Category Archives: Maine trivia

Maine Archaeologists Find Evidence of Historic English Fort | Assocated Press

BRISTOL, Maine (AP) — Archaeologists in Maine say they have uncovered possible evidence of the first fort at the Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site.

The Portland Press Herald reports archaeologists concluded a two-week dig at the site on Friday. Archaeologists were searching for evidence of England’s Fort Charles. The fort was built in 1677 and later destroyed by French and Native American forces.

The group says they found potential “post holes,” flint and musket balls in the area.

Read the rest of the story.

Read the longer version in the Portland Press Herald.

 

 

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Everybody’s heard about the (Maine) words | Bangor Daily News

About a month ago, we ran a story on the Dictionary of American Regional English, a collection of the colorful and varied words used in Americans’ everyday lives, across the country, organized by region — including Maine and New England. We included a short but eclectic list of some of words specific to Maine, and asked readers to submit their own suggestions for Maine words. We received an excellent response, and have since compiled them all and done a little research (to the best of our ability) to weed out the words used elsewhere in the country from the more strictly Maine ones. We’ve come up with our own, revised list of Maine vernacular words and phrases, a little dictionary containing words ranging from the obvious, well-known “dooryard” and “wicked” to lesser-known gems such as “laury” or “sprills.”

Click to read the rest of the story by Emily Burnham of the Bangor Daily News and to read more of the words unique to Maine usage.

Will write for food! … Or walk your dog!

Hey there! Hey there! I’m still trying to line up a freelance gig or two for the coming weeks. Please let me know if you are in need or know someone in need of a writer-editor-blogger-dog walker-house-sitter-dishwasher. Cheers!

And the award (again) goes to …

I like Civil War trivia. I am a (tiny) bit of a Civil War history buff, especially when it comes to Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine Regiment.

Here is the DownEast.com trivia question:

Who is reported to have won both the Medal of Honor and the Gold Lifesaving Medal?

Answerm

Marcus Hanna, a keeper of Cape Elizabeth Light. The first medal was for bravery in battle at Port Hudson during the Civil War; the second was for saving two men from the wrecked schooner Australia in 1885. In 1997, the U.S. Coast Guard launched a buoy tender named in Hanna’s honor.

Half is cold, half not so much

DownEast.com’s trivia question was kind of fun today.

Where in Maine can you stand halfway between the equator and the North Pole?

Answer

In Perry. In 1888, U.S. Geological Survey employees in Maine, establishing a line of coastal “benchmarks,” placed an additional temporary marker at the point where the 45-degree line of latitude crosses Route 1 in Perry.

Maine in your words | DownEast.com

Maine in your words | DownEast.com

Surrendering in the face of overwhelming odds | DownEast.com

Frankly, I hadn’t heard this story, but the locals seemed to understand the concept of fighting another day. Here’s some Maine trivia from DownEast.com

What gained Fort Sullivan fame in 1814?

Answer

Built in 1810 as a battery and blockhouse in Eastport, the fort gained fame in 1814 when a dozen British warships loaded with two hundred guns came into sight. Against such overwhelming odds, the fort’s six officers, eighty men, and nine guns surrendered upon demand.

Maine haunts to visit if you dare | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Maine haunts to visit if you dare | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

Wildlife refuge on former Air Force base, atomic weapons storage site | DownEast.com

There was a time when Loring Air Force Base outside of Limestone, Maine, was at the very front line of the Cold War. After all, it was the military base on U.S. soil that was closest to Europe.

Carved out of the North Woods of Maine and named after Air Force Maj. Charles J. Loring Jr., a Medal of Honor recipient during the Korean War, the base was home of the 42nd Bomb Wing flying B-36 Peacemakers and later B-52 Stratofortresses and KC-135 Stratotankers.

It also was home for a Nuclear Weapons Storage Area and was the first U.S. site specifically constructed for the storage, assembly and testing of atomic weapons.

