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Maine Streets

This slideshow contains 29 items
1
Main Street, Lille, ca. 1910

Main Street, Lille, ca. 1910

Item 25737 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

The twin towers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church dominate the center of this view of Main Street, Lille, a farming village in the St. John Valley town of Grand Isle.

Trumpeting angels atop the towers proclaim the glory of this landmark church completed in 1910 from designs by architect Theodore Daoust of Montreal.

No longer an active house of worship, the building is undergoing an extensive restoration through the efforts of its owner, the Association Culturele et Historique du Mont Carmel.

The two structures at the right are the Morneault House, replaced in 1926, and the general store, now an antique shop.

One of the girls in the photograph is Bernette Albert of Madawaska.


2
Main Street, Fort Fairfield, ca. 1915

Main Street, Fort Fairfield, ca. 1915

Item 25733 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

Fort Fairfield thrived in the early 20th century as a result of the boom in Aroostook County potato farming.

In this circa 1915 view, the town’s Main Street features, from left, a large livery stable, the Fort Fairfield Exchange Hotel, Ossie Brothers Restaurant, which opened in 1913, and Hose Company No. 3 of the local fire department.

The opportunity for a photograph has attracted hotel guests to gather on the second floor balcony and restaurant patrons to line up on the front steps and pose in the street.


3
Main Street, Presque Isle, ca. 1915

Main Street, Presque Isle, ca. 1915

Item 25740 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

In the early 20th century, fraternal organizations played a more visible role in their communities than they do today

Here the Masonic order of the Commandery marches on Main Street in Presque Isle, attired in black uniforms complete with sashes, swords, and plumed hats.

State Street intersects with Main Street in the middle of the picture with the A. M. Smith Block on the left corner and the Bolton Block at the right.

The Bolton Block, with its distinctive tower, was built in 1891 and burned in 1943.


4
Main Street, Mars Hill, ca. 1915

Main Street, Mars Hill, ca. 1915

Item 25746 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

Two early 20th century business blocks sheathed in ornamental pressed tin dominate the main street of Mars Hill, an Aroostook County agricultural and lumbering town of 1500.

The building at the left housed the Mars Hill Trust Company and a clothing store.

The H. L. Hussey building with its distinctive clock tower accommodated Hussey’s general store.

George L. Mesker and Company of Evansville, Indiana, was often the source for the decorative cladding used to dress up commercial buildings in small towns across America.


5
Main Street, Princeton, ca. 1927

Main Street, Princeton, ca. 1927

Item 25741 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

The automotive age of the 1920s is much in evidence in this view of Main Street in the Washington County lumber town of Princeton.

At the center is the former livery stable converted into a garage with a curbside gas pump and a sign advertising Chevrolet sales and service.

Two more gas pumps appear in front of a general store at the left with a traffic signal marking an adjacent intersection.

Princeton’s post office at the right also housed Neil E. McCannell’s confectionery business, which opened in 1925.

Here McCannell sold Fro-joy ice cream, Orange Kist soda, and his own bottled soft drinks.


6
Main Street, Ellsworth, ca. 1910

Main Street, Ellsworth, ca. 1910

Item 25752 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

In the early 20th century, the gateway from the south to Ellsworth’s Main Street business district was this steel bridge, which was swept away in a May 1923 flood that caused $300,000 in damages to the town.

The old crossing was quickly replaced by a new concrete arched span known as the Union River Bridge.


7
Main Street, Cranberry Island, ca. 1910

Main Street, Cranberry Island, ca. 1910

Item 25751 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

Main Street or Main Road on Big Cranberry Island shows the rural nature of the island, where most residents were involved in fishing, farming, or shipping.

Especially noticeable is the lack of electric or phone wires in along the street.

In addition, the Island drew a number of summer residents or "rusticators."


8
Main Street, Northeast Harbor, ca. 1910

Main Street, Northeast Harbor, ca. 1910

Item 25745 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

During the 1890s, Main Street developed as Northeast Harbor’s commercial center in response to the summer colony’s need for a variety of goods and services.

