Lower Maine Street

Brunswick, Maine – Maine Street


Lower Maine Street
Maine Street Towards Fort Andross
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Lower Maine Street Maine Street Towards Fort Andross IMG 0201 unnamed 5

Maine Street (yes, with an “e”) in downtown Brunswick is a broad thoroughfare that showcases so much of what this college community has to offer — history, arts and culture, education, quaint shops, and the beauty of New England coastal living. Here you’ll still find the three “F’s” that have driven this region’s economy for decades — fishing, farming, forestry — along with some manufacturing and industrial, retail, professional and arts-related businesses.

Maine Street takes you right past the campus of Bowdoin College, Maine’s oldest college and home today to many cultural resources for the community. The College Museum of Art is on Maine; also on campus are the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum & Arctic Study Center and the Pickard Theatre, home to the Maine State Music Theatre, which celebrates its 60th season in summer 2018. The Bowdoin International Music Festival treats students, locals and visitors to more than 100 free events, including concerts, student performances, and lectures.

Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote the classic novel Uncle Toms Cabin while living in Brunswick. The house her family rented in the 1850s, where they sheltered a fugitive slave from South Carolina, is just east of Maine on Federal Street.

If it’s local history you’re after, take a guided tour of the Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum on Maine Street, home for more than 50 years to the Civil War hero, Maine governor and Bowdoin president. Just off Maine on Park Row is the Pejepscot Historical Society, with several collections and programs dedicated to telling and preserving the rich history of the towns of Brunswick, Topsham, and Harpswell.

The Brunswick Downtown Association hosts a wide range of civic, cultural and social events for all ages on and around Maine Street — including Meet the Candidates, the Community BBQ, the Rolling Slumber Bed Races, Outdoor Arts Festival, Music on the Mall, and the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Traveling north, Maine Street heads across the Androscoggin River just past the Fort Andross Mill Complex. This site was originally a trading post for fur trappers, then a garrison during King William’s war in the late 1680s, and later a cotton and textile mill. A refurbished gem today, the formerly vacant mill building is a vibrant mixed-use business center.

As Maine Street crosses the river into neighboring Topsham, it loses its “e” somewhere before you reach the Sea Dog Brewing Company. That’s a good place to stop after you’ve spent the day exploring all that Brunswick has to offer.

All photos courtesy of Downtown Brunswick Association
Lower Maine Street and Maine Street/Fort Andress photos taken by Benjamin Williamson

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Primary min 4

Rockland, Maine – Main Street

Main Streets 2016: Maine

Like many other coastal towns in Maine, Rockland identifies itself with the sea as much as it does with its downtown — and Main Street embodies that connection. Just a block from the waterfront, you’ll find distinctive seacoast shops and eateries here. Behind the scenes is Rockland Main Street, an active community organization whose efforts to preserve and promote the downtown have been guided by its affiliation with the Maine Downtown Center and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

It’s technically on a side street, but the world-famous Farnsworth Museum anchors the Main Street district. Some of the best known artists who have called or still call Maine home are represented in the museum’s collection, including the three generations of Wyeth painters, whose work captured so much of quintessential America. The acclaimed painters, especially James and N.C. Wyeth, are featured in the museum’s Wyeth Center. An addition to the original museum has a memorable collection of paintings and drawings by Andrew Wyeth.

Museums in Rockland aren’t just dedicated to fine art. The Maine Lighthouse Museum maintains a collection of artifacts from lighthouses and the lifesaving service they once helped support. Back on Main Street, the Island Institute is a working link between Midcoast Maine and the state’s famed network of coastal islands. Rockland Ferry Services, whose dock is accessed from Main Street, connects the city with Vinalhaven and North Haven islands.

There’s also plenty of good Maine fun to be had along Main Street. Galleries display new and emerging artists, while restaurants and cafes are gathering spots for both local residents and visitors. Popular annual festivals include the two-day North Atlantic Blues Festival in July and the multi-day Maine Lobster Festival, featuring food, crafts and the Great Lobster Crate Race in August. Not to be missed in December is the Festival of Lights, with the lighting of the Lobster Trap Tree and the a parade of lighted floats down Main Street.

While you’re here, don’t miss the chance to wander off Main Street and see some of this old shipbuilding and railroading center’s neighborhoods. You’ll see why Rockland was recognized in 2012 among the Best Old House Neighborhoods, by the TV show of the same name.

Nighttime photo courtesy of Dave Clough Photography

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