33 Interesting Facts About Maine

Last updated on March 12th, 2020

Maine is the 42nd most populous and the 39th most extensive of the 50 states of the United States. It lies in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Maine is the 12th smallest by area. The state attained statehood on March 15, 1820, becoming the 23rd state to join the union. It shares its border with only one state – New Hampshire. Maine (nicknamed: Pine Tree State, Vacation land) has 16 counties. The state’s capital is Augusta.

Facts about Maine

1. Led by the French explorer Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons, the first Europeans arrived in Maine in 1604 in Saint Croix Island.[1]

2. Acadia National Park in Maine is one of the top ten most visited parks in the U.S. In 2018, more than 3.5 million people visited the park. Cadillac Mountains in the Acadia National Park is the first place to view sunrise in the United States from October 7 through March 6. The mountain was named after the French explorer and adventurer, Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, Sieur de Cadillac in 1918. The car company, Cadillac, is named after the legendary explorer.[19]

Maine on the map with its bordering state.
Maine (in red) on the map with its bordering state.

3. Maine’s original state capital was Portland until it was moved to Augusta in 1832.[1]

4. Maine has the most forest cover of any U.S. state. It is nicknamed the “Pine Tree State.” New Hampshire holds the second spot on the list.[1]

5. West Quoddy Head, in Lubec, Maine is the easternmost point of land in the 48 contiguous states.[1]

6. Maine is also the most rural state in the union.[1]

7. Maine is home of the Jackson Laboratory, the world’s largest supplier of genetically purebred mice and the world’s largest non-profit mammalian genetic research facility.[1]

Maine on the map 

8. The University of Maine is the oldest, largest and only research university in the state.

9. Maine has over 2500 lakes and 5000 rivers and streams.

10. Samantha Smith, an American schoolgirl from Manchester, Maine was known as “America’s Youngest Ambassador” in the United States and the “Goodwill Ambassador” in the Soviet Union. During the Cold war, the ten year old Samantha wrote a letter to the leader of the Soviet Union, Yuri Andropov, asking his viewpoint of war with America and what efforts was he taking to avoid the war. Surprisingly, the Soviet leader read her letter and replied to her as well. He also invited her with her family to visit the Soviet Union. However, unfortunately, this bright kid died on 25 August 1985 in an airplane crash in Auburn, Maine.[2]

11. Maine has more than 60 lighthouses. The Portland Head Light is the oldest lighthouse in the state and was the first lighthouse completed after independence from the British. It was completed in 1791 and was automated in 1989.[3,4] 

Sunset by West Quoddy Head lighthouse
Sunset by West Quoddy Head lighthouse, with its red and white stripes, referred to as the “candy cane” lighthouse, in down east Maine, in New England. It is located in the easternmost point in USA.

12. Lubec, Maine, is home to America’s only candy cane-striped lighthouse. West Quoddy Head Light stands on the easternmost point of land in the U.S. The first light house was built on this place in 1808.

13. About 90% of Maine is forested, the highest percentage of any state.[5]

14. The state has the lowest population of any state east of the Mississippi River.

Brown fuzzy winter ear muff.
Brown fuzzy winter ear muff.

15. In 1873, Chester Greenwood, a 15 year old resident of Farmington, Maine invented earmuffs when he was looking for a solution to chilly ears. He patented the first design of his earmuffs in 1877 and later went on to make improvements. He eventually ended up setting a factory for the production of his invention and employed people for the next 60 years.[6]

16. Milton Bradley, the producer of board games, was born in Vienna, Maine.

17. Mount Katahdin is the highest mountain in the U.S. state of Maine. The name means “The Greatest Mountain.”

18. The Maine coon is the official state cat and one of the oldest natural breeds in the U.S.[11]

19. Eartha – the world’s largest rotating and revolving globe is in the town of Yarmouth, Maine. The globe has a diameter of over 41 feet and weighs nearly 5600 pounds. It took two years to build the giant globe. And it surpasses the 33-foot-wide rotating globe in Italy.[10]

20. The Seashore Trolley Museum located in Kennebunkport, Maine is the world’s largest and oldest museum of mass transit in the world.[7]

21. Joan Benoit Samuelson from Cape Elizabeth, Maine was the first-ever women’s Olympic Games marathon winner. She won the Gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. She was inducted into the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame in 2000. At the age of 61 years, she returned to the circuit at the Boston Marathon in April 2019, and completed the race in 3:04.[8,9]

22. Robert Benjamin Lewis from Gardiner, Maine, was one of the few African-Americans in the nineteenth century to patent their inventions or improvements to the existing manufacturing processes. He developed and marketed a concoction he called “Lewis’ Arabian Hair Oil.” He contested that the use of his oil can make the hair grow long, make it healthy and extend its life while giving it a lively experience. In total he held three United States patents.[12]

Brown paper bag.
Brown paper bag.

 

23. Did you know that the machine used to produce flat-bottomed paper bags that we use today for shopping and various other purposes was invented by Margaret Knight born in York, Maine? 

24. With the aid of the data gathered from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Labor Statistics on income and expenses, a study conducted by theseniorlist.com, has found that Maine is one of the least affordable states in the U.S. The expenses in Maine take up 91% of the total income. However, the national average is 81%.[13]

25. Recently, a two-toned rare lobster was found in the icy waters off Stonington, Maine. According to the scientists, it is a one-in-50 million find. From head to toe, the lobster is split into halves of black and orange.[14]

26. Did you know that the largest lobster that was caught in Maine in 1926 is considered to be more than a 100 years old? The lobster weighs more than 50 pounds and  because its age was not calculated at the time when it was captured, we can just estimate its age. In 2018, Maine lobstermen brought more than 119 million pounds of the state’s signature seafood. The color of the blood of a lobster can vary between grey, blue, orange, green and light pink.[15,16,17]

A moose eating plants
Moose eating plants from a pond in Maine.

27. Outside of Alaska, Maine has the largest population of Moose in the United States.[18]

28. Maine is the only state in the United States whose name has one syllable. 

29. Maine was a district of the state of Massachusetts until 1820.

30. Maine has one of the oldest state constitutions in the country, effective since 1819.[20]

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