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Castle Tucker

Have you been to Castle Tucker in Wiscasset?  It is part of Historic New England, a trust that preserves historic houses and architectural designs.

TheCastlepoet writes,

“Perhaps the most original and prominent historic house in Wiscasset, Maine, Castle Tucker dates from 1807. It was built at the behest of Judge Silas Lee, a leading jurist and politician of the Federal period, when Wiscasset was the busiest port in the United States north of Boston. In 1858 Captain Richard H. Tucker, a local shipping magnate, purchased the house. Tucker subsequently enlarged the home, adding the Italian features that give it its distinctive appearance. Today, Castle Tucker is a museum owned and operated by Historic New England (formerly the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities).”

The web site for this wonderful house is

The beginning of this site gives a concise description of the history of the house and what you will find there:

“A time capsule of Victorian taste

Wiscasset, Maine

Dramatically sited on a hill overlooking the Sheepscot River, Castle Tucker tells the story of a prominent shipping family’s life on the coast of Maine over a period of 150 years. From 1858 until the end of the twentieth century, both the Tucker family and their imposing house survived economic upheavals, emotional turmoil, and a rapidly changing outside world.

Built in 1807, the house was later redecorated and furnished to satisfy modern Victorian taste and sensibilities. A visit to Castle Tucker offers a glimpse into the everyday life of Mollie and Richard Tucker and their five children at the turn of the twentieth century. With three generations of family possessions on view, Castle Tucker is a time capsule that echoes with the voices of a remarkable Maine family.”

Look at the site.  Check out the pictures and history provided.  Castle Tucker is certainly worth the short trip to Wiscasset.



Maine Maple Sunday

Sunday, March 24th 2019, is Maine Maple Sunday.

For those of us who might be interested in touring a sugarhouse, a list of participants can be found here – Maine Maple Sunday Participants.  This is a great map of the many and varied sugarhouses open for tours.

For those of us who might be more interested in reading about Maple, here are a few titles to choose from.

Anytime Mapleson by Mordicai Gerstein.  Have you ever invited bears for breakfast?  Check out this picture book, and enjoy the story.

Maple by Lori Nichols.  A young girl and her maple tree . . .

Maple moon by Connie Brummel Crook.  Have you ever wondered how maple syrup was discovered?  This children’s book gives us a possible answer.

The maple sugar book : together with remarks on pioneering as a way of living in the twentieth century by Helen and Scott Nearing.  The Nearings discuss their experiences with making a living from maple sugaring, and also give a definitive account of an important American industry.

Maple syrup season by Ann Purmell.  Enjoy this picture book of a family working together to create yummy maple syrup.

Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen.  1957 Newbery Medal winner.  The father has returned from the war, moody and tired, so the family leaves the city and moves to the Pennsylvania countryside.

Nature’s sweetness : pure maple syrup by Paul Rossignol.  A good introduction to the maple sugaring process.

Sugaring season : making maple syrup by Diane Burns.  This is another picture filled book describing the process of making maple syrup – from the tree to the table.

Toronto Maple Leafs by Eric Zweig.  Tells the story of the Maple Leafs 100 years of hockey, as well as the importance of professional sports teams to the history and economy of a big city and a big sports league.

Latest Snowfall In Maine

Yes, we are tired of it. Yes, it seems it will never go away.  But, have you ever wondered when was the latest recorded snowfall in Maine?

 This was featured on B98.5 FM Central Maine’s Country Radio Station’s website:

The latest recorded snowfall in Maine goes to Caribou, Maine, on May 25, 1974 they recorded 0.2 inches of snow.

So, if you do see some flakes tomorrow and your furnace kicks on, it’s nothing we can’t handle. We’re Mainers!

And this confirms it from the

National Weather Service

Late Season Snowfall across northern Maine

…2nd latest measurable snowfall on record at Caribou, Maine…

A cold upper low tracked across northern Maine during the early morning hours of May 23, 2015.  The air mass was cold enough that the precipitation that fell across far northern Maine fell mainly as snow. A total of three tenths (0.3″) of an inch of snow was observed at Caribou, Maine on May 23, 2015. This broke the previous record for May 23rd of a trace of snow observed in 1990.  It was the greatest snowfall ever observed so late in the season. It was also the 2nd latest measurable snowfall on record at Caribou. The all-time latest measurable snowfall was May 25, 1974 when two tenths (0.2″) of an inch of snow was observed.

