logging barons he had a reputation for honesty, fairness and hard work. He paid his men decent wages and gave them modern equipment, comfortable living quarters and hearty meals.

King Ed often worked for the Great Northern Paper Co., which owned the world’s largest paper mill in East Millinocket, Maine. The mill produced a stupendous amount of newsprint, 300 tons a day, enough for nearly every newspaper in the United States. (It’s now shut down.)

In 1925, Lacroix made a deal with the Great Northern Paper Co. to deliver 125,000 cords of pulp per year from the Allagash to feed the giant Millinocket mills. Lacroix didn’t quail at the prospect of moving mountains of pulpwood from a wilderness miles from civilization.

The Allagash posed a further complication: It was in the watershed of the Saint John River in New Brunswick. The mills sat on the banks of the Penobscot.


50 States of Wonder 7 Places to Glimpse Maine's Rich Railroad History

Maine is widely known for its mottled red crustaceans and stony-faced lighthouses, as well as bucolic towns and the top-notch hiking outside of them. But before all that, Maine was all about one thing: trains.

As America industrialized in the 19th century, there was an insatiable demand to build and a hunger for lumber. Maine had plenty of it, and the state’s rivers became swollen with the fallen bodies of pine and spruce, much of which was hauled by rail. Trains did the heavy lifting to coastal hubs including Bangor and Ellsworth, and by 1924, there was enough railroad mileage in Maine to get from London’s King's Cross station to Mosul, Iraq.

Over the years, some of the old cars were fashioned into eateries, but many were simply abandoned in the woods. Now, relics of Maine’s railroad history are scattered in museums, restaurants, and more.

As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

1. Eagle Lake Tramway

Stumbling across any evidence of civilization in the thick of nature can be quite confusing. But such is the case in the upcountry backwoods of Maine, where there remains a long-abandoned railroad and locomotive engines, rusted iron hulks of mechanical giants. This railway and its long-extinct machinery are remnants of a system that helped build the state into what it is today. To access the abandoned rail deep in the woods, intrepid adventurers must first cross a lake by boat. (Read more.)

Eagle Lake Tramway, 46.286114, -69.348371, Northwest Piscataquis, Maine, United States

Eagle Lake Tramway

2. Finn's Irish Pub

From the sidewalk, Finn’s Irish Pub is indistinguishable from all the other shops and restaurants on Main Street in Ellsworth. But a surprise of historic significance sits within this traditional Irish pub, and it isn’t shepherd’s pie or Scotch eggs.

The star of the show at Finn’s is the bar, an original 1930s-era Jerry O'Mahony dining car that belonged to a diner in Northport before being brought to Ellsworth in 1982. The iconic Jerry O'Mahony dining cars were originally meant to be portable buildings designed to resemble rail cars. These novel metallic structures were manufactured at the O'Mahony factory in New Jersey, then transported to permanent locations all over the country. Only a dozen or so of these originals exist today. (Read more.)

156 Main St, Ellsworth, ME 04605

Finn's Irish Pub

3. Seashore Trolley Museum

The Seashore Trolley Museum is the largest electric railway museum in the world. It was conceived when a group of rail enthusiasts noticed a growing trend of railroads and trolley companies purchasing motor buses. The popular buses were slowly but surely replacing the trolleys that the rail-fans loved. Enthusiasts began to purchase the trolleys for posterity, storing them on plots of land outside of the city. Just before WWII, the largest museum of its kind was born to show off the marvels of rail travel. (Read more.)

195 Log Cabin Rd, Kennebunkport, ME 04046

Seashore Trolley Museum

4. Maine Central Model Railroad

In Jonesport, 83-year-old Helen Beal continues to operate the 900-square-foot model railroad that she and her husband, Buz, built over the course of 20 years.

Piece by piece, they constructed houses, train depots, and miniatures of buildings they admired from collected photographs. Modern high-rises mingle with long-gone train depots, and attentive visitors can even find a model of Stephen King’s house, based on pictures provided by the author himself. Other features include tiny rafters enjoying a ride down a river, miniature cars parked in driveways, and Helen’s favorite spot—a secluded house on the hill in the far corner. Visitors from all 50 states and many other countries have stopped by over the years. (Read more.)

