Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Brochure for "Sightseeing Pleasure Tours of Portland Maine"

Here's a green, tri-fold brochure titled "Sightseeing Pleasure Tours of Portland Maine and the Islands of Casco Bay." There's no date of publication listed anywhere on the brochure and only a few solid context clues; I'd guess it was published sometime between 1946 and 1950.

The tours were operated by The Falmouth Transportation Company in Portland, Maine. With exclamation points aplenty, the brochure is clearly pitching its tours to visitors to New England, not local residents:
"With a bow to Mother Nature, we've planned these trips for your pleasure. Rolling surf! Rugged coast line! Tree-studded islands in beautiful placid bay! Historical interests! Happy remembrances!"
Four tours are described, and the prices range from $1 to $5, plus tax. Here are some highlights from the offerings:

(Combination Bus and Boat Tour)

  • Western Promenade, which offers views of the White Mountains in New Hampshire
  • Western Cemetery
  • Eastern Promenade
  • Tukey's Bridge
  • "through the heavily wooded Falmouth Foresides"
  • "board the new and Smooth-Sailing Diesel Powered passenger boat, Nellie G III"1
  • through the inner Casco Bay
  • Islands to be seen include Cousins, Littlejohn, Sturdivant, Clapboard, Basket and the destination of Chebeague Island

(Cape Shore & Lighthouse Drive, via the Beaches)

  • "graceful curving Cape Shore Drive bordering the outer harbor"
  • the extreme tip of Cape Elizabeth
  • United States Military Reservation, Fort Williams2
  • Portland Headlight (pictured at right)
  • "sometimes a whale or two"
  • Crescent Beach, with a short stop at Kettle Cove
  • Higgins Beach
  • Prout's Neck [sic]
  • Stroudwater
  • Deering Oaks

(Complete Tour of the Forest City)

(Famous Poland Spring and Bay of Naples)

This final tour -- which lasts all day and costs $5 (plus 75 cents tax) -- is described in the brochure in tantalizing fashion: "We will take you over 78 miles of the most scenic routes, off main roads and along rustic trails that border picturesque brooks and birch-lined lakes."

There's a stop in a Shaker village at Sabbathday Lake. But the primary destination is Poland Spring, "a gorgeous setting of more than 5000 acres of natural playground."

Pictured above is the Poland Spring House, which was a highlight of this tour. The historic hotel and spa opened in 1876, closed in 1965 and burned to the ground on July 3, 1975. An excellent website by Brian Harris offers a detailed history of Poland Spring and the Poland Spring House. There's lots of great reading there.

And, for even more on Poland Spring, there's an Images of America volume offered by Arcadia Publishing.

So, who's ready to head to Maine this summer?

1. Multiple websites confirm that the Nellie G III was constructed and launched in 1946. So, if it's being described as "new" in this brochure, I'm guessing the brochure was published sometime in the range of 1946 to 1950.
2. This is another minor context clue. Fort Williams was decommissioned in 1964 and turned into Fort Williams Park.
3. Here's another Longfellow-related Papergreat post: Saturday's postcards: Longfellow's Wayside Inn in Massachusetts

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