Page:EB1911 - Volume 17.djvu/449

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434
MAINE

definitely return to the French crown until 1481, after the death of Charles II., count of Maine. During the Hundred Years' War Maine was taken in 1425 by the English, who lost it in 1448.

See Histoire de l'eglise du Mans, by Dom Piolin (Paris, 1851-1858), which is useful but out of date; Revue historique et archéologique du Maine (1876); La Province du Maine (1893); B. Hauréau, Histoire littéraire du Maine (1870-1877).

MAINE, a North Atlantic state of the United States of America, the most north-easterly state in the Union, and the largest of the New England group. It lies between 43° 4′ and 47° 27′ 33″ N., and between 66° 56′ 48″ and 71° 6′ 41″ W. It is bounded N.W. by the Canadian province of Quebec; N. and E. by the Canadian province of New Brunswick, from which it is separated in part by the natural barriers of the Saint John River, the Grand (or Schoodic) Lakes, the Saint Croix River, and Passamaquoddy Bay; S.S.E. by the Atlantic Ocean; and W. by New Hampshire, the Piscataqua and Salmon Falls rivers being the natural boundary lines at the S.W. The area of the state is 33,040 sq. m., 3145 sq. m. being water surface.

Maine attracts more summer visitors than any other state in the Union. This is due to the cool and refreshing summer climate; the picturesque coast and its many islands, which are favourite grounds for camps and summer cottages; the mountains, and the beautiful lakes and rivers, many of which afford opportunities for good fishing and canoeing. Among the more widely known resorts are Mount Desert Island, on which is Bar Harbor, a fashionable summer place of great beauty; Long Island, Orr's and other islands in Casco Bay; Old Orchard, with a gently sloping white sand sea-beach 9 m. long, Rangeley and Moosehead Lakes, favourite resorts of fishermen and hunters; Mt Katahdin, in the heart of the moose country; and Poland Springs (38 m. by rail from Portland) in Androscoggin county, near lake Anasigunticook. About 1870, camps, summer cottages, summer hotels and boarding houses began to multiply throughout the state. The needs of this summer population gave a new impulse and a new turn to agriculture; and the demand for souvenirs revived among the Indians basket-weaving, moccasin-making, and such crafts.

Physical Features.—The surface is a gently rolling upland, forming a part of the “New England uplands,” above which rise isolated mountain peaks and clusters of peaks, and below which are cut numerous river valleys.[1] The highest peak is Mt Katahdin (5200 ft.), a little N.E. of the centre of the state in Piscataquis county, which rises from a comparatively level upland. South-west of Katahdin, in Franklin county, are most of the other high peaks of the state: Saddleback Mountain (4000 ft.), Mt Abraham (3388 ft.), Mt Bigelow (3600 ft.), and Mt Blue (3200 ft.). A little N. of this line of mountain peaks is the water-parting which divides the state into a north slope and a south slope. The north slope descends gently both to the N. and to the E.; although quite hilly in the middle and western portions it is so poorly drained that swamps abound in all sections. The south slope which contains nearly all the mountains and is generally more hilly, has a mean descent toward the sea of about 7 ft. to the mile, the fall being greater in the W., where the mountains are high at the N. and the shore low at the S., and less to the E., where the water-parting is lower and the shore high and rocky.

After the uplift which caused the rivers to cut below the general “uplands,” and develop well marked valleys for themselves, came the period of the great continental glaciation. The glacier or ice sheet overran all Maine, irregularly scouring out the bed rock to produce rock basins, damming up many river valleys with glacial deposits and completely disarranging the drainage lines. When the ice melted, the rock basins and the dammed-up valleys filled with water to produce lakes. This is the origin of the numerous lakes of Maine, which give it some of its most beautiful scenery, and help to make it a holiday resort in summer. These lakes are about 1600 in number, are scattered in all parts of the state, are especially numerous at high elevations, and have an aggregate area of more than 2000 sq. m. Few other regions have so many large lakes so variously situated, and with such beauty of aspect and surroundings. They contribute largely to a constant supply of water power for which the course of the rivers of S.W. Maine are exceptionally well adapted; many of them abound in trout, salmon, togue, black bass and pickerel; and near them there is still much game. Moosehead Lake (about 120 sq. m.; 35 m. long and from 2 m. to 10 m. wide), on the boundary between Piscataquis and Somerset counties, is the largest in Maine and the largest inland body of water wholly in New England; the Kennebec River is its principal outlet and Mt Kineo rises abruptly to about 1760. ft. above the sea (about 700 ft. above the lake) on its eastern shore. Other lakes, such as the Rangeley Lakes,[2] Chesuncook and Twin Lakes on the Penobscot, and the Grand or Schoodic Lakes, in the western boundary at the head waters of the Saint Croix River, equal or surpass Moosehead in picturesqueness. The glacier or ice sheet, above referred to, deposited till or boulder clay, which was compacted under the enormous pressure of the ice sheet to form the “hard-pan” referred to later. The glaciation is also responsible for the poor soil of most of the state, for, although the rocks are the same crystallines which give good soils further south in unglaciated regions, all the decayed portions of the Maine rocks have been removed by glacial erosion, revealing fresh, barren rock over great areas, or depositing the rather sterile hard-pan as a thin coating in other places.