674 Mason Bay Rd, Jonesport, ME 04649

Maine Central Model Railroad

5. Old Pond Railway Trail

The Old Pond Railway Trail is a walking path along what was once the rail bed for the forgotten Maine Shoreline Railroad Company. As a vein of the Maine Central Railroad, this short length of rail connected the main trunk line to a ferry, which whisked tourists and summer residents away to the popular Victorian destination of Eden, renamed Bar Harbor in 1918.

Situated on Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor emerged as a popular destination for wealthy Americans, attracting the Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Astors, Morgans, and many other families who prospered during the Gilded Age. The Maine Shoreline Railroad carried all of these families along this route, as well as President Benjamin Harrison, who visited Bar Harbor in 1889. Eventually, when automobiles became more prevalent and the island allowed them onto their shores, the railroad fell out of favor.

Even today, there is clear evidence of the path’s past life as an active railway. Several spots feature rails ready for a phantom train to roll across the tracks. (Read more.)

1-53 Point Rd, Hancock, ME 04640

Old Pond Railway Trail

6. Palace Diner

Around 100 years ago, the Palace Diner would have been on the move, arriving outside the then-functioning textile mills in Biddeford, Maine, when each shift let out. The barrel-roofed, stainless-steel car would have bulged with exhausted, soot-covered workers eager to stifle the day’s hunger with toast, eggs, and bacon atop one of the diner’s 15 stools. Today, the mill is a converted workspace, but people still line up to eat at the diner every day, queuing for blanched, smashed, and fried breakfast potatoes or a tuna melt served on griddle-warmed challah bread and topped with house-made bread-and-butter pickles.

Built in 1927, the diner—a Pollard Company car—is one of only two Pollards left in existence, and is also Maine’s oldest diner. It retains the original mint-green floor tiles, steel backsplashes, and worn countertop. “Ladies Invited” is still painted onto the exterior, harkening back to days when dining cars were primarily patronized by men. (Read more.)

18 Franklin St, Biddeford, ME 04005

Palace Diner

7. Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum

The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company and Museum in Portland chronicles the history of the state’s five narrow gauge railroads, including the “two-footer” railcars named for their extremely narrow wheel width, and restores old engines and cars with the help of volunteers. The museum still runs some of the two-footers along Portland's Eastern Promenade trail, allowing visitors rides to the old Back Cove Swing Bridge, stuck in its current position after an act of arson. (Read more.)

58 Fore St, Portland, ME 04101

Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum

4 Underwater Wonders of Florida

You probably know that Florida is famous for its shorelines, from the shell-stacked beaches of Sanibel Island to the music-soaked swaths of Miami. But many of the Sunshine State’s coolest attractions rarely see the light of day—they’re fully underwater. Here are some of the state’s strangest and most spectacular sites, beyond the beach, and below the surface. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

6 Spots Where the World Comes to Delaware

Students of American history will know that Delaware is noteworthy for being the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, earning it the nickname “The First State.” But look beyond Delaware’s American roots, and you’ll find other cultural influences, tucked away where only the most enterprising of explorers will find them. From a Versailles-inspired palace to an English poet casually lounging in a garden, here are six places to help you travel the world without ever leaving the state. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

6 Wondrous Places to Get Tipsy in Missouri

Celebration or desperation aside, these six spots in Missouri are proof that imbibing is only half the fun of bar culture. From a mountaintop drive-through golf-cart bar to the state's oldest waterhole hole—nestled more than 50 feet underground in a limestone cellar—the “Show-Me State” has no shortage of boozy fun to show you (as long as you're 21+, of course). As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

4 Pop-Culture Marvels in Iowa

Iowa is the pantry of America, giving over the vast majority of its land to agriculture and producing more corn and pork than any other state. But the state has also proven fertile ground for pop culture, as well. The landscape has inspired movies, films, songs, paintings, and novels while spawning movie royalty in the form of a certain Duke. Bask in the wonderful corniness of these four pop-culture touchstones in the Hawkeye State. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

7 Stone Spectacles in Georgia

At the heart of every peach rests its stone center, or pit. So perhaps it’s fitting that Georgia, the Peach State, holds a wealth of stone-based treasures of a different sort. In Walker County, a labyrinth of limestone passages leads to the deepest cave drop in the continental United States. In Calhoun, a rock garden of spectacular sculptures hides behind a church. And in Savannah, two gravestones appear on an airport runway. Whether carved by hand or nature, these stone wonders truly rock. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

