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Explore key events in Maine history.

Explore Maine cultural history.

Explore Maine's Native American heritage.

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Clues From the Past.

Native Life.

European Settlement

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A Part of The Main

"No man is an island, entire of itself;
every man is a piece of the continent,
a part of the main ..."

   - John Donne

The history of the European settlement of Maine is one of dynamic, difficult, and sometimes tragic cultural meetings and connections of peoples and regions. European settlement patterns that shaped the familiar layout of Maine developed from a combination of where it was geographically and otherwise practically advantageous to settle, as well as the economic and political forces driving these decisions.

As Europeans began to look seriously towards the area and its natural resources as a desirable economic region, there were many debates about who owned or controlled the varied and plentiful natural resources. There were distinct cultural differences between the Native American and European perspectives on the concept of land ownership.

Timber proved to be one of the most important natural resources. This was most pronounced in the mid-1800's when Maine was a world leader in both shipbuilding and lumber. This period of time brought all the people, craftsmanship, and natural resources of the State together in a way unlike any time before. The timber harvest from the communities in the far north woods traveled via the river communities to the prosperous coast where the wealth of natural resources set sail for the world beyond. Today, these distinct regions remain intact, each with a different story to tell about how history has played itself out since that time.

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CLUES FROM THE PAST | NATIVE LIFE | EUROPEAN SETTLEMENT | FEATURED INTERVIEWS | TRANSCRIPT

HISTORY TIMELINE | ARTS & CULTURE TIMELINE | NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURE | CLASSROOM | HISTORY LINKS | SITE INDEX

HOME: The Story of Maine on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network was made in partnership with the Maine State Museum. Major funding was provided by the  Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency committed to fostering innovation, leadership and a lifetime of learning. Additional funding provided by Elsie Viles.
Major funding for previous seasons of  HOME: The Story of Maine was made possible by a grant from Rural Development, a part of the USDA. Special support is provided by The Maine State Museum and Northeast Historic Films.