Bath and Pemaquid
This was one of my favorite days in Maine. We started out in Bath, The City of Ships, which was about an hours’ drive. We walked through a short tunnel to get to a great shopping area, which we barely skimmed (oh, how I missed my shopping partner that day). There were about four or five paintings in the tunnel which were really quite beautiful – one is pictured above. Since shopping was not going to be our thing today (darn it) we headed more into the historic district and, while we didn’t officially tour the City Hall, we walked around a bit and took a few pictures. I was wondering if we may end up with a jury of our peers in the courthouse pictured for trespassing, but we snooped around unscathed. It was a great old building with lots of pictures from days gone by. The rest of the downtown was nice too and worth a second look on a return trip.
We stopped on the bridge over the Kennebec River at a small “shack” for a lobster roll, which seemed a little suspect. Judging from the hoards of people surrounding the place, we went for it. We thoroughly enjoyed our lunch and since people-watching is one of my favorite pastimes, we had a great time. Across the way was Sarah’s Cafe, where we really should have dined (one of my daughter’s names is Sarah), but the food at the shack turned out to be very tasty.
We decided to head back to Rockland and stop along the way to see what there was to see. We headed down the highway and since there is water water everywhere in that section of Maine, I’ll call them “fingers” of land so you can get an idea of what I’m talking about. On highway 130 we ended up down at the tip of one of these “fingers” in Bristol, at the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse.
We were able to go up into the light and get answers to questions from a ranger up there. It was a little tricky one-way circular stairway where you had to turn around and head down backwards to get back out. Tight squeeze, but so worth it. There was a great museum in the keeper’s house out front and you could walk all around the outside. The lighthouse was built in 1827 – commissioned by John Quincy Adams. Because they used salt water in the mortar, it started to crumble and had to be rebuilt in 1835. The original light was lit with candles and had a visibility of only 2 miles. Most lighthouses in the US were converted to the Fresnel Lens after it was invented and Pemaquid Point received the fourth order in 1856. Its lens is one of only six Fresnel lenses still in service in Maine. The keeper’s house was built in 1857.
If you look closely at the picture directly above, the rock around the lighthouse looks almost like wood instead of rock. Here is an explanation from the Maine Geological Survey: “The sheet-like structure that looks like wood grain is a metamorphic foliation produced by aligned silicate minerals that grew under pressure at depth in the earth. This internal metamorphic structure causes the rocks to break into jagged pieces like a splintered log. But their derivation from sedimentary rock is clearly demonstrated by the sedimentary layers that can be seen in many places.” If you understand that explanation, you are waaaayyyy smarter than I am!!
It was really quite a beautiful day, despite the threatening skies and windy conditions. This is one day I won’t soon forget and hope to come back here again soon.
Next up: The Olson House