6 Stone-Cold Stunners in Idaho

It turns out that no one really knows how Idaho got its name. It's been thought that the name came from Shoshone, but in truth it may have just been made up by a somewhat shady politician. Regardless of what you call it, the Gem State is sparsely populated and unapologetically wild, and full of wonders—especially geological ones. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

8 Historic Spots to Stop Along Mississippi's Most Famous River

The Magnolia State is also famous, of course, for being one of the locales ribboned by the squiggly Mississippi River, which stretches more than 2,300 miles from Minnesota to Louisiana. Combined with the Missouri River, one of its tributaries, the Mississippi is the fourth-longest river in the world, trailing the Nile, Amazon, and Yangtze. The river is well worth a visit—and if you’re roaming the state that shares its name and want to hug fairly close to the shore, here are eight places to pop in along the way. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

5 Incredible Trees You Can Find Only in Indiana

Once upon a time, the forests of Indiana were endless. Or that was how it seemed in the 19th century, when the state produced more lumber than anywhere else in the nation. The valuable trees went first, such as black walnut and white oak. The scrubby leftovers were often burned to create farmland. At the start of European settlement, 90 percent of what is now Indiana was forest. That number plummeted to a measly 6 percent by 1922. While the forests have significantly recovered, there are still only about 2,000 acres of old-growth forest left in the state. Yet trees hold a hallowed place here. One town has graciously allowed a tree to grow on its courthouse roof for more than a hundred years. In many graveyards, markers are fashioned to look like stumps and branches. Read on for five woody wonders of Indiana, all rooted deeply in their communities. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

5 Famous and Delightfully Obscure Folks Buried in Kentucky

When the Grim Reaper visits, it doesn't discriminate. The cemeteries of the Bluegrass State are home to a cast of characters that includes famous folks, as well as others whose faces you know, but whose names you might not recognize. Visitors can pay their respects to a fast-food icon, a world-famous athlete, comedic actor, and a local magician, as well as a folk hero who may or may not be buried there at all. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

4 Wacky Wooden Buildings in Wyoming

Picture Wyoming during its Wild West days. Once your mind wanders across the epic landscapes and into town, the mythic scene you might imagine—the saloon, the general store, the bank—will likely consist of wooden structures, ones thrown hastily up as settlers headed west in search of mining wealth, land, and work on the expanding railways. As it became the stuff of legend, accounts of the Wild West turned into tall tales, often conveniently overlooking the scale of the violent displacement of Native Americans. But as the period’s impact on the West is very real, it’s no surprise that the most unusual structures in Wyoming are wooden buildings that date from the frontier era or hearken back to it. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

7 Spots to Explore New Jersey’s Horrors, Hauntings, and Hoaxes

In New Jersey, it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction. In 1909, newspapers published accounts of a monster known as the “Jersey Devil” said to be prowling the Pine Barrens. In 1938, a radio broadcast declared that aliens were invading the small community of Grover’s Mill. And today, streets and signs suggest ominous origins with names like Ghost Lake and Shades of Death Road. If you know where to look, the Garden State offers stories far stranger than any Springsteen song or scene from The Sopranos. Here are seven sites to explore the hauntings, horrors, and supernatural phenomena of New Jersey. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

4 Out-There Exhibits Found Only in Nebraska

Nebraska is affectionately known as the Cornhusker State or the Wheat State, but this particular swath of Big Sky Country could also be called “The Land of Very Cool Collections.” From monuments to powdered beverages to love letters to roller skates, here are four exhibits worth a visit. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

6 Sweet and Savory Snacks Concocted in Utah

More than half of Utah’s population is Mormon, which translates to more than 1.5 million citizens who eschew coffee, alcohol, and cigarettes. Sugar, however, is not restricted. This may explain why the state’s candy-eating rate is twice the national average: Everyone needs a vice. Or perhaps it’s that Mormons’ proclivity for large families skews the demographics in favor of sweets and starches—more kids equals more unbridled sugar fiends.Couple the state's bounty of confectionary with its proximity to Idaho, and you've got a wealth of potato-based treats to contend with, as well. In some cases, potatoes and dessert become one. Our advice? Don't knock it until you try it. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

