This week I took a Maine history excursion with my friends Helen and Perley, a nice married couple that I met years ago when they worked together at the recycle station in the town of Gray. As a resident of Gray, I have to take my trash to the dump--excuse me, the transfer station—and recycle what I can before disposing of my trash. Sorting the milk containers from the newspapers from the cardboard from the glass takes time, and that is how I got to talking to Helen and Perley in the first place. I discovered we had a couple of strong interests in common—wildlife and Maine history. We also like to eat seafood. We’ve been chit chatting about these things for years now.
A couple of years ago I asked Perley if he knew where I might find the ruins of the old Gray woolen mill, supposedly the first such mill in the country. He said he knew it, and would I like to go there with him and Helen on their day off. Well of course I did, and then one excursion led to another, and over the past couple of years we have explored a number of interesting sites together. Helen and Perley are a little older than I am—ok, quite a bit older than I am—and they remember a lot of things about the state that I never knew. They both interesting and fun to be with.
This week I went with Helen and Perley to the town of Phippsburg to explore the site of the failed Popham Colony, an English colonial settlement founded in 1607. Then we went on to explore Fort Baldwin, a WWI fort; and Fort Popham, built during the Civil War but never used. We admired the coastal scenery, talked history and took pictures, and then we had a wonderful seafood lunch as we watched swimmers on the town beach a few feet from our restaurant window.
What better way could there be to spend a July summer day in Maine than to spend it with these two good people? Visiting Phippsburg, as it turns out, was just an excuse to spend some time with them.