Black White & Brown » Where we stop and smell the roses for you

Ah Vacationland…a beloved nickname for New England’s youngest and most mysterious state: Maine.

A long-time part of Massachusetts, Maine was the last New England state to be founded in 1820, a near thirty years after its closest sibling: Vermont, in 1791, and thirty-six years after the end of the Revolutionary War. Despite the state’s late-coming, however, its name actually dates back to the 1600s.

During that time, land was still being divided up among the colonies and in 1639, King Charles I made it clear what this particular area would and would NOT be called. When “Laconia” or “New Somerset” were suggested, his answer was a quick and decisive “neither” followed by it “shall forever hereafter be called and named the Province or County of Mayne and not by any other name or names whatsoever.” Ironically just thirteen years later it would be incorporated into Massachusetts and over a hundred years later the name “Maine” would still be hotly contested and debated as it approached statehood.

What is perhaps more interesting though, is that despite King Charles’ formidable tone, no one knows for sure why he insisted on calling it “Maine” in the first place. For a long time people assumed it was a tribute to his wife, Queen Henrietta Maria. Originally from France, she was reported to be manage the country’s Meyne province, but as historians later discovered, that was not the case; Queen Henrietta never managed nor had anything to do with either province, in France or in the colonies.

Today, the more common theory is that the name “Maine” derives from nautical terms, such as “the main”, “Main Land”, “Meyne” or “Mainland” that would have been used to differentiate the landmass from the thousands of islands surrounding it. The pictures seen here are from one of the islands in Casco Bay, just off Portland.

Whatever the case may be, the history and mystery surrounding Maine’s name only speaks to the nature of the state itself. From its busy ports and seaside towns to its acres of forest and thousands of islands, Maine is a state for wonder, exploration and discovery. And as to why its nickname is Vacationland, you’ll just have to visit to find out.

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Ah, the 1950s…a time for milkshakes, the quintessential American housewife and a wave of new, flashy cars.

Making its debut in 1952, the Ford Customline was marketed as Ford’s “MIRACLE RIDE” with “LIFEGUARD SAFETY” and powerful V8 engines that offered “TRIGGER TORQUE.” Considered a mid-level option between the Ford Mainline and the Ford Crestline, it targeted customers who could afford to “take a step up”.

While primarily made in America, the Customline also had success in Australia. No matter the location, drivers and passengers alike were excited by its V8 engine (which was brand new to the industry at the time), the colors it came in (both single and two-tone options were available) and its power-everything: brakes, steering and front seats.

How big was it, how fast did it go, you ask? Measuring 197.8 inches long x 73.9 inches wide on average, the Customline is within inches of today’s Focus, albeit with less than half the horsepower, and like today’s Fusion, it faced fierce competition from the likes of Chevrolet, Buick and Dodge.

The model pictured we believe is a 1954 coupe, based on other (a.k.a more well-kept) versions out there. If you’re interested in buying one, or already own one and are interested in selling, their average value today is about $13K, ranging from the low thousands to low twenty thousands depending on its condition.

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  • Dad - Cool! Looking forward to seeing more!ReplyCancel

  • Amy - i love seeing how nature has camouflaged the old car to blend in with it’s surroundings.ReplyCancel

A beautiful vacation spot, the Amalfi Coast is a known escape for foreigners and Italians alike. With dozens of small towns dotting the coastline, there is easily a place for everyone. Positano is the quintessential Amalfi destination, known for its scenic views, quaint architecture, good food and shopping. The actual “Amalfi” town is home to the 9th century Cathedral of St. Andrew and a beautiful town square. There, you can shop for tourist trinkets, stop for gelato and take in views of Ravello, the town within the hills (several of the pictures posted here feature views of Ravello).

Excited to go yet? If so, there are a few important things you should know before planning your trip. There are no trains or large airports on the coast (the closest landing strip is in Naples), so your main options are car, bus, or shuttle, and unless you’re an experienced Italian driver, we strongly suggest hiring a car service and letting the natives show you how it’s done. Other means of transportation: by boat or on foot, both of which are subject to weather but great for picture-taking.

Once you’re ready to go, here’s where we recommend you stay and eat: Hotel Marmorata in Ravello, where the rooms are built into the cliffs and Amalfi is just a ten minute ride away. Then if you’re looking for a more relaxing spot for lunch (Amalfi is great for food but there’s a lot of hustle and bustle) we suggest you check out Sal De Riso in Minori, a quiet little beach town down the road from Ravello. One thing you absolutely should try: a lemon tour. The Amalfi Coast is known for their lemons and you’ll likely see lemon trees as commonly as you would an oak or maple back home. Then for a luxurious dinner, you’re in luck because after a long day of sight-seeing, the restaurant at the Hotel Marmorata is second to none (note: make your reservation that morning to ensure you get a table).