12 Places in Massachusetts Where Literature Comes to Life

Massachusetts is a lit-lover's paradise. From landscapes that have moved writers to wax poetic about beans to story-inspired sculpture parks and shops stacked with volumes new and old, the Bay State would also be aptly named the Book State. Here are 12 places to celebrate writers or the places that inspired them. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

8 Places to Get Musical in Minnesota

Two 20th-century musical figures tower over the state of Minnesota: Prince Rogers Nelson and Robert Allen Zimmerman. (That's Prince and Dylan to us mere mortals.) And while the Gopher State definitely celebrates its favorite musical sons, much of the state has a musical bent to it, from a singing beach to a room so devoid of sound is makes a musical madness all its own. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

8 Buildings That Prove Oklahoma's an Eclectic Art Paradise

In the 1920s, a number of oil reservoirs were discovered in Oklahoma, and the promise of riches led to a population boom. Would-be oil barons moved in from the coasts, bringing with them the most popular style of the moment, Art Deco. Much of that architecture still stands today, alongside institutions that honor the state’s earlier history and its modern culture. Though many people know Oklahoma better for its oil fields and cattle ranches, the state also has a rich history of innovative art and architecture. From elaborate family estates to experimental art collectives, these are a few of the unique creative spaces that await in Oklahoma. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

9 Stunning Scientific Sites in Illinois

When you think about Illinois, what are the first things that come to mind? Maybe it's the environment, with its vast prairies and cold winters. Maybe it's someone from the state, like Abraham Lincoln, or something, like Chicago-style hot dogs or deep dish pizza. What you might not realize, though, is that there's a lot of fascinating science happening in Illinois. (There was even a settlement named Science along the Illinois River in the early 19th century.) From some of the world's most powerful computers and particle-smashers to horological oddities, these are a few of the laboratories and collections that the 21st state has to offer. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

5 Strange and Satanic Spots in New Hampshire

What is it with New Hampshire and the Devil? Since the time of European settlement, Satan seems to have lurked around every corner of the Granite State. In the era of witch hunts, terrified townspeople accused their elderly neighbors of speaking with the Devil, and local lore has it that the stones around a frothing waterfall in the woods once served as Satan's kitchen, where he cooked a pot of beans with the flames of Hell. Perhaps the Devil got his best turn in “The Devil and Daniel Webster,” a 1936 short story by Stephen Vincent Benét. The story features real-life lawyer and politician Daniel Webster fighting for the soul of a down-on-his-luck New Hampshire farmer who, in a moment of desperation, made a deal with the Devil. In the tale, the Devil uses every legal and supernatural means possible to outwit Webster, who battles to spare New Hampshire from further demonic meddling. “Any Hades we want to raise in this state, we can raise ourselves, without assistance from strangers,” Webster remarks. But for those who still do want to raise a little hell, New Hampshire has plenty of spots for devil-dealing. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

8 Historic Military Relics in Maryland

Maryland has the distinction of being one of the first states to officially join the Union in 1788—and as such, it’s played both big and small roles in various battles across the nation's history. Here are eight nods to its military past, ranging from a furnace that produced George Washington’s cannonballs to an unusual museum dedicated to the U.S.'s cryptographic history. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

5 of Colorado's Least-Natural Wonders

The state of Colorado is a gold mine of natural beauty: It's famous for its picturesque deserts, dramatic canyons, and shimmering, snow-capped peaks. But the Centennial State also deserves some love for its many unnatural wonders. There's a psychedelic church, a 231-pound sticker ball, and a cryogenic mausoleum. And who can forget the blue horse with neon-red eyes that towers outside the Denver airport? If you're looking to skip the ski slopes and hiking trails in favor of Colorado's strangest sights and most curious creations, this is where to start. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

6 Hallowed Grounds in South Carolina

South Carolina is known for its picturesque coastal cities and Southern charm. Given its firm placement in the Bible Belt, the Palmetto State is home to many churches—but it also holds fascinating ruins of houses of worship, wondrous works of art inspired by African traditions, and historic holy grounds hiding in plain sight. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