By the early 1900s, attractive business blocks lined the street, including, from left, the Small, Staples & Company drugstore, Smith’s Dry Goods, the brick Joy Block of 1901, the Post Office and Kimball’s Grocery Store of 1897.


9
Main Street, Bar Harbor, ca. 1910

Main Street, Bar Harbor, ca. 1910

Item 26474 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

This circa 1910 view of Main Street, Bar Harbor, captures the appearance of the commercial district of one of America ’s leading Victorian summer resorts, a rustic Gilded Age playground second only to Newport in the eyes of many.

Here the clothing business flourishes, with Perlinskey’s dry and fancy goods, Moran the New York tailor and Millar the merchant tailor on the left and the clothing stores of H.S. Nason and Hart, Schaffner & Marx on the right.

At the far right, the classical column is part of the façade of the First National Bank, still standing, beyond which is the Bradley Block, now gone.

Downtown Bar Harbor has remained a vital part of this vacation community, where the last century has witnessed a dramatic transformation from grand hotels, seaside mansions, and elegant gardens to campsites, cabins, motels, and bed and breakfasts for a traveling public in quest of Acadia National Park.


10
Main Street, Deer Isle, ca. 1915

Main Street, Deer Isle, ca. 1915

Item 25729 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

With the exception of A.O. Goss’s general store at the left, small wooden shops line both sides of Deer Isle’s Main Street in this pre-World War I photograph.

The large Mansard roofed building at the end of the street is the Lynnmore Hotel, in business from 1905 until 1921.


11
Main Street, Stonington, ca. 1910

Main Street, Stonington, ca. 1910

Item 25747 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

Small frame commercial buildings run along the harbor side of Main Street, Stonington, in this circa 1910 photograph of one of Maine’s major granite producing communities.

From left are Fred E. Webb’s shoe store, the Central Grocery Store, the Post Office, and Charles W. Brimigion’s barbershop.

Note Brimigion’s extraordinary folk art trade side with its eagle, American shield, and sideways barber pole.

The fish market sign directs shoppers down the alley to a waterfront establishment.


12
Main Street, Brownville Junction, ca. 1925

Main Street, Brownville Junction, ca. 1925

Item 25750 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

Automobiles are quite visible in this view of Main Street in Brownville Junction, reflecting the post World War I increase in automobiles, even in rural communities.

The delivery truck for the Gerry Co. general store is in the foreground.

Also shown are a Saucony Motor Co. gas pump on the sidewalk, a barbershop, Cohen's clothing store, and a restaurant.


13
Main Street, Farmington, ca. 1925

Main Street, Farmington, ca. 1925

Item 25732 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

As the shire town for Franklin County, Farmington has been a center for the courts, commerce, and education, with its branch of the University of Maine.

In 1886 a devastating fire swept through the center of the community, destroying business buildings, churches, and homes.

These substantial brick commercial blocks at the corner of Main Street and Broadway were erected in the Italianate, Romanesque Revival, and Queen Anne styles during the period immediately following the fire and have remained part of Farmington’s historic downtown to this day.


14
Main Street, East Wilton, ca. 1915

Main Street, East Wilton, ca. 1915

Item 25730 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

At a prominent intersection along East Wilton’s quiet Main Street stands H.H. Johnson’s general store.

Johnson operated at this well-established location from 1914 to 1920.

His customers arrived at his doorstep by foot, on horseback, and in horse and buggies.

At left is the specially outfitted automobile of the roving Eastern Illustrating photographer who took this picture.


15
Main Street, Fairfield, ca. 1925

Main Street, Fairfield, ca. 1925

Item 25731 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

The frame Victorian commercial blocks lining Fairfield’s Main Street in the 1920s gave the downtown the look of a western movie set.

Appropriately, at the left the white marquis marks the entrance to the Star Theater, an early moving picture theater. Other businesses include a bakery, a pool hall, a pharmacy, and an electrical appliance store.

Fairfield’s location on the Kennebec River supplied waterpower for such industries as textiles, furniture, lumber, and paper.


