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Maine (ME): State Guide, Fun Facts, and Resources

When was Maine Founded? 1820

Who Founded Maine?Massachusetts Bay – Maine was initially a colony of Massachusetts Bay, but split to form its own state in 1820.

First settlers located at: Popham, Maine (1607)

Square Miles: 35,387 Miles

US Rank:3 9th Largest State

State Flower: White pine cone and tassel

State Bird: Chickadee

State Motto:“Dirigio” (I lead)

Capital City

Augusta is the capital city of Maine, and is located in the southern central area of the state, in Kennebec County. Settlers first made Augusta their home in 1629, tapping into the natural resources such as the Kennebec River, for shipping and trading purposes. After a series of abandonments, repossessions and joining together of cities, the town was declared Augusta, named after Augusta Dearborn, the daughter of Henry Dearborn, of the House of Representatives. The city is one of the smallest capitals in the country, and in 2000 was estimated to have only 18,560 residents.


What is Maine famous for?

1. Foliage – Every Autumn, Maine is home to some of the world’s most vibrant foliage. Much of the state remains undeveloped forestland, and there are hundreds of spots to catch the turning of the seasons in action. Whether a day hike on one of Maine’s many peaks is in store, or if a day at the shore is planned, the foliage is abounding and will not disappoint. The best time to view the foliage is during the last week of September and the first week of October.

2. Seafood – No trip to Maine can end before stopping by a local restaurant for some fresh seafood. It’s no rumor; Maine seafood is some of the best in the country, rivaling that of the Pacific Northwest. Why is Maine seafood so good? It has to do with the incredible depth of the Gulf of Maine, and the resultant cold waters that keep the fish at the optimal temperature for freshness and flavor. Any restaurant near the coast boasting seafood entrees likely receives a catch of the day fresh in the morning, to cook for dinner guests. If everything sounds delicious and you don’t know what to order, choose the lobster.

3. Antiquing in Small Towns – Maine has three antiquing trails, specific routes that have been mapped out by the Maine Department of Tourism (link here: These trails are named The Big Dipper Trail, The South Coast Trail and The Down East Trail. Each has over a dozen antique shops that follow a loop made of scenic roads that pass through occasional small towns. It’s the perfect way to spend a lazy day in the company of others.

What is Maine’s economy?

1. Fishing – Historically, fishing was extremely important to Maine in its earliest days, however the significance has declined in recent years due to unprofitability and other industries infringing upon the fisherman such as technology and computer industry.

2. Lumber – This industry was extremely important for Maine’s economy in years past, however, most of the area allotted for deforestation has been exhausted, and loggers now primarily make pulp for papermaking, rather than lumber.

3. Manufacturing – This has been and remains the state’s leading industry at present. Maine is an enormous manufacturer of wood and paper, and exports to many states in the region and throughout the United States.


Maine Historical Landmarks

1. Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village – This village is the only remaining functioning Shaker community in the United States. It is located in New Gloucester, ME, close to Portland. The Shakers are a community whose numbers have greatly diminished since the original 200 members that began the establishment in the late 1700s. The area includes over a dozen working buildings that can be toured and explored by visitors. Tours of the village take place Monday through Saturday during the summertime.

2. Wadsworth-Longfellow House – The Wadsworth-Longfellow House was built in 1785 in Portland, Maine. It was home to noted political and literary man of his time, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and many of the original items that belonged to his family are still part of the residence. The structure has architectural significance, as it is the first entirely brick-constructed home in the area. The house underwent extensive restoration from 1999 through 2002, and is now open for public tours from May through October.

3. Franklin Heritage Loop – If you are lucky enough to find yourself in Maine in the beautiful fall months, consider exploring the Franklin Heritage Loop. The tour begins at the Norlands Living History Center Website, which is a collection of buildings from the 1800s that tell a story of life at that time. The buildings include a schoolhouse, library, church and the Washburn Mansion. Further along the trail (which is meant to be driven), the Nordica Homestead is a historically preserved home of Lillian Nordica Website, a well-known opera singer in her time. Among many non-historical attractions along the trail is another home and workshop of Wilhelm Reich, a radical psychiatrist who performed work alongside Sigmund Freud. The loop can be ended at the beautiful Rumford and Pennacook Falls, the largest waterfall in the state of Maine Website