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 19: From PORTLAND to NEW HAMPSHIRE LINE (Freedom), 42.8 m., State 25.

Via Westbrook, Gorham, Standish, Cornish, Kezar Falls, and Porter.

Two-lane hard-surfaced roadbed.

WEST of the industrial communities of Cumberland Mills and Westbrook, State 25 runs through a farming country with well-kept houses; crops in this vicinity are raised mainly for home use, with a small surplus for sale in local markets.

The countryside to the west is well wooded with pine, white birch, and some hemlock. In mid-April, hiding under dead leaves in the woods, are quantities of trailing arbutus; a few weeks later appear the pale-green stems and faint-yellow cup-like blossoms of wild oats, and as the season progresses, ladyslippers, and benjamins. In June great beds of lilies-of- the-valley are found near the edges of the woods. Hidden in the grass, yet spreading their perfume, sweet wild strawberries ripen as June draws to a close. The broad fields bloom in early spring, first with blue-white anemones, then with dandelions, buttercups, white daisies and black- eyed-susans, and in late summer with heavy growths of red clover and goldenrod.

PORTLAND (alt. 80, pop. 70,810) (see PORTLAND), at Longfellow Square, 0 m., is at the junctions of US 1 (see Tour 1, sec. a), US 302 (see Tour 18), and State 26 (see Tour 14).

CUMBERLAND MILLS (alt. 70, Westbrook Town), 5.1 m. The fine brick buildings extending along the dam and both sides of the Presumpscot River are the S. D. Warren Paper Company Mills (open to public), Cumberland St. The plant, established in 1852, has grown from one little frame building that turned out less than five tons of the finished product daily, to the present great brick and concrete structure with nearly 60 acres of floor space, holding large, modern paper-making machines having a combined average daily production of 275 tons.

Right on Cumberland St. to a dirt road; on this road is HALIDON, 2 m., on the northern bank of the Presumpscot. It is one of several single-taxing communities founded by Fiske Warren, the paper manufacturer. Mr. Warren has the controlling interest of over 200 acres of the area; the tenants secure 99-year leases, pay the property tax of the City of Westbrook annually, and turn over the receipt to the trustees, as the only payment of land rental. Halidon has its own community meetings six times a year and elects officers; inhabitants of both sexes from the age of 15 may vote.

WESTBROOK (alt. 85, pop. 10,807), 6.1 m., is an industrial city with a large French-Canadian population. In its early days the community was called Saccarrappa. Westbrook and Deering were taken from the town of Falmouth in 1814 and incorporated in Westbrook Town.

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