Narrow Gauge Cinema

The Kennebec Journal announced on July 7th that the Narrow Gauge Cinema in Farmington was opening a new drive-in theater in the lot behind the cinema.  It brought back all the memories of childhood that involved my parents loading the 4 kids and the dog into the station wagon with bags of popcorn to go to a drive-in theater.  The one we visited had a playground in front of the huge screen that the kids would all play on until dusk arrived and the first movie started.  We always tried to stay awake through intermission to see the second movie since that one was always a little “racier” as smaller children would have fallen asleep by the time it started.  Remember the speaker that was mounted on a pole which you would hang on your car window so you could clearly hear what was happening on the movie screen?  Cars were larger then and a family of 6 with a dog could easily enjoy a double feature at a drive-in without feeling totally cramped and on top of each other.  Below is a web site from the Smithsonian magazine that will help you remember the glory days of the drive-in.  And if you have never had the experience, then it will give you a sense of what you have missed.  Is the experience worth a trip to Farmington to see a double feature under the stars?  It just might be.


Scott Handville, Assistant Library Director

Peaks Island

My last blog of the summer encourages you to drive to Portland and take the Casco Bay Lines ferry to Peaks Island.  There are several other ferry trips via Casco Bay Lines to other islands off the mainland of Portland, so do investigate those also sometime.  The ferry trip to Peaks is $7.70 round trip.  You can’t beat that for a day’s fun!

The ferry ride to Peaks Island takes only about 20 minutes, so it is the perfect choice for a short day trip.  Once you land, you can visit the shops for a short while and perhaps have lunch or a beverage at one of the restaurants nearby before taking the ferry back to the mainland.  The ferry seems to leave every hour.  You might also extend your visit by doing some walking around the small island; it is only about 4 miles around the Peaks Island Loop.


Rather than repeat the information available from Casco Bay Lines’ web site, I encourage you to check out their website at the following link – Casco Bay Lines – Peaks Island.

Monhegan, Maine

As I mentioned last month, one of my favorite daytrips for a beautiful summer day in Maine is to take one of the many ferries out to an island off the coast.  This blog will talk about a day trip to the island of Monhegan.

Monhegan has long been a destination for artists.  There is something different and magical about the quality of light on the island. There have been wonderful paintings done by Edward Hopper, Jamie Wyeth, George Bellows, and Rockwell Kent among many, many others.


You can access the island via ferry from Boothbay Harbor, New Harbor, or Port Clyde for about $36 round trip.  Do be sure to bring a sweater or sweatshirt for the ferry trip.  Even on the hottest day in August, crossing the open water can be a very chilling experience. Do not plan on bringing your vehicle.  Monhegan is a walker’s island and cars are not allowed on the ferries.
After the relaxing ferry ride, you have a choice of at least three ways to spend your time on the island.  You could take a leisurely walk about the area near that dock that includes a few businesses, Bed and Breakfasts, eateries, and homes. Another choice would be to take the leisurely tour of Cathedral Woods Trail which is to the left of the dock area.  A more active way to spend your time on the island, rewarded by spectacular views, is to turn right down the road after the dock and walk the perimeter of the island. 
There are several places to have lunch; most are of the take-out variety and feature wonderful seafood dishes that you can enjoy at a picnic bench.  I usually opt to have a sit down lunch at The Island Inn before I wander through town investigating the shops before boarding the ferry to head to the mainland.
Again, don’t forget your camera!
Some web sites to check out are:

Vinalhaven, Maine

One of my favorite daytrips for a beautiful summer day in Maine is to take one of the many ferries out to an island off the coast.  This blog will talk about a day trip to the island of Vinalhaven.


I take the ferry out of Rockland.  It leaves about every 105 minutes and the schedule can be found at  There is no need to bring your car for a day trip.  Vinalhaven is very walkable for that time span.  The fee for walk-on passengers is $17.50 for a round trip ticket.  The ferry trip itself takes about 75 minutes.
The Chamber of Commerce site, , says, “Vinalhaven Island lies twelve miles off the coast of Maine, and is the state’s largest off-shore community.  It is known for its striking natural beauty and for being home to one of the world’s largest lobster fishing fleets.  We have a year-round population of about 1200 people, and welcome many more from around the world in the summer months.  The village of Vinalhaven is located on Carver’s Harbor on the southern end of the island, a short walk from the Maine State Ferry Service terminal.”


