Rockland and Vicinity

Rockland and Vicinity

On our last day in Maine, we dry our tears and take count of the wonderful things we saw here: the Rockland Harbor, numerous lighthouses, lots of craggy coastline, beautiful blue skies and a cute little fox are just part of what made this an excellent trip to Maine. New Hampshire was equally as beautiful with miles and miles of beautiful foliage, waterfalls, Franconia Notch and great beer. Vermont had great antiquing, more beautiful country and, of course Ben and Jerry’s. This was an excellent trip and I would repeat it in a heartbeat, although maybe just a couple weeks later in the year to make sure a few more things were open for the season.

As sad as we are that our trip is ending soon, it’s not over yet!! We still have one day here, and although it’s pretty rainy, we left a few inside activities for when the weather looked to turn on us again.

We started off at the Maine Lighthouse Museum, which I wasn’t expecting to like as much as I did. I knew Jim would love it and after looking around and reading some of the stories and looking at the pretty lights, I was hooked as well. As you can see by the photo above, with all the inlets, islands and plenty of fog – a lot of lights are required to keep ships safe around the shores of Maine.

“The mission of the Maine Lighthouse Museum is to educate the public regarding the long standing traditions, heroism and progress of America’s Lighthouse and Lifesaving services and the United States Coast Guard through the conservation and interpretation of the nation’s most significant collection of lighthouse and lifesaving artifacts. The Maine Lighthouse Museum is located in Rockland, Maine, the heart of the Midcoast. From sparkling lenses to heartwarming stories of the keepers and their families, the Maine Lighthouse Museum is truly America’s lighthouse museum.” – READ MORE

As you can see, the lights themselves are very beautiful and the stories that are told of the dedicated men and women who would keep the lights burning, even in the worst of conditions, were nothing short of amazing.

One that I so enjoyed was the story of Abbie Burgess. Abbie and her father tended the Matinicus Rock Lighthouse and occasionally she would take over so her father could fish for lobsters and sell them in Rockland. Together they would care for the lamps, organize supplies, and scan the Atlantic for storms. In 1856 Abbie’s mother became ill, making a trip to the mainland necessary for her father to gather food and medicine. While he was away, a fierce winter storm hit and Abbie had to summon all of her courage to care for her mother, comfort her frightened sisters and keep the flames of the lighthouse burning while her father tried in vain to get home as soon as possible. At the age of 16, she trudged on for 21 days – saving her mother and sisters – and most likely many sailors who were counting on that light to keep them away from the shore. One of many books written about Abbie is “Abbie Against the Storm: The True Story of a Young Heroine and a Lighthouse” available on Amazon.

It’s lunchtime! Time for lobster (what else???). Yippee! The Brass Compass is advertised as “The King of Lobster Clubs – Bobby Flay Throwdown Winner”

And I can see why they got that title! It was fabulous! Only open for breakfast and lunch though, so make sure to plan around that!

Next stop was the Knox Museum – Montpelier. A replica of his original mansion, Montpelier stands as a living memorial to Henry Knox and invites visitors to learn about the life and times of this great Patriot. Volunteers dress in Revolutionary garb and give a wonderful tour loaded with history about this man and the times.

“Any great past event could have gone off in any number of different directions for any number of different reasons. In history, chance plays a part again and again. Character counts over and over. Personality is often the determining factor in why things turn out the way they do. – David McCullough”

“Knox served Washington well, first as Chief Artillery Officer in the Continental Army; then as General in the United States Army; and finally, as the first Secretary of War in President Washington’s cabinet in the newly minted United States of America. He was one of two officers – Greene was the other – who stuck by Washington’s side from day one to the bitter end of the fight for America’s freedom, eight and a half long bloody years later. Washington turned out to be a great judge of character, and Knox, a loyal friend.” – READ MORE

Well… that about does it for Maine. We headed out the next morning for the airport and I was already wondering when we can make a return trip. Some time soon I hope. Goodbye Maine, New Hampshire and Beautiful Vermont.

Happy trails,

Barbara Olson

Barbara Olson

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