9 Rocking Places in Vermont

Vermont may be known for its maple syrup and homey coziness, but beneath that rustic veneer lies a solid history of mineral industry. Here's a history of the Green Mountain State from the ground up. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

Black Apples and 6 Other Southern Specialties Thriving in Arkansas

Climate, globalization, trends, employment rates, lobbying—it all influences what we eat. As time marches ever-onward, recipes are forgotten, traditions fade into quiet obscurity, and institutions are abandoned. But some entities that seem slated for cultural demolition are kept alive in Arkansas. From brewing beer using the spring water of a once-infamous bathhouse to serving historic Appalachian home-cooking hot off of diner skillets, these seven Arkansan spots savor and celebrate relics of regional heritage. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

4 Monuments to Alabama’s Beloved Animals

Maybe you love your cat a lot—maybe even enough to commission a little painting of your furry companion. But the people of Alabama can do you one better. Here, you’ll find a whole cemetery devoted to hounds, a heartfelt memorial to a fish, even a statue of a pest that drove farmers batty before it also spurred them toward ingenuity. Alabama knows how to fete Fido, as well as his scuttling, swimming, and spacefaring compatriots. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

The Dark History of West Virginia in 9 Sites

The Rockies may be bigger, but there's something special—and sometimes spooky—about the Appalachians. With dense forest cover, long history, and the shadowy hollows ("hollers," locally), they seem at times to be full of secrets. In West Virginia, the mountains and hills hold tales and myths, and a lot of places that were used and then abandoned. If you get excited about the feel of a shiver down your spine, you'll find a lot to love. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

11 Zany Collections That Prove Wisconsin's Quirkiness

Pick an object. It could be a bottle of mustard. Or a life-size troll sculpture. Or a metal sculpture with big Victorian-steampunk energy. It doesn't really matter, as long as you collect or create so many of them that your collection becomes a roadside attraction and a cherished local landmark. A remarkable number of Wisconsinites have chosen this life path, and the result is a truly remarkable collection of collections scattered across the state. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

7 Inexplicably Huge Animals in South Dakota

One of the great resources of the Mount Rushmore State is millions and millions of years old: fossils. The state has long had pride of place in the paleontology world for the dinosaurs and mammoths that have been excavated there. And that history seems to have provided inspiration for the state's menagerie of massive megafauna. Here are some of our favorite places that celebrate dinosaurs, huge animal art installations, mammoths, and . a prairie dog? As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

6 Fascinating Medical Marvels in Pennsylvania

In the 1700s and 1800s, Philadelphia was the center of medical scholarship in the United States. The city not only attracted the brightest minds, but also the most curious cases and characters. From the oldest quarantine facility in the country to a museum that memorializes a traveling dental circus, here are six places to marvel at the trials, errors, and triumphs of medical history in Pennsylvania. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

8 Places in Virginia That Aren’t What They Seem

They say that Virginia is for lovers. If you love a little mystery, then they’re definitely right. With its mountain ranges, deep forests, and proximity to the nation’s capital, the state is filled with unusual corners and overlapping histories. From a Cold War bunker turned recording archive to a Styrofoam Stonehenge, these places in Virginia are more than meets the eye. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

7 Cool, Creepy, and Unusual Graves Found in North Carolina

Every state in the union has graves, and their share of unusual burials or cemeteries, but there's something about the Tarheel State's final resting places that carry a sense of history and mystery, from long-forgotten graveyards, to eternal resting places for conjoined twins, to a politician that had himself buried inside a giant boulder. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

7 of Montana's Spellbinding Stone Structures

The Continental Divide runs through Montana, separating the mountains and glaciers on the west from rolling plains to the east. Much of the state is built on a bed of rock that dates back more than a billion years, to the Precambrian, or the earliest era in Earth’s history. The geology of Montana has shaped the state, from the mountain ranges to that draw hikers to Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks to mineral deposits that drew prospectors during the Gold Rush to the vast plains that have long supported hunting and agriculture. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

9 of Oregon’s Most Fascinating Holes and Hollows

Along with the rest of the Pacific Northwest, Oregon has been shaped by volcanic activity. Active volcanoes, Mount Hood among them, dominate the skyline, and the city of Portland was built atop an extinct volcano. Over tens of thousands of years, these geological hotspots have left many holes in their wakes, including deep craters, narrow canyons, and subterranean lava tubes. Here are a few of the most intriguing voids that Oregon has to offer. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

