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Boats in the Snow #3

03/03/2015
Cape Jellison Road, Stockton Springs, ME.

Cape Jellison Road, Stockton Springs, ME.

Stockton Springs  is a good example of a Maine ghost town so I thought it would be a good place to look for abandon Boats in the Snow.

I was right.

In the late 19th and early 20th Century, Stockton Springs was a thriving seaport town. It featured huge shipping piers, a giant potato warehouse and a spider web of rail lines to service everything. As the shipping industry declined so did the Stockton Springs economy. The town was already struggling when a massive fire in 1924 destroyed the shipping piers and all the warehouses and factories around it.

Today, the mostly empty buildings of downtown Stockton Springs are bypassed by Highway 1. I had a hard time finding any evidence of its industrial and shipping past. A little used rail line passes through a wasteland of scrub trees, about a half-mile from the town post office.

But as I ventured deeper into Stockton Springs, closer to its rocky shoreline, I discovered that while industry is long gone, the people remain and a lot of them have old boats. The old boats are propped up on stilts out in the backyard or next to a barn, waiting for a flood to carry them away. Of course, in the unlikely event of a flood, the boats appear to be in no condition to hold water. They would sink like a rusting Buick with no wheels.

So why keep them around? Why prop them up?

Maybe the old boats just demonstrate good Mainer’s sense of irony.

Or maybe they’re just Boats in the Snow.

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One Comment
  1. The boats are like those old cars.
    Another classic Maine front yard scene is filled with old cars, tractors and other old broken down equipment. You never know when you might need a fender off of an old Buick or International Harvester tractor!
    Way out on Rt 9 there used to be a house what dozens of old cars, tractors and such. I think they’re gone now. When I was a kid we drove by this place several times every summer. Even as 5th generation Mainers we were appalled.

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