The road that later became Historic Route 1 started as a trail during the 1600s. Burned trees marked the way, crude bridges crossed ravines, and canoe ferries transported goods and people across wider rivers. Later, the first horse carrier service would be established in New Jersey.
Discover the quintessential New England adventure along Historic Route 1.
291 West Main Street, Fort Kent, ME, 04743A small wooden Route 1 marker can be found on the street in Fort Kent. The front side of that one identified Key West, Florida, as the beginning of U.S. Route 1. The other side of the sign put that distinction on Fort Kent. Whatever the geographical or historical facts, one thing was certain – Fort Kent is the beginning of your 2,373-mile odyssey down the highway. Fort Kent, nestled along a bend in the St. John River separating the U.S. and Canada, is a town that grew out of a war that almost happened in 1839. That year the U.S. and Canada, which was then still a Crown Colony of Great Britain, were feuding about where exactly Maine ended and the Canadian Province of New Brunswick began. Rich forest lands were at stake and citizens of both countries had rushed to the disputed border. Some had gone considerably beyond it to lay competing claims to the land and its resources. Maine sent its militia to what it considered the border. British forces responded in kind and the stage was set for the Aroostook County War. Before shooting started, wiser heads prevailed. Then U.S. Secretary of State Daniel Webster went to London to negotiate a compromise with the British. After the requisite period of diplomatic blather, both sides agreed to split the difference. Maine’s border with New Brunswick was placed farther south than the Americans had insisted it should be and farther north than the British and Canadians had wanted it to be. Thus was avoided a conflict that essentially would have been about huge tracts of land with very large trees. Although a few deaths were reported from disease and mishap – one farmer reportedly lost a cow to some trigger-happy militiaman – the Aroostook County War was entirely bloodless. No gravestones or cemeteries mark the war’s footprint. Its only physical memento is a wooden blockhouse built on the bank of the St. John River in 1838. And a marching song sung to the tune of Auld Lang Sine.
Phone: (207) 834-5354
416 W. Main Street, Fort Kent, ME, 04743On a bluff above the river sits the Fort Kent Blockhouse (National Park Service), a wooden fort built in 1838 to repel the invasion from Canada that never came. It was two stories high and six sided, with small, square windows spaced six to a side. Forty men could have sheltered inside and poured musket fire on anyone attempting to come into the town from the river. The Blockhouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Phone: (207) 834-9040
55 Front Street, Bath, ME, 04530BATH, (50 alt., 9,110 pop.), named for the ancient city of Bath, England, has a history of almost two centuries of shipbuild- ing, though its yards turn out comparatively few vessels today. Its heyday was in the wooden-ship era, though the first steel sailing vessel, a four-master, was built here. Naturally, many of its inhabit- ants have been shipmasters and shipowners, and the older homes are filled with souvenirs from distant parts of the earth printed Indian linens, teakwood chests, blue and white ginger jars from Canton, and strangely shaped sea shells and still have a faint odor of sandal- wood, camphor, and spice. During the World War the local yards were active again, attracting several thousand workmen, but the revival was temporary. The chief event in local life, however, is still the launching of a new craft; and the townspeople follow the histories of Bath ships with pride. BATH IRONWORKS , in the center of the city at Union and Water Sts. below the Carlton Bridge, was founded by Gen. Thomas Hyde after his return from the Civil War. Some fairly large and many small Government vessels have been built here, including the battleship Georgia, cruisers, and lighthouse tenders. Many fine yachts have also come from this plant.Nearby are other shipbuilding works that can make any but the largest vessels. The new DAVENPORT MEMORIAL BUILDING, Front St., housing the Bath municipal offices, has in its tower a bell cast in 1805 at the Paul Revere foundry. The DAVENPORT MEMORIAL MUSEUM in the building contains ship paintings, original half-models from which were built famous Kennebec merchantmen and vessels launched in other Maine ports, and many exhibits of importance in Maine marine history. In the beautifully landscaped CITY PARK, on Front St., is a cannon taken from the British man-of-war Somerset, which was "swinging wide at her moorings" in Boston Harbor when Paul Revere made his ride. The cannon was used for the firing of salutes at Bath until the Civil War.
Phone: (207) 443-8330
64 Balsam Drive, Millinocket, ME, 04462Ok, it is not on Route 1 but you can see it from the road. Our best advise is to visit here first before going to Fort Kent. This place is either the beginning or the end of the Appalachian Trail. It is world famous . It is home to Maine’s highest peak, MT Katahdin, countless hiking trails, untouched wilderness areas as well as pristine lakes, rivers and streams. The goal of the park is to keep the area wild with minimal impact from visitors. The park maintains a carry in-carry out policy, and pets, motorcycles and large vehicles are prohibited. If you are adventurous, take the single lane, dirt road that connects the southern and northern park gates. Don't go in winter!
Phone: (207) 723-5140
6 Cogwell St, Jonesport, ME, 04649One of the best nautical stores on the East Coast! BEALS (40 alt.; Beals Town, 524 pop.) is a fishing community on Beals Island,as well as a summer resort, where the popular sport is deep-sea fishing. There is a faithful congregation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at Beals. In 1865 G. J. Adams, a Mormon missionary from Phila- delphia, succeeded despite local opposition in recruiting followers here. Prevail- ing upon many to sell their worldly goods, he organized the Palestine Emigration Association, issuing a religious publication, The Sword of Truth and the Harbinger of Peace. After arrangements had been made with the Turkish Government, through the American consul, 175 members left on a 52-day voyage to Palestine in the barkentine, Nellie Chapin, and settled near Jaffa. Beset by internal dissensions, misunderstandings with the natives, and disease caused by poor sanitary condi- tions, the colony was disbanded within a year and the survivors returned to the United States.
A small wooden Route 1 marker can be found on the street in Fort Kent. The front side of that one id... More >291 West Main Street, 04743Phone: (207) 834-5354
On a bluff above the river sits the Fort Kent Blockhouse (National Park Service), a wooden fort buil... More >416 W. Main Street, 04743Phone: (207) 834-9040
BATH, (50 alt., 9,110 pop.), named for the ancient city of Bath, England, has a history of almost t... More >55 Front Street, 04530Phone: (207) 443-8330
Ok, it is not on Route 1 but you can see it from the road. Our best advise is to visit here first be... More >64 Balsam Drive, 04462Phone: (207) 723-5140
One of the best nautical stores on the East Coast! BEALS (40 alt.; Beals Town, 524 pop.) is a fishi... More >6 Cogwell St, 04649
Discover the quintessential New England adventure along Historic Route 1.