Take to the Skies With These 9 Gravity-Defying Sites in Ohio

Sure, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, got headlines, but the Wright Brothers were Ohioans through and through. That's where they had their print and cycle shop, and established the world's first airplane factory. From Dayton's Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, to NASA's Glenn Research Center, to Congress officially declaring Ohio the “birthplace of aviation,” and much more, no other state takes to the skies and beyond like the home of the Buckeyes. Here are some of our favorite places to feel the wind beneath your wings. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

9 Strange and Surreal Spots in Washington State

The deep, moody forests of Washington state are filled with secrets and stories. From springy mosses to towering Douglas firs, rocky outcrops, and glacial deposits, it’s easy to see how the landscape helped set the tone for stories like David Lynch’s trippy TV series Twin Peaks and the teen vampire romance that is Twilight. Across the Evergreen State, human- and nature-made oddities are rarely far from reach. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

8 Watery Wonders in Hawaiʻi, Without Setting Foot in the Ocean

Yes, we know, Hawaiʻi is surrounded by water—the state is a watery wonder in and of itself. But the ocean is only the beginning. The volcanic islands' dramatic topography, unpredictable coastlines, and high rainfall mean that water in and around the Paradise of the Pacific cavorts in all sorts of stunning ways: waterfalls, blowholes, pools, and more. (Plus rainbows. Lots and lots of rainbows.) And you can enjoy all of these natural showstoppers without having to get your feet wet. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

6 Unusual Eats Curiously Cooked Up in Connecticut

For superb pizza, most people look to New York. Excellent burgers are available in every one of the 50 states. But where can you find hamburger recipes caught in the early 20th-century, cooked in steamers or served on toast with absolutely no ketchup allowed? Or, for that matter, fancy cheese made by trailblazing nuns who launched their dairying business at a time when Velveeta was still the norm? Connecticut may be an odd place to designate as a culinary cradle, but the state contains everything from the last of a generation of feminist vegetarian restaurants to what the Library of Congress dubs the very first place to have served up a hamburger. Unique culinary institutions cropped up in every corner of the state. Some have survived, while others have fallen by the wayside (R.I.P. to the Frisbie Pie Company). Here are six remarkable gastronomic institutions in a place that has proved to be fertile ground for unusual eats. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

11 Close Encounters With Aliens and Explosions in New Mexico

In the arid and remote expanses of New Mexico's landscape, booms and zooms abound. From the volatile effects of the Manhattan Project to the otherworldly possibilities of Roswell's UFO, the Land of Enchantment has never shied away from the controversial or far-reaching. Here are several places to encounter those legacies across this southwestern state. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

10 Places to Trip Way Out in Kansas

The Sunflower State has a reputation for being flat—in fact, scientists have shown that it is objectively way flatter than a pancake. Far from being featureless, though, Kansas can be mind-bending in its own weird way. Maybe it all started with The Wizard of Oz. From a missile silo that once dominated the world's LSD supply to rock formations shaped like mushrooms, roadside art that will make you think you've been whisked away by a tornado, and a giant pile of sock monkeys, Kansas is full of treasures that are sure to make you do a double take. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

The Resilience of New York in 10 Remarkable Sites

New York has been described as a playground for the rich and powerful, but the state's history is full of ordinary people who have overcome extraordinary struggles. What if Seneca Falls, the village that launched the fight for women's suffrage, were as famous as Niagara Falls? What if Weeksville, the historic free Black community in Brooklyn, were as well-known as Williamsburg? From immigrant sanctuaries to the Survivor Tree, here are sites where New York has shown its resilience. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

7 Very Tall Things in Very Flat North Dakota

North Dakota is not quite the flattest state in the U.S., but it's pretty close. (In one analysis, it placed third, after Illinois and Florida.) During the last Ice Age, glaciers moving across the terrain had a planing effect on the land, dropping sediment that filled in any valleys, creating sprawling prairies and open, big skies. These large expanses are home to more than a few sky-high structures, both natural and human-made. From rocky peaks and multi-ton animal statues to one of the tallest buildings in the world, these are some of the most impressive structures that North Dakota has to offer. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

