~ Augusta, Maine and the Dessert of Maine ~

Augusta is the capital of Maine and county seat of Kennebec County. It is the third-smallest state capital after Montpelier, Vermont, and Pierre, South Dakota. Augusta is located on the Kennebec River at the head of tide, which is an average point at which the ocean tides cease to affect a river. The original settlement at the location was known by its Indian name "Cushnoc," meaning "head of tide."

Maine's State House rear view
The building was completed in 1832, one year after Augusta became the capital of Maine. It was built using Maine granite, the State House was based on the design (same architect) of the Massachusetts State House. Maine was formerly part of Massachusetts, and became a separate state in 1820.

Augusta, Maine, Capitol Building

On the left is the front of the State house. Right is a shot of the inner dome. The area directly under the dome was roped off, so I couldn't get a straight shot up. I set the camera on timer, then held the camera out on the tripod to get this shot. This was the best one as the others were rated terrible.

Two views of the Maine Senate Chambers

Left is the Maine House Chambers. It also was roped off so I could only get one view. On the right is The Blaine House (Governor's Mansion), also known as James G. Blaine House, which is the official residence of the Governor of Maine and his or her family. The Executive Mansion was officially declared the residence of the Governor in 1919 with the name "The Blaine House." It is located across from the State House on the north side.

The Grounds

The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Formerly placed in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House (now renamed Independence Hall), the bell was commissioned from the London firm of Lester and Pack (today the Whitechapel Bell Foundry) in 1752. It originally cracked when first rung after arrival in Philadelphia, and was twice recast by local workmen John Pass and John Stow, whose last names appear on the bell. In its early years, the Liberty Bell was used to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions and to alert citizens to public meetings and proclamations.
As part of the Liberty Bell Savings Bonds drive in 1950, 55 replicas of the Liberty Bell (one each for the 48 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories) were ordered by the United States Department of the Treasury and were cast in France by the Fonderie Paccard. The bells were to be displayed and rung on patriotic occasions. Many of the bells today are located near state capitol buildings, although some are in other state locations.


At the time, "Pensylvania" was an accepted alternative spelling for "Pennsylvania." That spelling was used by Alexander Hamilton, a graduate of King's College (now Columbia University), in 1787 on the signature page of the United States Constitution.
"This reproduction of the Liberty Bell was presented to the people of the state of Maine by direction of the Honorablle John W. Snyder, Sevretary of the Treasury as the inspiriational symbol of theUnited States Savings Bonds Independence Drive from May 15,1950. It was displayed in every part of this state. The dimensions and tone are identical with those of the original Liberty Bell."
I have photographed the replica Liberty Bells in most of the State Capitols that I have visited and at least one not at a capitol.

Unorganized Territory School System: This bell called pupils to a rural school in Washington County for 124 years. It was preserved through the cooperation of Mr. Halcott Gilman & Family of Brookton and the Maine Teachers Association in 1964.

Desert of Maine

The Desert of Maine is a 40-acre tract of exposed glacial silt surrounded by a pine forest in the town of Freeport, Maine. the silt is sand-like substance, but not actually sand. It is also called glacial flour and is ground rock, not silica. The Desert of Maine originated when a family whose surname was Tuttle farmed the site beginning in 1797. Failure to rotate crops, combined with land clearance and overgrazing, led to soil erosion, exposing a dune of sand-like glacial silt. The initial exposed small patch of sand gradually spread and overtook the entire farm. The Tuttles abandoned the land in 1919 when it was purchased for $300 by Henry Goldrup, who converted it to a tourist attraction (more like a tourist trap) in 1925.
Note: The Desert of Maine is another location posted out of sequence on these pages. There weren't enough photos of Augusta or DoM to make a page for each. I was in Augusta on August 14 and DoM on August 20.

Some of these tree trunks are buried up to 20 feet deep in the silt. How do they survive?

The surrounding forest was more interesting than the desert. I found fields of these green areas, which on closer inspection proved to be new born pine trees. The carpets of white were even more mysterious and I have no idea what they were.

What's a desert without camels? Well, plastic camels anyway.

At the base of the dunes in the photo on the right is a small creek, which acts as a buffer preventing the dunes from advancing. Silt blown into the stream are carried off and the dunes do not move beyond this point.

Makes one wonder why the obviously smaller camel is the one carrying all the gear and has a saddle?

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