I knew about the B-52s because a friend of the family was retired Air Force and the huge jets occasionally flew over my home in Aroostook County. And the KC-135s make sense to keep the B-52s flying. But I had no idea growing up that there had been a Nuclear Weapons Storage Area there, too.

The idea that there was work done there on atomic weapons is pretty stunning, really, given how very remote and rural the region remains to this day. But then again, that may be the point, to be remote and out of the view of everyone, including others in the military.

But things have changed, of course, as the base was closed to military use in the mid-1990s and reverted to civilian uses.

Some of the most remote areas of the former base – perhaps some of the area where the work on atomic weapons was carried out – now is a wildlife refuge. I didn’t realize that until I read today’s DownEast.com trivial question.

What wildlife refuge is located on part of the former Loring Air Force Base?

 Answer

Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge. It was established in 1998 when 4,700 acres were transferred from the U.S. Air Force to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The refuge also administers some 2,400 wetland conservation easements throughout Aroostook County.

Honoring those who served in the American Revolution

OK, I didn’t know this trivia question on DownEast.com. It’s kind of interesting. I wish the answer had included when the monument was placed there. And it wouldn’t hurt if a photo had been included. Ah, well …

Where is the monument honoring Maine Indians who fought in the Revolutionary War?

Answer:

At the Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy Reservation. It was placed there by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

The answer is plain – Blaine | DownEast.com

 OK, I sort of guessed this DownEast.com trivia question, but I got it correct.

Who was one of Maine’s most influential nineteenth-century political figures?

Answer

James G. Blaine. From the mid-1860s to the end of the century, Blaine held the posts of speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. senator, and U.S. secretary of state. He was defeated in his quest for the presidency in 1884 by Grover Cleveland.

And, of course, The Blaine House, is the Maine governor’s residence.

Sssssensational! No poisonous snakes in Maine – mostly | DownEast.com

I was a wildland firefighter for three summers while attending college and we were always told to watch out for rattlesnakes.

And paying for green fees in California, Nevada and other western states might come with a warning to avoid certain areas on the golf course infested with snakes. (“Sooo, is that a 7-iron, then?” – a reply to a warning about snakes at a golf course in Carson City, Nevada.)

The answer to the DownEast.com trivia question should calm any concerns for parents in Maine about letting their children play in the outdoors.

Is it true that Maine has no venomous snakes?

Answer:

Yes. Though a small number of timber rattlesnakes, considered transient, have been spotted in southernmost Maine, the state is considered the only one of the Lower 48 to have no native venomous snakes.

OK, here’s a family-lore story. The story goes that my father, sister and very probably my mother and I were outside. My father and mother very likely were doing yard work; my sister and I were too young.

At one point my sister wandered to the edge of the property and brought back with her a run-of-the-mill garter snake and tried to show it to my father. Apparently, my father was particularly frightened of snakes – and the little garter snake was no exception. He apparently backed away from my sister, yelling at her to drop the snake.

No one was harmed, not even the snake.

There may be a problem with the trivia question answer, however, and it might require a mild clarification. I just noticed in a Wikipedia entry on garter snakes that

“Garters were long thought to be nonvenomous, but recent discoveries have revealed that they do in fact produce a mild neurotoxic venom. Garter snakes are nevertheless harmless to humans due to the very low amounts of venom they produce, which is comparatively mild, and the fact that they lack an effective means of delivering it.”

So there you have the skinny of snakes.

Hello? Is this the person to whom I am calling?

I think I might have shared this DownEast.com trivia question another time, but it still bring a smirk to my face.

Where was the last hand-cranked phone taken out of service?

Answer

It was in Bryant Pond (Maine) in 1983.

Hmm, let’s declare war on Great Britain | DownEast.com

You gotta love today’s DownEast.com trivia question.

Who was the only United States governor to declare war on a foreign power?

Answer

Maine Gov. John Fairfield declared war on Great Britain on March 18, 1840, opening the bloodless Aroostook War over Maine’s northern boundary with Canada.