8 Blissfully Shady Spots to Escape the Arizona Sun

For about half of any given year, much of Arizona is too hot to handle. But even in peak summer, the state is home to a stunning spread of geographic diversity and a mysterious magic that emanates from the landscape—and we don’t just mean the mirages. Locals and visitors alike flock to higher altitudes, recreation-friendly bodies of water, and indoor spaces that are so heavily air-conditioned they practically require a jacket. Here are eight sheltered spots to retreat from the heat, from natural formations to an immersive art exhibit that invites lingering. We've even added a couple cool places (220 feet underground or a mile above sea level) to dream about spending the night. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

9 Surprisingly Ancient Marvels in Modern California

Long before California was home to tech campuses, freeways, and palm trees, Native inhabitants etched huge designs into the landscape. Even before that, at roughly the same time that the Pyramids of Giza were under construction, a tree that still survives today began taking root. And even farther into the past, glaciers and mammoths created enduring monuments to antiquity. Across the state, the distant past is still within easy reach. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

10 Art Installations That Prove Everything's Bigger in Texas

There’s a time-tested saying about things being large in Texas—and it certainly holds true for the state’s artworks, many of which are so huge or sprawling they could only reasonably live outdoors. Across the vast expanse of the Lone Star State are artistic testaments to some of the area’s oddest characters and stories. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

6 Huge Things in Tiny Rhode Island

The smallest state in America is often the butt of jokes. Rhode Island is neither a road nor an island, and it was once famously parodied in the now-defunct website “How Many Rhode Islands”—a simple tool that allowed you to see just how many Rhode Islands could squeeze inside a given country. The United States could contain 3,066 Rhode Islands, and Russia could hold 5,445. But the tiny state has a rather grand history. Rhode Island was founded on the principle of religious freedom, was the first of the Thirteen Colonies to renounce its allegiance to the British Crown, and was one of only two states not to ratify the 18th Amendment, which prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcohol. Many of the state’s attractions still loom large, including a 58-foot-long blue fiberglass termite and an improbably large blue bear slumped under a lampshade. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

7 Underground Thrills Only Found in Tennessee

Famous for country music and hot chicken, Tennessee is also filled with natural wonders. Across the state, caverns beckon. Venturing into some of Tennessee's strangest subterranean haunts is a great way to experience the depths of the state's spell-binding charm. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

Sink Into 7 of Louisiana's Swampiest Secrets

Louisiana has long had a complex relationship with the wet world. Chitimacha, Choctaw, and Atakapa peoples built communities among the knobby knees of bald cypress trees French fur traders and pirates eventually made their own marks. Later still, modern engineers attempted to corral waters with levees and dams, or to reclaim land where there had been none. Across the 50,000-odd square miles that make up the state, troves of special places are becoming concealed by rising water. Here are seven places water has revealed or covered up. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

7 Mechanical Marvels in Michigan

Michigan is famous for its steep, sweeping sand dunes, freckling of lakes, and unique fossils—but across the state, you'll find slews of automated wonders, past and present. From old animatronic toys to the ruins of early assembly lines, here are seven places to be dazzled by industry. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

11 Wholesome Spots in Nevada

Here at Atlas Obscura, we have a fondness for the forbidden, a hunger for the hidden, a gusto for the grim. (You get the point.) But it wouldn’t be so intrepid to simply highlight Nevada’s underbelly, would it? There’s more to the state than extraterrestrial-themed brothels and nuclear bomb test sites. Kids and grandparents might enjoy enormous Ferris wheels, unusual geysers, or pristine parklands. Even Nevada—home to Sin City—has a family-friendly side. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.

11 Places Where Alaska Bursts Into Color

Picture Alaska. You might see in your mind's eye the granite and stark white snowcaps of Denali National Park, or the dark seas that surround 6,000-plus miles of coastline, or the muted olive of its tundra in the summer. But as anyone who's been there knows, the country's largest, most sparsely populated state can absolutely burst with color, from the luminous green of the Northern Lights, to the deep aqua of its glaciers, to the flourish of wildflowers fed by its long summer days. Here are some places to see the full spectrum of The Last Frontier. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.


Watch the video: The Historic Railroads of Maine (May 2022).