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

Vacationland

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 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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  • Amy - I love this collection! I look at the pictures and feel a sense of relaxation that should only come if I were actually there. The picture of the pull carts lined up at the water’s edge is timeless – it probably would have looked the same 100 years ago! The colorful canoes resting on their racks above the gray sand and driftwood and below the green trees hint at fun times just waiting to happen. My favorite, if I had to choose, would be the final picture of the ferns below the trees – such a vision of serenity. Great job Caitlin!ReplyCancel

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

  • Kerry - Great pictures! The black and white ones seem to have a lot of mood and make me think of Humphrey Bogart movies. I can hear him narrating with the pictures. My favorite picture though is the one of the ferns with the sunlight and all the trees – I want to go there, spread out a blanket, lay down and soak it all in. Wonderful job!ReplyCancel

    • Black White & Brown - Thank you, Kerry! We’re so glad they were such an inspiration for you and we hope you get a chance to visit Casco Bay some day. Thank you again.ReplyCancel

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