Today is Admission Day for Maine, our 23rd state, admitted to the Union on March 15, 1820.

Maine is located in the northeastern part of the United States, in the New England area of the country, and joined the Union as part of the Missouri compromise.  It ranks 39th of the 50 states in geographical area, and 40th in population.

Although the origin of the state’s name is debatable, the most probably theory is that it came from the English settlers who lived on islands off the coast.  They would talk about “going over to the mainland,” which soon became shortened to “going over to main.”  The name seems to have stuck.

The state is probably best known for its scenery.  From rugged coastlines (charming fishing villages, lighthouses) to wooded interiors (nearly 90% of Maine is forested), from mountains to sea, Maine has it all.  Oh yeah, and the state is also known for its seafood ““ especially lobsters, which you will see on restaurant menus around the country.

Maine is a fairly popular tourist destination, although more so in summer than winter.  Skiing, snow mobiling and winter sports are popular, but summer, by far, is a more pleasant time to visit, with camping, hiking, and boating being very popular activities.  Many people summer in Maine, while wintering in a warmer destination, so the summer population grows tremendously.

Portland, a very busy seaport, is Maine’s largest city, and Augusta is its capital.

I’ve never been to Maine.  I have know someone who was from there, and while he always spoke highly of it, I never got a sense of what it was like to grow up there.  It’s not conveniently located for me (on the way to somewhere else), so it will take real planning to get there. 

Not insurmountable, by any means, but I doubt that I’ll get there any time soon.

Photo credit:  SXC