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Old 02-22-2010, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Pluto's Home Town
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Still educating myself about your lovely state. Lots of beautiful places, and charming towns. Now, I gather that Bar Harbor is an old resort for big money from Boston, NYC, and elsewhere. So, probably the most sophisticated, but the energy, culture seems to have come from without (not that there's anything wrong with that!). But I am trying to learn about the less obvious, local towns.

Which town would you nominate for the nicest "homegrown" town or village Downeast? (Meaning, it was built my Mainiers for some purpose that gives it it's distinct character, other than as serving as a resort.)
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Maine's garden spot
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They are too numerous to mention, but two that come to mind are Stonington and Jonesport. Real fishing communities.
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Way South of the Volvo Line
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I would suggest to the poster that MOST of the towns Downeast, or at least Washington county in particular, were specifically built by Mainers. Many of these towns like Milbridge, Machias, Cutler, Bucksport, and Eastport grew as a result of the heyday of water freighted lumber and fishing in the 30's.
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Penobscot Bay, the best place in Maine!
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Keep in mind that Bar Harbor is only one of the towns on MDI, and some of the other towns on the island are less tourist-oriented, less old money, and more "down home".
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Bar Harbor, ME
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The vast number of people who live in Bar Harbor are not big money from Boston and NYC. Granted there are some homes there of them, but almost none of them actually live there. Average income is actually less that $45K a year.

Last time I looked, I was not big money by any stretch of the imagination. Winters are pretty quiet. David Rockefeller, Casper Weinberger's wife, and Martha Stewart do not live on island all the time.

But there are three other towns: Southwest Harbor, Mt. Desert, and Tremont. BH comprises the northern part of the island, Tremont the southwest, Mt Desert the south east.

All of them are actually quite delightful, and small in the winter. And maybe you'll meet Martha in the post office.

There is an old legend that Martha was in the post office of Bar harbor and wasn't being waited on fast enough. So she stepped in front of the person in front of her. She said to the Clerk, "Do you know who I am?" The clerk said, "Yes, Miss Stewart, I do." At that point, she is tapped on the shoulder by another guy. She turns, and the guy says, "Do you know who I am?" She says no. He says, "I'm David Rockefeller, and I wait in line just like everybody else."

Mr. Rockefeller has assured everyone that this never happened. But he did say that it was a funny story, and he wished it had. David doesn't live on island except some of July and August, but he really does wait in line like everyone else. And except for Martha, you'd be hard pressed to notice who has money and who does not.

Those with shore edging do pay high taxes. The rest of us pay whatever we pay. But what I pay there is less than I pay now in rural southern lancaster county pa., not exactly a hotbed for the rich and famous of the world. I have Amish who live next door!

Z
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Pluto's Home Town
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarathu View Post
The vast number of people who live in Bar Harbor are not big money from Boston and NYC. Granted there are some homes there of them, but almost none of them actually live there. Average income is actually less that $45K a year.

Last time I looked, I was not big money by any stretch of the imagination. Winters are pretty quiet. David Rockefeller, Casper Weinberger's wife, and Martha Stewart do not live on island all the time.

But there are three other towns: Southwest Harbor, Mt. Desert, and Tremont. BH comprises the northern part of the island, Tremont the southwest, Mt Desert the south east.

All of them are actually quite delightful, and small in the winter. And maybe you'll meet Martha in the post office.

There is an old legend that Martha was in the post office of Bar harbor and wasn't being waited on fast enough. So she stepped in front of the person in front of her. She said to the Clerk, "Do you know who I am?" The clerk said, "Yes, Miss Stewart, I do." At that point, she is tapped on the shoulder by another guy. She turns, and the guy says, "Do you know who I am?" She says no. He says, "I'm David Rockefeller, and I wait in line just like everybody else."

Mr. Rockefeller has assured everyone that this never happened. But he did say that it was a funny story, and he wished it had. David doesn't live on island except some of July and August, but he really does wait in line like everyone else. And except for Martha, you'd be hard pressed to notice who has money and who does not.

Those with shore edging do pay high taxes. The rest of us pay whatever we pay. But what I pay there is less than I pay now in rural southern lancaster county pa., not exactly a hotbed for the rich and famous of the world. I have Amish who live next door!

