Saturday, November 20, 2010

The more things change....

I sometimes look at postcards of the Penobscot River on Ebay trying to guess the site, and see how things have changed. That's what I was doing two weeks ago when I came across this postcard.
This shows a steamer traveling up the Penobscot River, presumably to Bangor. The postmark on the rear of the card is 1912. In the foreground is a ramp and a dock. I suspect that's on a point of land which hosted a small town park in the early 1900's. Old photos I've seen in Historical Sketches, Hampen Maine, by the Hampden Historical Society show a covered pavilion back in the woods on the point. Currently there is nothing there except a level spot, and honestly, I'm not sure it's still town land. Now at the top of the page I've positioned myself roughly in the same spot the photographer had. But that's not what caused me to buy the postcard. Many postcards of the Penobscot River feature the Hampden Narrows, the high bluff to the left. What caused me to buy the postcard was this picture, taken just a month earlier on a Sunday morning paddle and posted on the 1000 mile blog.

We hadn't headed out that morning expecting to see the Patience, but there it was, a scene nearly identical to one taken 98 years earlier.


  1. Interesting story! Since I have a minor in history, your post has inspired me to investigate the history of my region - especially Kerr Lake!

  2. Nice-I've done the same thing with old postcards. They may have not had Photoshop back then, but I have found the old time photographers combine photos, inserted trees where there were none and in one case moved an entire building (in the photo). Many people did not travel much or understand that a photo could be changed.
    Great work!

  3. Mike, I'll be interested in seeing what you discover. I thought maybe you'd give the history of Lake Holt's Camp Butner. Scott, I was surprised to see that even in this picture. Looking at the trees to the left, I can see where the sky was cut away. Was that a fairly common practice?

  4. Camp Butner and Lake Holt histories would be good future topics. Many thanks for the suggestion. BTW, I like the (redesign?)of your blog with the pages listed under your main banner. AND your comments under "Blogs I follow and why" section - especially about Durhamblogger! ;-) BTW... what is your first name please? I know your husband's name is Mark from your earlier posts.