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4786Re: [MaineTwoFooters] How are different parts Maine different?

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  • Wesley Ewell
    May 19 7:05 AM
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      If Maine were in Europe it would be five or six different countries. Each region would be different geographically, financially, and socially. The characteristics of each region is evident in the two-foot railroads. The SR&RL system was primarily a pulpwood and lumber carrier, with a bit of tourism and dairy farming; the B&SR hauled coal and hard goods in the winter, and tourists in the summer; the WW&F hauled dairy products, lumber, and locals going to town. The Monson was primarily an industrial tramway, and the KC served the soldiers' home. The Maine coast is known for its fishing and its wealthy retirees and visitors, but you don't have to go far inland to find extreme poverty. When my daughter was a student at UMaine, Orono, she practiced teaching at rural schools where her elementary students lived in dirt-floored huts and came to school in rags. For a good description of the other side of Maine, read The Beans of Maine, by Carolyn Chute. Maine is indeed an interesting place.
      -Wes Ewell

      From: Christopher Blackwell <myrddin@...>
      To: MaineTwoFooters@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sunday, May 19, 2013 12:06 AM
      Subject: [MaineTwoFooters] How are different parts Maine different?
       
      Most of what we see on model railroads is what I call generic Maine.
      Yet I am certain there had to be features that would stand out in
      different parts of Maine. for instance maine was known as the pine tree state.
      Ever see a layout with much in the way of pine trees, or at higher altitude spruce.
      Around the turn of the century spruce was often more commonly logged as pine
      was logged out. Spruce is what you see for most of the paper mills.

      Different soils different trees. What trees were popular for logging when?
      Different soils different crops, so what crops were common in what parts
      of Maine?

      How did the forests of the late 19t century and early 20th century differ from
      what we see today? I would imagine more larger trees more spaced out, but
      also far more variety in sizes and in different types of trees. Mono culture is a
      more modern thing with trees in an area now mostly the same basic size. Fires
      were more common, so were the various transitional stages of forest.

      Keeping employed was always difficult and often seasonal, so maple sap in fall
      or early winder, logging mostly in the winter, fishing in the summer, but with
      farming heavy in spring and fall work wise. How does that affect business on the
      railroads. Maine was known for horrible roads so early settlement was along the
      rivers and early railroads along river valleys. In horse and buggy days winer roads
      were rolled and compressed with heavy wooden rollers, loaded with rocks and
      pulled by oxen. Oxen were common in many logging areas while teams of horses
      in other areas. By the way consider horse mules oxen, ad other farm animals ever
      consider how much freight they generated, not only moving the animals, oats hay
      ad what have you, gear, wagons and what have you. then there is all that manure,
      bodies hides meat milk, cheese, eggs and the various farm crops, Then the things
      made from all of that, including cannerys, mills of various types shoe factories and so forth.

      And this would vary somewhat according to which part of the state you were in. So
      how would the coastal areas differer from inland, norther Maine from Central and
      Southern Maine, and what about Western Maine.

      Now even researching for several years I still have trouble figuring out what various
      parts of Maine were like. Seems lie most f the pictures are put out by the tourist
      orientated business, too many of the same areas.

      I get the general feeling much of Maine is rolling countryside with the Glaciers,
      smoothing off the rough spots, but what about afterward? Did any canyons get
      formed afterward. What rock is there going to be and what color? I get the feeling
      that granite was more likely to be tan than gray, but in what parts of Maine? I know
      there were swampy areas, but what grows in a maine swamp that is different from.
      elsewhere.

      There was a lot more wood buildings then brick or stone. In early days few would be painted, but what became the common colors? The after major fires more brick
      buildings would go up what color would the bricks be?

      Also what were the brand names common at different times in Maine, besides the
      soft drink Moxie?

      All of these are things that could place you railroad in one part of Maine or another.

      Ever notice how many lakes were called ponds?

      Christopher

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