Given the independent nature of Mainers, this shouldn’t surprise anyone.

I’m not sure if it was after this “war” that surveyors went down the Saint John River to establish a boundary when locals invited them to a party, got them drunk, and sent the surveyors down a wrong tributary to the north of where they were supposed to go.

Eventually, the surveyors realized what had happened and the made two surveyor’s lines in order to meet up again with their intended route. The result was that Maine ended up with a bunch more land than it was supposed to have and Canada a bit less.

Let’s have a drink to the Maine Law

I had to grin about the DownEast.com trivia question for today, especially since I posted the other day about the Maine craft beers I am able to find here in California. Here’s the question.

What was the “Maine Law”?

Answer

Maine pioneered the prohibition of alcohol, adopting a ban on the sale of liquor on June 2, 1851. The law became the model for prohibition laws in other states.

Before Dr. McDreamy, there was a Brat Packer

The most popular actor to come from Maine in some time is Patrick Dempsey, who plays Dr. Derek Shepherd, aka Dr. McDreamy, on “Grey’s Anatomy.” He was born in Lewiston and grew up in Bucksfield, according to Wikipedia and The Internet Movie Database.

Anyway, a while before Dempsey became Dr. McDreamy, there was another actor from Maine people were talking about. He is the subject of the DownEast.com trivia question for today. I knew the answer, by the way.

What Brat Pack actor was born in Portland and starred in “The Breakfast Club?”

Answer

Judd Nelson

Stumped by a DownEast.com trivia question – again

OK, so I was stumped by today’s DownEast.com trivia question.

And I’m a tiny bit embarrassed by that since I grew up in the Maine North Woods and I should have known better. Here it is:

What’s a Bangor Tiger?

Answer

It’s a traditional name for a skillful competitor in the sport of log-rolling (birling). The name was given to Penobscot river-drivers in the nineteenth century.

I’ll remember it now, you can be sure of that.

Maxim, mousetraps and machine guns

So, what do Sangerville (Piscataquis County), the mousetrap, and the machine gun have in common?

Well, answer today’s DownEast.com trivia question and find out. … OK, enough of that, here’s the question and the answer.

Who invented the common mousetrap?

Answer

Sangerville native Hiram Maxim, who also invented the machine gun.

Revolutionary women and a 16-mile trek through the woods

DownEast.com’s trivia question for today proves Maine women are pretty tough.

Who was Hannah Weston?

Answer

Hannah Weston was a Revolutionary War heroine who carried ammunition sixteen miles through the woods to Machias to aid patriots who had captured the British ship Margaretta.

I cannot imagine carrying ammunition 16 yards let alone 16 miles through the woods, especially to Machias where the terrain is uneven and certainly brushy and swampy since is located on Maine’s rugged coastline.

The Daughters of the American Revolution chapter in Machias is named for Hannah Weston, who was 17 or so when she and another woman lugged powder to Machias, according to a recent Bangor Daily News story. There’s even a festival.

By the way, the battle to capture the HMS Margaretta is called by some the “Lexington of the Seas” because of its role in the American Revolutionary War. It was the first naval battle.

Here are links to Wikipedia pages on Machias, which has a line about Hannah, and the Battle of Machias.

Oh, and for full disclosure, I played soccer on the Ashland Community High School varsity team and occasionally we played Machias in early rounds of the state tournament. But I won’t hold that against the people of Machias or Hannah Weston.

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Let’s have a little Revolutionary War trivia, shall we

Everyone knows that there are many old things in New England. So, it should not come as a surprise that the first American warship to fly the “stars and stripes” comes from New England, specifically Kittery, Maine.

Today’s DownEast.com trivia question has a certain I-have-not-yet-begun-to-fight feel to it.

What was the first warship to fly the stars and stripes?

Answer:

The Ranger was launched at Kittery under the command of Captain John Paul Jones on May 10, 1777.