The place where artists and writers with Maine connections are showcased.

Posts from the ‘History’ category

Maine Fiction

cover-2My Tainted Blood

In My Tainted Blood, a true story, the author hides to avoid capture during WWII. In the book the author, a German Jew teenager, has to hide himself and his loved ones to avoid capture during WWII. This 400 page tuner is based on the true-life story of Hubert C. Kueter.

My Tainted Blood follows Hubert as a boy and teenager in wartime Breslau and postwar Germany. People’s names have been changed but the circumstances are all too real. Read more

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Princess Watahwaso’s teepe, an Indian Island landmark, preserved by D-Day Medal of honor recipient Charles Norman Shay

In Charles Shay’s book, Project Omaha Beach, he recounts his Maine Indian Heritage as well as war experiences.

The following article and photos appeared in the BDN, By Robert F. Bukaty, May 23, 2014:

You can’t help but notice the large red and white wooden teepee just after you cross the bridge over the Penobscot River onto Indian Island. It’s been a landmark since 1947. But by 1988, when Charles Norman Shay acquired the property which includes the house he now lives in, the buildings were badly dilapidated.

Back then, Shay and his wife, Lilli, were living in Vienna, Austria. He had recently retired from his job with the International Atomic Energy Agency. The couple had decided they would move to the Penobscot reservation where Charles had spent most of his youth. For several summers they traveled to Maine to make repairs to their house. When their new home was finally made livable, they focused their attention on the 24-foot-wide, 30-foot-tall teepee.

Shay’s aunt Lucy Nicolar Poolaw, and her husband, Bruce Poolaw, a Kiowa Indian from Oklahoma, built the teepee. The Poolaws met while traveling the country as performers, portraying “Indians” singing and dancing at Wild West shows. When the stock market crashed in 1929, they moved to Indian Island.

The Poolaws built the structure to be a novelty shop and called it Princess Watahwaso’s Teepee — Lucy’s stage name. A workshop was later annexed to the teepee and local Penobscot women were hired to weave baskets on site, making it a must-see stop for tourists. (Penobscots never used teepees — that was Bruce Poolaw’s influence from the Great Plains.) Read more

Shay, a Pennobscot elder, writes about his experiences in WWII and Korea as a medic

My family and ancestors have lived, hunted and fished along Maine’s seacoast and in the valley of the Penobscot River since the Ice Age. Migrating between the coast and inland forests, they paddled bark canoes on rivers, across lakes and along salt-water bays, pausing to set up camp for a few weeks or months at a time. One of my forefathers was Chief Madockawando who camped seasonally at the headwaters of the Bagaduce (now called Walker Pond), just a few miles from Eggemoggin Reach. One of his daughters, my foremother Pidianiske, married young French military officer Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie, who was stationed at Fort Pentagoet toward the end of the 17th century.

This French colonial stronghold stood at a strategic location guarding the mouth of the Penobscot River. The marriage of Pidianiske and Jean-Vincent connected two families from opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Because his older brother died without children, Jean-Vincent inherited the family castle in Bearn and his father’s title of Baron de Saint-Castin. He and Pidianiske had many children together, including several daughters, one of whom had a son named Joseph Orono who led our Penobscot Indian nation with distinction as chief in the late 1700s. I also descend from John Neptune, a great hunter, shaman, and diplomat who led our tribe for many decades in the early 1800s. One of his many grandsons, Joseph Nicolar, served our people as a tribal representative to the Maine Legislature for several decades. A year before his death in 1894, Nicolar published an important book about the history of my people, titled “The Life and Traditions of the Red Man” (1893). The youngest of his three daughters, Florence, married a Penobscot named Leo Shay, and I am one of their seven children. Read more

Major book publisher, Polar Bear & Company in Central Maine

Polar Bear & Company has been printing quality books and art since 1997 in Solon, Central Maine.

Vision:

We strive to enhance the quality of life through literature and art.

Mission:

To give well-intentioned, creative people avenues for their words, wisdom, wit and other talents so they can reach individuals to make stronger communities.

Democracy flourishes when creativity is allowed freedom of expression.

We publish books and produce art to open one’s imagination and to inspire.

Read more

The Interrupted Forest: A History of Maine’s Wildlands by Neil Rolde

the-interrupted-forest

More than half of Maine has never been settled and lies in what is called the Unorganized Territories, millions of acres of quasi-wilderness. Add to this the thousands of farms that have grown back to woods since the Civil War, and you have the most forested state, percentage wise, in the United States. But the “uninterrupted forest” that Henry David Thoreau first saw in the 1840s was never exactly uninterrupted, for loggers had cut it severely even before the Concord iconoclast’s trip, settlers had gnawed into it, and the Indians, much earlier, had left their mark.

This is the story of these lands, wild then and, in many places, wild still, and the humans who used them and shaped them and fought over them. It is a story that starts in the present with the current controversies over land sales, clear-cutting and spraying, proposals for a gigantic National Park, the future of the pulp and paper and lumber industries, and no less than a secession movement in Northern Maine, and then seeks to answer the question: “How did this extraordinary region come into being?” Read more

Continental Liar From the State of Maine: James G. Blaine by Neil Rolde

continental-liar-from-the-state-of-maineIn 1884 Republican James G. Blaine came within 1,047 votes of becoming the President of the United States. This was the margin by which he lost New York State—and thus the election—to Grover Cleveland in what has been called “the dirtiest campaign in American history.”

Yet his career—arguably the most sensational of any American politician of the so-called Gilded Age—did not end there. He was twice U.S. secretary of state, credited with having started our country on the path to acting like a world power, a powerful speaker of the house in Congress, and a United States senator from his adopted State of Maine.

He was also, in the eyes of his opponents, “The Continental Liar From the State of Maine” or “Slippery Jim”—a sort of “amiable Tricky Dick Nixon,” as he’s been later called.

He was hated by certain members of his own party, yet loved by millions of others, including some of his enemies in the Democratic Party. The press called him “The Magnetic Man,” due to his charisma, and another nickname was the “Plumed Knight.” Blaine and his wife, the former Harriet Stanwood of Augusta, knew most of the important Americans of the time—Lincoln, Harrison, Garfield, Carnegie, Roosevelt, and many others. Read more

Maine In the World: Stories of Some of Those from Here Who Went Away


by Neil Rolde

From its earliest beginnings, the land that became Maine produced adventurous inhabitants who went outside its boundaries to do interesting things that sometimes made them famous or even infamous.

The inspiration for this book came from the tiny Pacific island of Kosrae in Micronesia, where Brewer native and Bangor Theological Seminary graduate the Reverend Galen Snow converted all of the natives to Christianity, and Portlander Harry Skillins left a record as a vicious pirate and who sired a line of descendants by native women. Read more