Friday, October 15, 2010

Coming Out from the Harbor But you Don’t See Where AND Red’s Eats

Wiscasset is in and is the county seat of Lincoln County, Maine. T Pownall Located on the tidal Sheepscot River, it was first settled in 1663. Abandoned during the French and Indian Wars, the town was resettled about 1730 and incorporated as Pownalborough in 1760, named after Colonial Governor Thomas Pownall. In 1802, it resumed its original Abenaki name, Wiscasset, meaning – are you ready? – “coming out from the harbor but you don't see where.”

wiscasset collage Things we didn’t know about Wiscasset – but DO now:

  • A major tourist attraction until 1998 was two ship hulks near the U.S. Rte 1 bridge – the four-masted cargo schooners, Hesper and Luther Little. In 1932, entrepreneur Frank W. Winter bought the ships at auction for $1200. He planned to repair them, then use them to transport lumber to Boston and return with coal. Winter died in 1936 before realizing this plan. For the next 66 years, the two weathered vessels were among the most photographed Maine attractions. After a 1998 storm took out the final masts, the town removed the rotted remains from the Sheepscot River.

  • Wiscasset is in the Guinness Book of World Records for smallest churchhaving the smallest church in the world located on Rte 218. The Union Church was built  in 1958 by a retired Baptist minister, the late, Rev. Louis W. West. It measures 7 feet long and 4-1/2 feet across with room for 2 worshippers. Rev. West performed 10 weddings and 1 baptism in the church. 
  • From 1972 until 1996, Wiscasset was home to Maine Yankee, a pressurized water reactor on Bailey Point, and the only nuclear power plant in the state. In 1995, a small fire erupted and emitted a tremendous amount of smoke. A video was presented on NBC Nightly News. While the fire wasn't a serious threat, many locals believed it was a major environmental concern, resulting in several referendums to have the nuclear plant closed. It has been decommissioned and is inoperative, shutting down in 1997 reportedly when it became too costly to run due to safety and other issues.
  • In 2009, the town lost a legal battle to reclaim an original copydeclaration of the Declaration of Independence that was accidentally sold by the estate of Anna Plumstead, daughter of former town clerk (from 1885-1929), Sol Holbrook. After Ms. Plumstead died 1994, the document was sold at auction. It changed hands several times and in 2002 ended up with a private Virginia collector, Richard L. Adams (founder of UUnet Technologies) who paid $475,000 for it. The State of Maine paid nearly $40,000 in legal fees seeking to reclaim it by citing a state statute that states a public document remains public until explicitly relinquished by the government. A Virginia court ruled that Adams was the rightful owner. 

And, something most folks DO know – and so DO we now.

Red's Eats, a small take out stand, at the intersection  of Water and Main St, directly below the Donald E. reds eats Davey Bridge on Rte 1  considered a landmark. It has been featured in magazines and newspapers, such as USA Today and National Geographic,  major TV network newscasts, and on the internet. The eatery has been reputed to have “The best lobster roll in Maine.” A sign proclaims that it has a pound of lobster meat and that comes at a hefty price of up to $14-$15 based on market price. Traffic on Rte 1 often exceeds 25,000 cars a day in the summer vacation season. Some townsfolk have suggested that Red's relocate, due to the amount of congestion it causes in the village area of town

But if you plan to eat there when it’s open from May through October, be prepared for a wait. There is no inside seating with REALLY long lines and wait times of well over an hour. This was the scene we saw on Columbus Day weekend, after waiting 15 minutes in traffic on the bridge .

Line up at Red's Eats on Columbus Day weekend That’s the bridge in the background and Red’s in the left corner.


Grenville was hoping to give his opinion on whether or not Red’s Eats actually had best lobster roll, but he didn’t wait inline even though a week later, there were NO lines – WHY?  Red’s was closed for the season.reds eats (2)

Guess we’ll have to make a return trip so Grenville can try a lobster roll here, but after he raises a giant pumpkin or squash and wins a big cash prize – he’ll need it to buy lunch at Red’s by that time!


Lois Evensen said...

Thanks for another great tour. I'm having fun traveling with you. :)

grammie g said...

Well I just got caught up on your trip and ended up in the hospital 28 hours(noticed I counted every hour until I got out of there)
I blackout and took a nasty fall on the back of my head stricking on the rock hearth...5 staples and observation hocked to everything you can imagine. grrrr Don't know anything!
Love your trip and will catch up!!

Pat transplanted to MN said...

Very interesting place, Have never been to Maine, but someday we want to do the full New England and catch some of these wonderful historic sites. But for now, it's back on the road to PA to tend to needs and winterize my 92 year old uncle's home. He had fallen in the assisted living center and after release from the ER, his doctor wanted tests and then therapy at a local SNF. About another week to go there, then back to the assisted center. LIfe! Enjoyed your travelogue! Have heard of Red's several times.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Hi Lois, glad that Grenville and I are giving you a fun tour and that you continue to enjoy it. Have a great weekend - your first back home!

Ouch Grammie G. we were sorry to hear about your accident. That was a nasty fall and we send our best to you and hope you are feeling much better after those stiches and observation. Not a fun way at all to spend 28 hours (can understand how you counted them down). Thanks for stopping by and rest up over the weekend. We will be thinking of you too.

Welcome back Pat. Sorry to hear about your uncle's fall and hope he will be better soon, Great that you will be there to help him. Thanks for the nice comments about our road trip. Since we never ate at Red's we can't comment on the food, but it certainly is a popular place and not inexpensive. Sorry to have fallen behind in blog reading while on the road, but will catch up. Drop in again anytime. Enjoy the weekend.

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