Crazy Laws in Maine and Fun Facts
Crazy Laws in Maine and Fun Facts
If you plan to 'tickle women under the chin with a feather duster,' do not do it in the state of Maine. It is one of their crazy laws. And 'do not park in front of Dunkin' Donuts.' That is another strange, crazy law.
Crazy Laws in the State of Maine
• It is unlawful to tickle women under the chin with a feather duster.
Perhaps because the citizen who tried that with a woman he did not know is no longer with us.
• It is required by law that all men bring their shotguns to church every Sunday in the event of a Native American attack.
You can’t be too careful these days.
• Maine forbids one from going skydiving by making it illegal to step out of a plane while it is in flight.
I would have no problem whatsoever obeying that law!
• An early version of the chance game of Bingo, called Beano, is legally regulated in this state. The legal rules dictate that a person conducting or assisting in the conduct of the game may assist players by playing their cards while they take a restroom break.
Isn’t that carrying customer service just a little too far?
But …this allowance does not apply in high-stakes Beano.
Crazy Laws in the Cities of Maine
• In Augusta – it is against the law to stroll down the street playing a violin.
I could easily obey this crazy law; I can’t play a violin even when I’m standing still.
• In Biddeford – it is illegal to gamble at the airport.
These days you gamble when you just take a trip to or from the airport.
• No person may roller skate on a sidewalk.
Skate in the gutter – it’s much more challenging.
• In Ellsworth – If any part of the sign ordinances of the city are more stringent than federal laws, even though they may be in conflict with them, they will prevail.
Does Obama know about this?
• It is illegal to expectorate from any second-story window.
If you must spit, go downstairs.
• In Wells – deer may not be fed. This law is very explicit and reads: “No person, except the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife or his/her designee or the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service or his/her designee, shall feed or bait deer in the Town of Wells.”
As you can imagine, the deer in Wells are a scrawny bunch.
• In South Berwick – It is illegal to park in front of Dunkin Donuts.
Do you think it might have been Krispy Kreme Donuts who sponsored that law?
• Advertisements may not be placed in cemeteries.
Can’t help but wonder what they would advertise.
Fun Facts and Illustrious Information
• Maine's earliest inhabitants were descendants of Ice Age hunters.
• The earliest culture known to have inhabited Maine, from roughly 3000 B.C. to 1000 B.C., were the Red Paint People, a maritime group known for elaborate burials using red ochre.
• The first European settlement in the area was made on St. Croix Island in 1604 by French explorers including Samuel de Champlain. The French named the area Acadia.
• The first ship, the Virginia, about 56 feet in length and built by English colonists in America was launched on the Kennebec River in 1607.
• France and England fought for control of the New England area during the French and Indian Wars.
The Treaty of Paris ended all French claims to Maine and most of North America in 1763.
• York, named for York, England, became the first incorporated city in America in 1642.
Today it is a well-known summer resort town with three 18-hole golf courses, four sandy beaches and picturesque views of famous Cape Neddick Light at Nubble Rock.
• With a total area of 33,215 square miles, Maine covers nearly as many square miles as the other five New England states combined.
• The first naval battle of the Revolutionary War was fought off Machias, Maine in 1775. Machias is home to Burnham Tavern, built in 1770, which is now a museum housing mementos from the Battle of Machias.
• Fort Knox was erected in 1844 to protect the Penobscot River Valley from British naval attack. The fort was built of granite quarried from Mount Waldo in Frankfort.
In 1923, the federal government declared the fort excess property and put its 125-acre grounds up for sale. Maine purchased it for $2,121. It is now a U.S. Historical Landmark.
• Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, born in Portland, was considered the most influential poet of his day. His most popular works include ‘The Courtship of Miles Standish,’ ‘Evangeline’ and ‘Hiawatha.’
• Togus is the site of the first Veteran's Hospital in the United States founded in 1866.
Mineral springs on the site were originally described by Native Americans as ‘worromontogus’ (translated as ‘place of the mineral spring’).
When the 134-room Togus Springs Hotel closed, it was purchased by the federal government for $50,000, and began operations as the Eastern Branch of the National Asylum for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.
• The morning sun shines first on Eastport, the most eastern city in the U.S. Lubec is the most easternmost town.
• The first sardine factory was built in Eastport in 1875. By 1886, the town contained 13 sardine factories, operating day and night during the season, and producing about 5,000 cases per week.
About 800 men, women and children worked in the plants.
• Eastport hosts the largest Fourth of July celebration in Maine.
• John D. Rockefeller, Jr., youngest child of Standard Oil co-founder Rockefeller Sr., funded the majority of Acadia National Park’s carriage roads and trail systems constructed from 1915 to 1933.
