I loved this fascinating history of the Maine coast

In his very interesting book, Down East, Lincoln Paine takes us back two centuries when that term described the entire coast of Maine.
Paine’s book was originally published in 2000, but he recently revised and updated it. The new book was published by Tilbury House Pulishers in Thomaston.

I found the early chapters to be fascinating, taking us all the way back to the time of our Native Americans, followed by European settlements, wars, and lots more. Much of our early coastal history occurred on Maine islands.

I really loved all the photos, starting with an 1890 photo of a U.S. revenue cutter near the coast of Campobello Island. We spend a lot of time on Campobello, but I never would have recognized the island in this photo. All the land was cleared. Today, it’s mostly forest.

Only a few pages into the book is an old photo of West Quoddy Head Light, where my great grandfather was the keeper for 32 years, beginning in 1900. Two men are in the photo, described as taken around 1890, but I like to think that’s my grandfather in the photo.

I was also impressed with the way Paine writes the story, bringing our coastal history to life in a very engaging way. He has published hundreds of articles and five books, so now I’m going to have to find more of his writings. I do know that he serves on the board of Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, one of our favorite places.

And I got a kick out of the fact his daughters are named for ships!

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website, georgesmithmaine.com, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.