16
Main Street, Mexico, ca. 1915

Main Street, Mexico, ca. 1915

Item 25736 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

As paper mills were established at Rumford Falls in the 1890s, many workers and their families settled in Ridlonville in the adjacent town of Mexico.

By 1912, approximately when this photograph was taken, Ridlonville’s Main Street featured several substantial business blocks, including the two in the center dating from 1907, which housed F. F. Beedy’s confectionary, fruit, and tobacco store and A.E. Davis’s dry goods business.

Period soft drink and cigarette advertising signs cover the outside stairs on Beedy’s building.


17
Main Street, Norway, ca. 1925

Main Street, Norway, ca. 1925

Item 25739 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

Of the three commercial buildings in the center of this view of Norway’s Main Street in the 1920s, only the Knights of Pythias Hall at the left now stands.

The large white block at Main and Greenleaf Streets housed George W. Hobbs’ variety store until 1913 when Hobbs’ son-in-law A.L. Clark opened his drug store there.

One of three Norway drug stores in the 1920s, the A.L. Clark Drug Company was a downtown fixture for a quarter century, closing in 1938.

Note the Coca-Cola signs in the windows, indicating the presence of a soda fountain.


18
Main Street, Ripley, 1920

Main Street, Ripley, 1920

Item 25742 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

A century ago dozens of crossroads villages in rural Maine looked like Main Street in Ripley, a small agricultural town in Somerset County.

Two fixtures of village life are the Union Church at the left and the general store at the right.

A young girl stands alone in the middle of the dirt road with no traffic in sight except for the photographer’s automobile parked by the store.


19
Main Street, Rome, 1910

Main Street, Rome, 1910

Item 25743 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

The horse and buggy meets the automobile in this view of Main Street in Rome, population 440 in 1910.

This rural Kennebec County town supported the B. A. Hawes grocery store shown here along with two general stores.

Farming and a burgeoning sporting and summer camp industry were major sources of income for early 20th century Rome residents.


20
Main Street, Mechanic Falls, ca. 1925

Main Street, Mechanic Falls, ca. 1925

Item 25735 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

Started as early as the 1850s, paper mills were the economic force that transformed Mechanic Falls from a quiet village within the town of Poland to its incorporation as a thriving industrial town in 1893.

That year Merrill & Denning opened the drug store at the right on the corner of Main and Elm Streets, which became a local institution operating into the 1970s.

To the left are two brick commercial blocks from the 1870s, both of which still stand today as anchors to the downtown.

By virtue of its function, the wooden building with the car parked in front gave the area the name of Post Office Square.

The structure that dates this photograph is the Central Garage, which sold and serviced automobiles from 1920 to 1930.


21
Main Street, Searsport, ca. 1910

Main Street, Searsport, ca. 1910

Item 25754 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

In nearly a century since this photograph was taken, the trees lining Searsport’s Main Street have disappeared, and the dirt road has turned into the asphalt of Route 1.

Yet certain landmarks remain in this north-facing view, including the Greek Revival house at the left and the Pendleton and Whitcomb blocks at the center in the distance, which serve as the Penobscot Marine Museum’s shop and one of its exhibition galleries.


22
Main Street, Belfast, ca. 1920

Main Street, Belfast, ca. 1920

Item 25728 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

Dating from about 1920, this view of upper Main Street in Belfast terminates at the public square in front of the Post Office and Custom House, a local landmark since the 1850s.

Businesses include the dry goods establishment of James H. Howes at the left and a drug store – soda fountain and an Edison phonograph dealer at the right.

While these and other stores have vanished, the solid nineteenth century brick buildings that line Main Street have adapted to decades of change and remain largely intact today as part of one of Maine’s most well-preserved downtowns.


23
Main Street, Rockland, ca. 1920

Main Street, Rockland, ca. 1920

Item 25744 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

Main Street Rockland’s Victorian brick commercial buildings are largely the result of fires in 1853 that leveled much of the downtown.

A year later, as the business district was being reconstructed, Rockland incorporated as a city.