When I first arrive on the island, I head for lunch at either Greet’s Eats (a takeout stand on the right as you head into town) for a wonderfully fresh lobster roll called one of the best in the state by DownEast magazine or to the Harbor Gawker which is one of the few restaurants downtown.  To work off the hearty lunch, I continue down Main Street and then bear right onto Atlantic Avenue towards Lane’ Island preserve.  This is a wonderful public space with open fields, picnic benches, and assorted hiking trails – all with wonderful views of the water.


On the way back to the ferry – and the mainland – stop for an ice cream at a wonderful ice cream/candy store on your right as you head to the ferry.
A great brochure that shows the island and its many trails and parks can be found at 
And don’t forget your camera!
Scott Handville, Assistant Library Director
Photos courtesy of Google Pictures

Fiddlehead Time!


It’s that time of year….Fiddlehead time!  Even though we may take for granted here in Maine the selecting, gathering, and cooking of these tasty spring morsels, it might not be a bad idea to review some “official” words on the process.  Here’s a link to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Bulletin #4198, Facts on Fiddleheads.  I’ll bet there is at least one fact there that you didn’t know.  Enjoy the recipes at the end of the article.

Facts on Fiddleheads 

Summer Destinations in Maine

 In honor of the beginning of summer, I am featuring several destinations featured in the book, Off the Beaten Path:  Maine, a guide to unique places.  If the places piqué your interest, you can find more by checking the book out of the library.  I’ve also included web sites for the destinations featured in this blog.

1.        “L.C. Bates Museum is situated on the campus of the Hinckley School just off Route 201 south of the intersection with Route 23.  The museum was founded by L.C. Bates, a successful entrepreneur from West Paris, Maine, who financed the conversion of the industrial arts building to a museum in 1924.  Thanks to benign neglect, the museum was preserved in a wonderfully archaic state.  The place boasts a copious collection of minerals, baskets by the Penobscot Indians, cases featuring stuffed bear, caribou, and the peculiar calico deer  (among other items).  On the school grounds near the museum are several walking trails, which pass quite a few handsome stone edifices and memorials.  The trails are open to the public during museum hours; ask for a trail brochure at the front desk.”
2.        “Worth visiting when you’re on campus is the Colby College Museum of Art.  The museum, housed in an open, modern wing appended to a more traditional brink structure, contains works by such Maine luminaries as Winslow Homer, John Marin, and Andrew Wyeth.  The museum is particularly known for its collection of paintings by contemporary artist Alex Katz.”
3.        “Learn more about the expedition at the Arnold Historical Society Museum, downstream from Gardiner on the river’s east bank in Pittston.  This fine historical home dates to 1765 and is furnished with period antiques.  The Colburn family lived in the house for nearly 200 years.  Visitors get a quick education in the history of decorative arts and architecture in seeing how the house evolved over the years.  The guide will also tell you about Major Reuben Colburn, the original resident, who hosted General Arnold and Aaron Burr for two nights while the final arrangement for the expedition were ironed out.”
4.       “Another intriguing historic setting may be found in southern Oxford County, not far from Route 25.  Paris Hill is notable both for its assortment of handsome Federal-style homes and as the birthplace of Hannibal Hamlin, a Maine political icon and vice president under Abraham Lincoln during this first term.  This ridgetop setting with view toward the White Mountains serves as a fine back drop for an uncommonly well-preserved village of 19th century houses. “

“The Hamlin Memorial Library in Paris Hill is located adjacent to Hannibal Hamlin’s grand estate on the village green and is the only building open to the public.  This stout granite building served as a local jail between 1822 and 1896.  In 1901, it was purchased by one of Hamlin’s descendants and converted into a library and museum, which it remains to this day.”

5.        “In nearby South Paris is the McLaughlin Garden and Horticultural Center, a popular stop for anyone interested in landscaping and plants.  The gardens were started in 1936 by Bernard McLaughlin, an amateur gardener who worked in a local grocery store.  After his death, the home and gardens were acquired by a nonprofit foundation, which now maintains the grounds and is trying to restore them to their former grandeur.”

 Scott Handville, Assistant Library Directot

Dreaming of Spring!

As the snow gets smaller and smaller.


We dream of Spring.
Insects will start to appear.
We turn the pages.
The dribbling of drops begins.


We dream of Spring.
Plan our gardens
With a magazine.
Some green starts to appear.


We dream of Spring.
Town meetings start.
Voices are heard.
Hoping for no flooding. 
We dream of Spring.
What do you dream of in Spring?
Ginni Nichols, Young Adult Librarian