Cut granite stones were placed along the edges of the carriage roads to act as guard rails of sort and are known as ‘coping stones’ to help visitors cope with the steep edges.
They are also nicknamed ‘Rockefeller's teeth.’
• Acadia National Park, created in 1919, is one of the most visited U.S. National Parks with over 2 million annual visitors. It consists of more than 47,000 acres. Only Yellowstone Park has more visitors.
• Wilton is known for being the location of Maine's first cotton mill started in 1810 by Solomon Adams.
• In 1876, George Henry Bass founded G.H. Bass & Co. and became the best-known businessman in Wilton's history. The factory closed in 1998.
• Charles Lindbergh was wearing Bass shoes from Maine when he flew across the Atlantic.
• Bath is known as the ‘City of Ships.’ Shipbuilding began here in 1743 when Jonathan Philbrook and his sons built 2 vessels.
Since then, roughly 5,000 vessels have been launched in the area, which at one time had more than 200 shipbuilding firms.
During World War II, Bath Iron Works launched a new ship an average of every 17 days.
The shipyard is a major regional employer, and operates today as a division of General Dynamics Corporation.
• How did the Whoopie Pie get its name? Legend says that Amish women would bake desserts known as hucklebucks or creamy turtles at the time, and put them in lunch pails.
When farmers found the treats in their lunch, they would shout, ‘Whoopie!’ The original Whoopie pies may have been baked from cake batter leftovers.
The Whoopie Pie is the official state treat of Maine (not to be confused with the official state dessert, which is blueberry pie.) Nicknames for this treat are black moon, gob, black and white, bob, BFO, and (my favorite) Big Fat Oreo.
• West Quoddy Head in Lubec is the closest point to Europe from the fifty States. It overlooks Quoddy Narrows, a strait between Canada and the U.S.
Since 1808, there has been a lighthouse there to guide ships through the waterway. The current one, with distinctive red-and-white stripes, was built in 1858.
• Mount Katahdin is the state's highest point at 5,270 feet above sea level. Penobscot Indians named it, ‘The Greatest Mountain.’
• Maine’s oldest maritime museum built in 1936 is the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport which houses numerous historic buildings and marine memorabilia.
• Maine has 3,478 miles of coastline – more than California (3,427), and over 5,000 miles of coast if you include all the islands as well. Only Florida and Louisiana (mostly bayou) have more miles of coastline.
• Maine has 3,166 off-shore islands – only about 1,200 of them comprise an acre or more.
• Funtown Splashtown U.S.A., is an amusement park located in Saco with 25 different rides. The park features Maine’s only wooden roller coaster, the Excalibur.
Some Notable Mainers
F. Lee Bailey (attorney), John Ford (6 Academy Awards), Melville Fuller (U.S. Supreme Court), Edna St. Vincent Millay (poet), George Putnam (publisher), Nelson Rockefeller (41st VP, U.S.), Milton Bradley (board game manufacturer)
• Maine lobster yield annually is 40 million pounds.
• A traditional lobster roll is a sandwich filled with lobster meat soaked in butter and served on a steamed roll similar to a hamburger roll but the opening is on the top rather than on the side.
McDonald’s serves a lobster roll called McLobster.
• Freeport is home to the L.L. Bean Company, the first retail clothier to be open 24/7/365, founded in 1912. In 2012, annual sales were $1.52 billion.
A 16-foot-tall rubber bottom boot sculpture stands in front of the L.L. Bean store. And an L.L. Bean boot car travels the streets of Freeport.
• Maine's coastline has so many deep harbors it could provide anchorage for all the Navy fleets in the world.
• One of the most well-known Maine residents is the author of horror and supernatural novels, Stephen King, who has sold more than 350 million copies of his books.
He lives in Bangor with his wife, Tabitha, in a magnificent downtown house built in 1858.
The wrought iron fencing around his home is appropriately decorated with bats, spiders and spider webs.
Stephen King wrote his first novel, ‘Carrie,’ while working as a school teacher in Bangor. His novels are famously set in the fictional town of Derry, Maine.
• Chester Greenwood (1858-1937) of Farmington invented the ear muff in 1873, at the age of 15.He thought of the idea while ice skating, and had his grandmother sew tufts of fur between loops of wire.His patent was named improved ear protectors.
His invention provided jobs for people in the Farmington area for nearly 60 years.
Chester also patented a whistling tea kettle, a steel-toothed rake, an advertising matchbox, and a machine used to produce wooden spools for wire and thread.
• Peaks Island, Maine is home to a museum dedicated solely to umbrella covers - over 700 of them. Not umbrellas, only umbrella covers.
