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What is this thing? Guess & win!

09/27/2013
A concrete steps leads to a grassy area surrounding the rock structure

A concrete steps leads to a grassy area surrounding the rock structure

An old rock wall constructed in a circle and featuring a rusty, iron gate as its only passage sits adjacent to Highway 15 in a lost river bluff  town not far from Bangor.

What the heck is it?

A concrete sign was built into the mysterious structure. The slab lists the date as 1807.

That’s it. Nothing else.

Jen and I have passed the structure many times as we drive south from the Bangor/Brewer area.  Each time I crane my neck back looking for clues to its original use.

But there is little to go on.

An iron gate is the only structure passage way

An iron gate is the only structure passage way

The rock wall is round, stands about five feet tall and is maybe 30 feet in diameter. It looks like the foundation to a grain silo…only they never grew much grain in Maine.

The structure sits on a wooded bluff overlooking the Penobscot River next to a highway that connects Brewer and Bucksport, a road that probably served as an ox cart trail.

About a half mile south is a crossroads where the old ox cart trail intersected a ferry road. I imagine the town was a busy transit hub back in the 19th Century.  Farmers and other travelers would brave a steep hill down to the river and cross over to Hampden. The nearest bridge over the Penobscot connects Brewer and Bangor, about six miles away.

Why is this structure so far away from the obvious center of town? Why is it round? Was there a roof? Were there any other fixtures? Who built it?

A vehicle zips by the structure at 60 mph on Hwy. 15 heading from Brewer to Bucksport.

A vehicle zips by the structure at 60 mph on Hwy. 15 heading from Brewer to Bucksport.

Well, this afternoon during a bike ride I finally got my answer….but I’m not telling

you…at least right now.

Leave your guess below. I’ll reveal the mysterious structure’s origin and use
in future post. Those who guess correctly will receive a free weekend stay at the NickMoore Hotel in Bangor. (Sorry, Maine residents are ineligible)

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From → Out and about

4 Comments
  1. Chris permalink

    My guess – It is either a well or cistern

  2. Tim Sinn permalink

    The word “pound” already gives it away (everyone has heard the term “dog pound”). But of course in this day and age a quick search on Google will give a very detailed explanation of the Orrington Pound. Perhaps you shouldn’t have divulged what the sign said to keep people guessing.

  3. blhanscom permalink

    That’s exactly what it was. The town pound was the place where livestock was taken if they got out of their pasture. I’m not sure of what was charged to claim your animal but it was a few cents a day probably. Quite a lot back in the day.

  4. joan quigley permalink

    Town pound

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