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
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.
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?