• Founded in 1939, the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport displays more than 250 trolleys, streetcars, and other historic forms of public transportation.
The first purchase was a 12-bench open trolley for $150.
• The original Maine Italian sandwich was served during the early 1900s by Giovanni Amato to workers on the docks of Portland.
The ingredients in this sandwich are salami or ham, cheese, chopped onions, tomatoes, green peppers, pickles, black olives, olive oil, salt, pepper, and a freshly baked roll.
• Red hot dogs can be found in Maine. Locally known as ‘red snappers,' the casing of a red hot dog gets its color from a natural food coloring. The casing also makes a snapping sound when you bite into the hot dog.
• Henry David Thoreau, born in Massachusetts, began making trips to northern Maine in 1838.
He was enchanted by the state's wilderness but deeply troubled by the increasing logging industry. He is sometimes known as the ‘first environmentalist.’
It has been said that Thoreau’s dying word was: ‘Moose!’
Speaking of moose, an adult Bull Moose stands about 7 feet tall at the shoulders and can weigh over 1,600 pounds. The top of its antlers may stand as much as 10 feet off the ground and weigh 60 pounds.
Moose can be found feeding in ponds with lots of vegetation on the bottom. They can eat around 30 pounds of food a day.
• Maine has more moose per mile than any other state. The state’s moose population during the 2013-2014 winter was estimated at 76,000.
• Strong was the ‘Toothpick Capital of the World’ when the Strong Wood Products plant manufactured 20 million toothpicks per day. It closed in 2003.
Speaking of strong, Mainers (Maine citizens) like to advise newcomers: ‘When you are driving, what is the difference between hitting a deer and hitting a moose?’
Answer: ‘If you hit a deer, the deer dies; if you hit a moose, you die.'
State Nicknames: Vacation State or Vacationland or Pine Tree State
State Bird: Chickadee
State Tree: White pine
State Fish: Landlocked salmon
State Berry: Wild Maine blueberry
State Flower: White pine cone and tassel.
State Animal: Moose
State Insect: Honeybee (officially) – Mosquito on the coast and Black fly in the mountains (unofficially)
State Herb: Wintergreen
State Dessert: Blueberry pie baked with wild Maine blueberries
State Gemstone: Tourmaline
State Treat: Whoopie pie
State Cat: Maine coon cat
• In the 17th and 18th centuries, domestic cats brought from Europe faced very severe winters in New England; only the strongest, most adaptable cats survived.
The Maine Coon Cat developed into a large, rugged cat with a water-resistant, thick coat and a hardy constitution.
'The Cider House Rules,' (1999) based on John Irving's novel, was set in fictional Maine towns.
''In the Bedroom,' (2001) nominated for an Academy Award as Best Picture was set in Rockland, Owls Head, Rockport, Camden, Thomaston, Trevette and Old Orchard Beach.
'West Hot American Summer' (2001) was set near Waterville.
'Dreamcatcher,' (2003) based on Stephen King's novel, was set in the fictional town of Derry, Maine.
'Welcome to Mooseport,' (2004) was set in the fictional town of Mooseport.
'Empire Falls,' (2005) 2-part TV miniseries was based on Richard Russo's novel and filmed in Waterville and Skowhegan.
'The Mist,' (2007) based on Stephen King's novel, was set in Maine.
'Home Alone 5' (2012) takes place in Rockland.
Notable Films Made in Maine
'Peyton Place,' (1957) was set in New Hampshire but filmed in Camden, Maine.
'Carrie,' (1976) based on Stephen King's novel, was set in Maine.
'The Whales of August,' (1987) based on David Berry's play, was filmed on Cliff Island.
'Pet Sematary.' (1989) based on Stephen King's novel, was filmed in Ludlow.
' Graveyard Shift,' (1990) film adaptation of the Steven King novel, was filmed in Harmony.
'The Man Without a Face,' (1993) was filmed throughout Mid Coast Maine.
'The Shawshank Redemption,' (1994) was set in Maine.
'Lake Placid,' (1999) was set by a fictional Maine lake.
More Maine Fun Facts
• Maine is the only state in the United States whose name has one syllable.
• Maine is the only state that shares a border with only one other state – New Hampshire.
• Maine contains 542,629 acres of state and national parks.
• Maine is rich in gems - among the biggest zinc and copper deposits in the country plus tourmaline, amethyst, topaz and garnet.
• Maine is the third biggest producer of pure maple syrup in the country.
• Maine produces 25% of all blueberries in North America with 60,020 acres under cultivation.
Note: Maine citizens find the term, ‘Mainer,’ acceptable. The term, ‘Mainiac,’ – not so much!
© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2015. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So."