As early as 1633, entrepreneurs along the Piscataqua River in southern Maine utilized the force of the river to power a sawmill, recognizing the potential of the area's natural power sources, but it was not until the 1890s that technology made widespread electricity a reality -- and even then, consumers had to be urged to use it.
The paper mill on the Penobscot River in South Brewer, which became known as Eastern Fine Paper Co., began as a sawmill in 1884 and grew over the years as an important part of the economy of the region and a large presence in the landscape. Its closing in 2005 affected more than the men and women who lost their jobs.
Maine's natural resources -- granite, limestone and slate in particular -- along with its excellent ports made it a leader in mining and production of the valuable building materials. Stone work also attracted numerous skilled immigrants.
Sawyer, Sawyer & Moulton Copy of a Draft Contract between Rumford and Mexico Water District, Rumford, Maine…Contract for Stripping Basin Mt.
… in 1886 when James Andrews and Sons began a contract for the New York Harlem Bridge and a bridge in Philadelphia to provide 25,000 yards of stone…