Letters to the Editor
Read what our readers have to say about Maine.
Where in Maine?
Growing up in York, Jefferd’s Tavern, the subject of your December mystery photo, was right across the street from my house and part of my education in York’s history. My mother is a Blaisdell, and the Blaisdells helped to settle the town in the seventeenth century, after six Blaisdell brothers were shipwrecked on Pemaquid Point.
Then there was that day when they mounted the whole structure on a massive set of wheels and rolled it down the street to its present location next to the one-room school (shown in your picture) and near the Old Gaol Museum, the oldest public building in the U.S. still in use (though not as a jail).
—Lew Flagg, Milford, Massachusetts
Andrew Vietze’s article in your December issue is an excellent summary of a grim incident on our coast three hundred years ago. The crew of the Nottingham Galley scrambled onto the rock of Boon Island as their ship was battered and sunk by the gale. The men who died before rescue came, and those who survived to defend their actions on that rock, are all long gone today.
Some fragments of the ship herself can still be seen, however. In 1995 the Maine State Museum, the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center, and volunteer divers excavated the wreck site. The remains of nine cannon and some small artifacts were recovered. Amazingly, nautical archaeologist Dr. Warren Riess and his students were able to extract wooden tompion plugs, wadding, and gunpowder bags from two of the cannon. Artifact conservator Molly Carlson of Wiscasset researched and performed the incredibly delicate work of stabilizing two paper gunpowder bags and other material weakened by three centuries under water.
The exhibit at the Maine State Museum mentioned in your article displays one of the surviving cannon and the charge loaded by the crew members now long dead. The exhibit runs through March.
—Joseph R. Phillips
Director, Maine State Museum
My wife said with difficulty (she was crying),”You must read this!” She held up your December issue and pointed to your “Editor’s Note.” I would be remiss not to tell you that here on Long Island we also have many “empty chairs” this holiday season!
—Charles & Marion Millner
Long Island, New York
The Maine Experience
Two of my favorite articles were in your November issue: venison and sea glass. I am happy that I have friends who take their guns and head to the woods in deer season. My favorite two recipes include a pressure- cooker and a packet of onion soup mix, plus additional onions to taste: Brown 2/3 pound roast. Add 1/2-2/3 cup of water. Cook with gauge on second ring (put it on after the steam starts) for fifteen to twenty minutes.
Turn off heat. Let gauge lose pressure completely before unlocking lid. Venison will be tender and tasty. Use
juice to make gravy. (The same works with floured and browned deer steaks, but add sautéed mushrooms.)
As for sea glass, my summer table centerpiece always includes a glass cylinder or antique quart jar of sea glass, especially since I am a retired collector.
Your whole November issue is very special and a wonderful picture of the breadth of the Maine experience.