Z
LOL! Great story about Martha, even if it is a nonurban legend. She has a home out here (Ashland, Oregon) too! Apparently one of the Tuscan-inspired Mansions up in the hills surrounded by vineyards is hers. But seriously, no capping on Bar Harbor here (or Camden or Rockport for that matter). It sounds great. I imagine I would love rolling in for dinner and a concert or something there. Since I live in a resort town now, and cannot really afford it, I am looking into the less well-known places on MDI or elsewhere. Either as a semi-affordable place to live or to just visit. Any Scandinavian towns? French? Irish? Scottish?
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Old 02-23-2010, 12:46 AM
 
Location: Penobscot Bay, the best place in Maine!
1,894 posts, read 5,267,187 times
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Granted I have not been to every town, village, and hamlet in Maine, but I don't think you are going to find any such areas that are heavily ethnic or otherwise drawing from (Non-English) European cultures unless you want to travel north to Aroostook, where you would find New Sweden, along with many French-speaking communities (Canadian French culture, not France French culture!).
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Old 02-23-2010, 04:24 AM
 
Location: 3.5 sq mile island ant nest next to Canada
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I've been partial to Castine. Mostly for that clam shack on the pier downtown. Nut the ridi in is very pretty to me. Also Belfast nad Lincoln area. I can roam around downtown Belfast all day.

But getting off Downeast coast, another areaI like is Sherman up to Island Falls and Mattawamkeag Lake. But walking down to Shin Flals above Patten is spectacular to me. I think I need to go back through there. Good thread.
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:41 AM
 
Location: Waldo County
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When I was traveling around the state in my insurance business, I met many different sorts of people. I remember how surprised I was that such a small population could be home to so many different sorts of folks.

I used to go spend a lot of time along the coastline, in part because many of my clients were involved with the tourism industry. In one coastal town that I went to often, I used to see an elderly lady walking across the bridge that past over the brook in the center of the village. It was usually at noon, and I always saw her walking as though she was coming from the post office which was not far over the bridge. She appeared to be in her eighties at least, and walked slowly but with some purpose. She carried a large shopping bag, and was dressed rather shabbily...not at all like the rest of the people that I would see in the town.

I often wondered about that woman because I saw her about every time I went through the village.

Eventually, I bought some property in that town, and started an extensive renovation. One noon while driving through with a load of lumber, I saw that elderly woman, and when I got to the jobsite, I asked the contractor working there if he knew her. I told him the story about seeing her every noon walking slowly along. "Is anybody caring for her?" I asked.

A native of the town, he laughed. "Oh, that's Miss So-and-so." (I have forgotten her name now). "She's lived down on the point in that large gray house near the golf course all her life since college. She has a couple living there who are almost as old as she is. Dunno about family, though. She's been there as long as I can remember and walks to the post office every day. Her father was owned a big drug company, and when he died he left her some money." He paused and looked at me: "Think 3 'illion' with a 'B' ", he said.

And I think that is one of the essential goodnesses of Maine. We have all sorts here. Some, like Martha Stewart need to constantly reinforce themselves continuous and valuless ostentation. Some like David Rockefeller, really feel no need to. I remember a friend of my late Father who ALWAYS introduced himself to others as Lieutenant-Colonel so and so, despite being retired for more than a decade, and I also knew a man with whom I spoke for many years before I learned from others that he had retired from wearing two stars on his shoulderboards.

My point here is that there is room for all sorts of people in Maine, and a it is impossible to "judge a book by its cover": not everyone wants perfect countertops or manicured driveways. A lot of folks here chose to live simply here and need no fanfare to present themselves.
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:47 AM
 
1,422 posts, read 1,726,399 times
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That's a tough question, because if you grew up there and knew everyone you'd likely be somewhat biased. I grew up in Sandy Point. I'd have to say Belfast, but everywhere has it's warts and positives. I wouldn't have said Belfast 30 years or so ago. The chicken stink was overwhelming. The harbor still gets a bit nasty on the dead low tide. Belfast hasn't gone completely cosmo yet, and being just outside of town is good, although my landing pad is on Deer Isle. Any town you're going to eventually discover the cliques and who carries the power municipally.
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