Historical sites abound in Southern Aroostook
Seeking a quiet, relaxing spot away from hustle and bustle? Several such spots exist in southern Aroostook, many with historical significance.
President Theodore Roosevelt has a deep connection to the Bible Point, located at the confluence of the west branch of the Mattawamkeag River and First Brook. According to a published history of Island Falls, Roosevelt spent part of each day alone in the woods with a Bible, sitting alone and reflecting. A marker is erected near the spot in Island Falls, and the area has been placed in the state Register of Historic Places.
The inscription was erected in 1921 by Roosevelt biographer Hermann Hagedorn. It reads: "This place, to which a great man in his youth liked to come to commune with God and with the wonder and beauty of the visible world, is dedicated to the happy memory of THEODORE ROOSEVELT. Stranger, rest here and consider what one man, having faith in the right and love for his fellowman, was able to do for his country."
The marker is near a watertight box containing a bible and register, another little-known fact.
Other historical sited of note in the area include Garrison Hill on Military Street in Houlton, a site of a military barracks during the Great Aroostook Bloodless War. Houlton International Airport also holds historical significance, as it served as a prisoner of war camp as well as airplane transport facility during World War 11. If you want to know more information about HIA's role in WW 11, visit Cary Library in Houlton. You can also check out the genealogy room to track Shiretown relatives on the family tree.
These are just a few of the many places people can go to combine history and relaxation. For more hidden spots of historical note, check with the tourist information center and the Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce.
Estey House reflects turn of the century
The Vera T. Estey House, 16 Third Street, Presque Isle, was given to the Presque Isle Historical Society in 1993 by Vera T. Estey for use as a museum. The Esteys, John, Helen and their daughter, Vera, moved to the house in 1917.
After the death of her parents, Miss Estey continued to live in the house. She was for many years and officer in the Fairmount Cemetery Association. Her flower garden, from which she sold flowers to the Fresh Market in Boston, was a particularly beautiful one. She could often be seen, in season, working in her flowers. Dedicated members of the Society are gradually restoring the garden.
The house is of turn of the century architecture, having an attached shed and an outbuilding containing a Brougham-type coach which was given to the Society.
Within the house are the original furnishings, oak furniture and also examples of needlework, clothing and artwork of the family. A collection of hats belonging to Miss Estey has been preserved, as well as her sheet music collection.
The Presque Isle Historical Society collection includes memorabilia of the horse, John R. Braden, a trotting horse owner by the Mosseleuk Club of this city and driven by John Willard. The "little iron horse" won many races, had a song written about him and attended a banquet in his honor at a local hotel. A collage of print information concerning the horse may be seen in the front hall of the house.