At the left is the Security Trust Building, a handsome Georgian Revival bank built in 1912 from designs by R. Clipston Sturgis of Boston.

The recent expansion of the Farnsworth Museum has encouraged the adaptive reuse of many of the blocks that still line this main street.


24
Main Street, Thomaston, ca. 1910

Main Street, Thomaston, ca. 1910

Item 25748 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

The magnificent elms that merged to form a leafy arch across Thomaston’s broad Main Street were the result of a planting campaign at the time of the American Centennial in 1876.

These graceful trees were swept away by the Dutch Elm disease a century later, leaving this grand thoroughfare of sea captains’ homes with a barren appearance.

But in the early 20th century, two dogs could leisurely cross this shaded dirt road, which was populated by trolley tracks, a horse and buggy, and wagons.

Note the unusual wagon at the left built to haul newly made lime casks to the lime kilns on Rockland, Rockport, or Thomaston harbors.


25
Main Street, Wiscasset, ca. 1925

Main Street, Wiscasset, ca. 1925

Item 25749 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

The presence of the automobile was already being felt on Wiscasset’s Main Street when this picture was taken in the 1920s.

Cars line each side of the street with only one horse and buggy in sight. A curbside gas station stands in front of the brick Runlett Block, at the right, and a traffic signal exhorts motorists to slow down.

The photograph looks north to a wooden bridge that crosses the Sheepscot River.


26
Maine Street, Brunswick, ca. 1910

Maine Street, Brunswick, ca. 1910

Item 25755 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

Brunswick has one of Maine’s broadest main streets.

Here at the corner of Pleasant Street is the Lemont Block of 1870, still in use today.

The tower belongs to the 1883-84 brick Queen Anne style town hall, designed by Francis H. Fassett and John Calvin Stevens of Portland.

This grand civic building was destroyed in 1960 for commercial development on Main Street.


27
Main Street, Saco, ca. 1910

Main Street, Saco, ca. 1910

Item 25753 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

Saco and its twin city of Biddeford were among the first Maine communities to become large-scale textile manufacturing centers, harnessing the waterpower of the Saco River to enter the Industrial Revolution.

By the early 1900s, Saco’s Main Street featured several substantial commercial buildings, including the Odd Fellows Hall, third from the right.

Noted Portland architect John Calvin Stevens designed this handsome brick block, which was built in 1896.

To the left of the hall is the Saco House of 1837, a hotel that burned on December 9, 1912, thus dating this photograph to before the fire.

The remains of the Saco House were rebuilt with a flat roof to house the Atkinson Furniture Company.


28
Main Street, Limerick, ca. 1915

Main Street, Limerick, ca. 1915

Item 25738 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

Commercial and residential properties were comfortably integrated along Limerick’s picturesque tree-lined Main Street.

At the left is the hardware and jewelry store opened by F.H. Townsend in 1892 and carried on after 1911 by his wife as a men’s clothing and shoe business.

Beyond the Townsend building is the Limerick House, which served as an inn for decades.

This photograph captures the rural village quality of Limerick, the center of an agricultural and manufacturing area of York County.

The 19th century meets the 20th as a farmer leads his ox cart down the dirt street while the photographer’s automobile is parked discreetly at the right.


29
Main Street, Kennebunk, ca. 1915

Main Street, Kennebunk, ca. 1915

Item 25734 info
Penobscot Marine Museum

Kennebunk Village prospered in the 19th and early 20th centuries as a commercial and manufacturing center, where a variety of industries took advantage of the waterpower of the Mousam River.

Looking north up Main Street, this photograph from the nineteen teens was taken just over the bridge spanning the Mousam River.

At the left is the Parsons Block, while at the right stands one of the local barbershops. Both of these buildings were constructed to replace commercial blocks lost in the Great Fire of 1903.

Note the automobile at the right, trolley car tracks and lines running down the center of the street as well as the utility poles, wires, and electric street light, all signs of the arrival of modern times to this Southern Maine coastal town.


This slideshow contains 29 items
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