Maine, a Guide down East

By Workers of the Federal Writers Project of the Works Progress Administration for the State of Maine | Go to book overview

TOUR 1 E: From BATH to FORT POPHAM, 17.5 m., State 209.

Via Winnegance, Phippsburg, and Parker Head.

Two-lane tar-surfaced and dirt roads.

THE country gradually becomes more rugged as State 209 winds past fields and pastures, and past old farmhouses surrounded by snowball bushes and other informal shrubbery, to the mouth of the Kennebec River. The colors of the wild flowers here are made more vivid by the sea air.

State 209 branches south from US I at Bath (see Tour 1, sec. b), 0 m.

WINNEGANCE (alt. 20, City of Bath), 2.7 m.

At 3 m. is the junction with a dirt road.

Left on this road to a Tide Mill, 0.4 m., which until 1935 was used for cutting lumber. This old structure is a primitive forerunner of the mills and factories planned as part of the Passamaquoddy Power Project.

At 4.3 m. is the junction with a dirt road.

Left on this road to a dwelling at 1.6 m., to the rear of which is the Site of Fort Noble, a stronghold built in 1734. It faced down river to the wide waters at the southern end of Fiddlers Beach, forming an important defense of the Kennebec.

South of this point open fields and farmlands are less frequent, the road running through woods that thin at intervals, giving glimpses of the river.

At 5.9 m. is an exceptional view of the Kennebec (L); the white-spired Phippsburg church is visible, standing out against a green background.

PHIPPSBURG CENTER (alt. 20, Phippsburg Town, pop. 801), 7.1 m. On the left side of the village street is the James McCobb House (private), built in 1774, with a beautifully paneled interior. The hinges and bull's- eye glass of the entrance door are of interest to antiquarians. The town's first post office was established in the kitchen of this house, built by James McCobb, shipbuilder and trader. An old black walnut tree and three old lindens in the yard are noteworthy. Near-by is the site of Spite House, which was removed to Rockport (see Tour 1, sec. b).

Right from Phippsburg Center on State 216; on the western shore of a small lake, 0.7 m., (R) is a hillside, where in 1935 Indian skeletons were uncovered during road-building operations.

Right from State 216 at 5.4 m. on a dirt road (sign, Aliquippa House) to the Site of Ancient Augusta, 6.3 m., a fishing village established on Casco Bay in 1716. Hidden in juniper and bayberry growth on a knoll am the scattered bricks of a fort, built in 1716, by Dr. Oliver Noyes and his men as a protection against Indians. An enormous pit near-by may have been covered and used as a refuge or as a storehouse. The settlement remained until about 1821.

At 7.5 m. (L) stands an old brick store at the head of a former shipyard erected in 1806 by the McCobb family. The last square rigger built here

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