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Arts & Culture

Notable Maine People

Photo Credit: Photo by Nance Trueworthy, from A Seat on the Shore.

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“What happens to me when I cross the Piscataqua and plunge rapidly into Maine at the cost of seventy-five cents in tolls? I cannot describe it. I do not ordinarily spy a partridge in a pear tree, or three French hens, but I do have the sensation of having received a gift from a true love.” - E.B. White

When you want to get to know Maine on a personal level, spend time visiting with some of its notable citizens—the inventors and entrepreneurs, writers and poets, actors and artists, athletes and politicians who have called this state home.

Authors and Artists

To get to know Maine's authors and artists, you can:

  • visit poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's childhood home in Portland;
  • mosey around the Blue Hill peninsula, where E.B. White made his home;
  • visit the St. George peninsula, the inspiration for Sara Orne Jewett's Country of the Pointed Firs;
  • keep an eye out for both Pulitzer-winning author Richard Russo and songwriter Don McLean in Camden;
  • reserve a seat on Bangor's "Tommyknockers and More" Stephen King tour;
  • discover the inspiration for Andrew Wyeth's works at the Olson House in Cushing;
  • view Rockwell Kent's studio on Monhegan Island or Winslow Homer's studio on Prout's Neck;
  • explore the Louise Nevelson Gallery at The Farnsworth Museum, in the sculptor's hometown of Rockland;
  • immerse yourself in the opera memorabilia of Lillian Nordica, Farmington's native diva;
  • explore tide pools in the coastal Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge;
  • admire the statue honoring director John Ford in Portland;
  • or pedal along with "Dr. McDreamy" in Lewiston's annual Dempsey Challenge, which benefits the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing in Lewiston.

Historical Figures

You can learn about Maine's historical figures by:

  • visiting the Joshua L. Chamberlain House in Brunswick to learn about the general's role in the battle of Gettysburg and the surrender of Lee's army at Appomattox;
  • visiting the Margaret Chase Smith Library in Skowhegan to learn about the first woman elected to both houses of Congress;
  • wander around Waterville, home of senator and peace negotiator George Mitchell. Perhaps you can also pop into Lebanese Cuisine for a taste of his Lebanese heritage;
  • or visit the statue honoring peace ambassador Samantha Smith, outside the Maine State Museum in Augusta.

Inventors

You can draw inspiration from Maine's inventors by:

  • honoring the creator of the earmuff at Chester Greenwood Day in Farmington, which includes a parade complete with earmuffs decorating the light poles along the parade route;
  • learn about the Stanley brothers, who invented the "Stanley Steamer" automobile, at the Stanley Museum in Kingfield;
  • or shop the empire that L.L. Bean began in Freeport with a simple hunting shoe.

Athletes

You can celebrate Maine's athletes by:

  • visiting the statue of Olympic gold-medalist Joan Benoit in Cape Elizabeth; or perhaps sharing the slopes of Sugarloaf with two-time Olympic gold medalist Seth Wescott.