Lewiston, Maine's second largest city, was long looked upon by many as a mill town with grimy smoke stacks, crowded tenements, low-paying jobs, sleazy clubs and little by way of refinement, except for Bates College. Yet, a noted Québec historian, Robert Rumilly, described it as "the French Athens of New England."
Maine supplied a huge number of soldiers to the Union Army during the Civil War -- some 70,000 -- and responded after the war by building monuments to soldiers who had served and soldiers who had died in the epic American struggle.
Agricultural fairs, intended to promote new techniques and better farming methods, have been held since the early 19th century. Before long, entertainments were added to the educational focus of the early fairs.
Local historian William Goold made this drawing from a description given by Edward Howe, who was a tenant in the store in 1805.