All in all, if you’re looking for a relaxing place to stay with impeccable food and gorgeous views, it’s hard to go wrong in Amalfi.

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  • Amy Brown - Wonderful pictures and descriptions – I may have to plan a visit to Amalfi very soon!ReplyCancel

    • Black White & Brown - Thank you very much, Amy! We highly reccomend!ReplyCancel

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From the tiny graveyard to the top of the observation tower, the history and scenery of Fort Barton define romanticism in a modern day light. With ties to the Native Americans, a humorous encounter during the Revolutionary War, and eighty-three acres of forest, rivers and greenery, it’s the perfect backdrop for a Saturday afternoon and escape to another time.

Enter the park and you come across a clearing marked by the observation tower and a bronze plaque honoring James Holt, Jr., one of the fort’s most recent and dedicated caretakers.

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Not too far away at the bottom of a hill, you see a tiny graveyard. With just one stone left standing, the rest have been bent or blanketed by time.

Turn back to the clearing and you spot a dirt trail form at the edge of the trees. Step by step, you descend down a flight of stairs made of wood and earth, the first of many you’ll encounter along the way.

At the bottom of the stairs, there’s a trickling stream, passable by way of a footbridge. Cross it and you find another path, leading you deeper into the forest.

For several miles, it winds, taking you over small hills and little creeks. Then with the road noise a distant memory, and the cleanest air filling your lungs as birds dart overhead, you start to wonder if this is what it was like all those years ago.

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In truth, and per the Tiverton Open Space and Land Preservation Commission, the soil and terrain suggest the Pocasset Indians used Fort Barton Woods for hunting and gathering until King Philip’s War of 1675. During the American Revolution, Lieutenant Colonel William Barton launched a night-time raid against the British from Fort Barton. In doing so, he captured British commander General Prescott, and the reports of Prescott being led out in his nightclothes were such a morale booster for the American army, Continental Congress named the redoubt after him.

Today, Fort Barton is home to not only memories of the past but inklings of the future. With it’s intertwining trails, abundance of footbridges and small brooks, it’s the perfect place for families and people of all ages to come and enjoy the day. For more information about Fort Barton, please visit their website at: http://www.tiverton.ri.gov/documents/recreation/FtB_CulturalHistory_Nature.pdf and http://www.tiverton.ri.gov/documents/recreation/FortBartonWoodsMap.pdf.

To purchase photos from the collection seen here, visit: http://blackwhitebrown.pixieset.com/fortbarton/.

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  • Michael Brown - Very sharp, clear pictures…would like to see more! Interesting, well written story line as well.ReplyCancel

    • Black White & Brown - Thank you so much! We’re so glad you liked them. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Amy Brown - This is one of my favorite collections so far. I love the pictures of the old graveyard and the earthen steps on the path. Your descriptions are wonderful – they make me want to go there for a visit! I will definitely be ordering at least one print.ReplyCancel

    • Black White & Brown - Thank you so much! It’s a great place for a moderate hike on a Saturday afternoon and we look forward to receiving your order!ReplyCancel

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With a bevy of animals, hiking trails, and places to picnic, Brooksvale Park is the spot for families and young children in Hamden, CT. The first time I went there I was in grade school and you’d be hard pressed to find another Hamdenite who couldn’t say the same.

Interestingly enough, while the park is known for its school programs and summer camp activities, the fun doesn’t stop when school’s out or camp’s over. Around this time of year, you can sign up for wreath-making, candle-making and even maple sugaring. In the warmer months, you can play baseball, visit the Wildlife Garden or simply swing on the swings. For the purposes of our visit, we made a loop–beginning at the barn, stopping by the pond and then hiking our way across through the woods–it was the perfect way to burn off some of those holiday calories.

As always, beautiful places like this couldn’t exist without support from the town and its visitors, so if you find you love Brooksvale as much as I do, I encourage you to contribute in any way you can. To plan your visit, check out their website at http://www.brooksvalepark.com/support/.

To view more photos from our trip, please visit: http://blackwhitebrown.pixieset.com/brooksvalepark/.

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  • Amy - Beautiful autumn scenes! I especially like the picture of the water reflections by the mossy walkway, and of course the picture of the miniature horse – well done!ReplyCancel