Can you name this community?
Photographed by Andrew HouserThe city that’s home to this handsome old farm structure is best known for its bustling and historic mill district, but it also cradles quieter stretches of rolling farmland that speak to more bucolic customs. Nestled alongside a small, bow-shaped embayment of the Gulf of Maine, its coast is scattered with craggy islands, lush marshlands, and beaches skirted by dunes. Because of its coastal location and partially navigable river, European colonizers like John Smith and Samuel de Champlain took interest in the area early on, and the first Europeans settled the site in 1616 (predating the Mayflower’s landing at Plymouth Rock). By 1910, this city was the fourth largest in Maine and one of the state’s most ethnically diverse, thanks to an industrial boom that attracted waves of immigrants. Although its mills and factories have been repurposed to new ends, the city remains the principal commercial center of its county and each summer hosts a heritage festival celebrating the diverse cultures that helped shape it. Still, for all that industrial heritage, it’s a short drive from the city center to agrarian tableaus like this one, at the edge of the city limits and alongside the same river that first attracted white settlers.
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