After the uplift came a period of subsidence, during which this region sank one or more thousand feet, allowing the sea to encroach on the land and run far inland into the previously made river valleys. This depression probably occurred during the glacial period, perhaps toward its close, and is responsible for the second most important feature of Maine physiography, the embayed coast. To this subsidence are due the picturesque coastal scenery, the numerous islands and bays, the good harbours and the peculiar coast-line.

The shortest distance between the N.E. and the S.W. extremities of the coast is only 225 m.; but, on account of projections and indentations, the coast-line measures not less than 2500 m. The headlands, the deep indentations and the numerous islands in the bays and beyond produce a beautiful mingling of land and sea and give to the whole ocean front the appearance of a fringed and tasselled border; west of the mouth of the Kennebec River are a marshy shore and many low grassy islands; but east of this river the shore becomes more and more bold, rising in the precipitous cliffs and rounded summits of Mt Desert and Quoddy Head, 1527 and 1000 ft. high respectively. All along the coast-line there are capacious and well-protected harbours, Casco, Penobscot, Frenchman's, Machias and Passamaquoddy bays being especially noteworthy.

After the subsidence came another period of uplift, possibly still in progress. This uplift has brought up submarine deposits of sand, &c., to form little coastal plains at some points along the coast, providing good land for settlement and clay for brick and pottery. Further evidence of this uplift is found in old beach lines now well above sea-level.

The principal river systems of Maine are the Saint John on the north slope, and the Penobscot, the Kennebec, the Androscoggin, and the Saco on the south slope. The mean height of the basin of the St John is exceeded only by that of the Androscoggin, but the fall of the St John River through the greater part of its course in Maine is only sufficient to give a sluggish or a gentle current. The Penobscot, Kennebec, Androscoggin and Saco have numerous falls and rapids.

Fauna.—The animal life of Maine shows a mixture of northern and southern forms, and very little that is peculiar as compared with surrounding regions. The state has moose, caribou and deer, especially in the northern part. The black bear, wolf, catamount, wolverine, wild cat, fox, beaver, racoon, marten, sable, woodchuck, skunk, otter, mink, rabbit and squirrel are also found. Geese, ducks and other water fowl frequent the lakes and bays in the migratory season, and eagles, gulls, hawks, kingfishers, owls, plover, woodcock, “partridge” (ruffed grouse), robins, orioles, bobolinks, blue birds, swallows, sparrows, and many other insectivorous birds arc common. In the inland waters salmon, trout, togue (Salvelinus namaycush), pickerel and bass abound; along the shore there are lobsters, clams and scallops (Pecten irradians); and off the shore are herring, alewives, mackerel, cod, halibut, haddock, smelts, hake, menhaden, porgies and porpoises. The game in the North Woods attracts large numbers of sportsmen during the autumn season.

Flora.—Maine was formerly covered with forests, principally of white pine and spruce, but mixed with these were some hemlock, tamarack, cedar, and, on the south slope, birch, poplar, oak, maple and beech. Chestnut and walnut are rare and are found only near


  1. This condition results from the fact that Maine and the adjacent region were worn down nearly to sea-level by stream erosion, except certain peaks and ridges inland; then the region was elevated and numerous river valleys were cut down below the general erosion surface formed before. Thus we have a general “upland surface,” above which the mountain remnants tower, and below which the rivers have been entrenched.
  2. This name is applied to a chain of lakes (the Rangeley, or Oquossoc, the Cupsuptic, the Mooselookmeguntic, the Molechunkamunk or Upper Richardson, the Welokenebacook or Lower Richardson, and the Umbagog) in Franklin and Oxford counties, in the western part of the state; the Umbagog extends into New Hampshire and its outlet helps to form the Androscoggin River. These lakes are connected by straits, have a total area of between 80 and 90 sq. m., and are from 1200 to 1500 ft. above the sea. The are sometimes called the Androscoggin Lakes.