“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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The Museum in the Streets®: Belfast, Maine Historical Markers

A Benevolent Bequest Marker image, Touch for more information
By James True, May 29, 2012
A Benevolent Bequest Marker
1 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 5 — A Benevolent Bequest / Un legs généreuxBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
The Construction of a public library was made possible in 1888 by a bequest of $20,000 from merchant Paul R. Hazeltine. He directed that a handsome, substantial, fireproof building be erected on a suitable spot. Built of red granite . . . Map (db m59389) HM
2 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 15 — Belfast City Hall / L'Hôtel de Ville de BelfastBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
Memorial Hall was built in 1890 by Civil War veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic to honor their fallen leader Colonel Thomas H. Marshall. While in command of the 7th Regiment of Maine Volunteers, Marshall distinguished himself . . . Map (db m59497) HM
3 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 6 — Belfast Historian's Home / La Maison WilliamsonBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
The Williamson House was built in 1845 for prominent Belfast lawyer, businessman, and State Senator Joseph Williamson. It was later the house of his son, Joseph Williamson, Jr., who followed in his father's footsteps as a country . . . Map (db m59390) HM
4 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — Map — Belfast, MaineThe Museum in the Streets
Welcome to Belfast In the spring of 1770 Belfast was settled by Scots-Irish families from Londonderry, New Hampshire. Legend has it that the name Belfast, after the Northern Ireland city, was chosen by a coin-toss. Fear of . . . Map (db m116117) HM
5 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 21 — Biggest Little City / Une Grande Petite VilleBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
Despite the decline in ship building, the port of Belfast remained busy at the turn of the 20th century. Rapid industrial development took place all along the west side waterfront, and steamships and railroads became the primary . . . Map (db m59508) HM
6 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 28 — Broiler Capital of the World / Capitale du poulet rôtiBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
Belfast in the mid-20th century was firmly established as "Broiler Capital of the World". Hundreds of thousands of chickens were raised in giant barns throughout Waldo County. At the peak of the industry 22,000 birds per hour were . . . Map (db m59548) HM
7 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 25 — Captain Albert W. Stevens / Le Capitaine Albert W. StevensBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
Famed aerial photographer and Belfast native Army Air Corps Captain Albert W. Stevens captured his hometown on film in September 1923. It is interesting to see the newly built Memorial Bridge, the open fields of the east side and the . . . Map (db m59530) HM
8 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 8 — City Park / Le Jardin PublicBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
The Belfast Ladies Improvement Society lobbied the city council in April of 1904 to establish a seaside park for the benefit of the public. The purchase price of the 15 acre lot was $3,000 and, once secured, prominent Boston . . . Map (db m59392) HM
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9 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 9 — Civil War Hero / Héros de la guerre de sécessionBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
Colonel Philo Hersey, born in Canton, Maine, came to Belfast in 1861. He entered Civil War service as a captain in the 26th Maine Regiment. Severely wounded at the battle of Irish Bend, Louisiana, he returned to Belfast and in 1865 . . . Map (db m59395) HM
10 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 13 — Downtown Main Street / La rue principale en centre-villeBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
The Downtown Historic District is recognized as a 19th century architectural gem that is included in the National Register of Historic Places. Main Street provided an early route through the dense forests, allowing the farmers and . . . Map (db m59495) HM
11 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 10 — Education First and Foremost / L'éducation, d'abord et surtoutBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
The Original Town Hall (left) and Academy (right) were both built in the early 1800s on the Town Common and served as schools into the 20th century. As student enrollment increased, the buildings became over-crowded and out-dated . . . Map (db m59398) HM
12 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 11 — First ChurchBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
The First Church congregation built this meeting house and dedicated it on November 15, 1818. The frame was raised by men from Belfast and neighboring towns. The parish committee provided a barrel of punch for the workers. Notable . . . Map (db m59493) HM
13 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 29 — Five-Masted Beauty / Une beauté à cinq mâtsBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
A brief shipbuilding boom following WWI put the shipyard owned by the Mathews Brothers woodworking mill back in business. The building of the Jennie Flood Kreger, Belfast's largest and only five-masted ship, was overseen by . . . Map (db m59549) HM
14 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 4 — Main and High / Au carrefour de main et de highBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
The intersection of Main and High Streets formed the commercial crossroads of Belfast and in 1799 it was the site of the first store. Sometimes known as City Block in honor of the impending new city charter, the James Y. McClintock . . . Map (db m59388) HM
15 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 1 — Making a Living / Gagner sa vieBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
Colonel Philo Hersey (panel #9) and two business partners built this imposing shoe factory during the post Civil War period of industrial expansion. At peak production, over 500 workers stood side by side producing several thousand . . . Map (db m59382) HM
16 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 22 — Memorial BridgeBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
The first bridge to span the Passagassawakeag River at this site was built by private investors in 1806. Known as the Lower Bridge and made of wood, it featured a drawbridge which allowed schooners to travel up the river as far as . . . Map (db m59527) HM
17 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 12 — Post Office Square / La place de la posteBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
The Post Office and Customs House was built in 1857. Until then offices were housed in various businesses around town. The building still has many original features, including ornate fireplaces and iron fireproof shutters. Post . . . Map (db m59494) HM
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18 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 30 — Regal Passenger Steamer / Un paquebot à vapeur majestueuxBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
Steamboats first made scheduled stops in Belfast in 1824, carrying passengers and freight along the coast. The Eastern Steam Ship Company of Boston built the wharf pictured here in 1888. The "Great White Flyer" steamer Belfast . . . Map (db m59550) HM
19 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 18 — Stylish Lodging / Une résidence chicBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
The Thomas Whittier house was built in 1803 as both a house and tavern. It was long considered the finest inn in eastern Maine, popular for drinking, dining and dancing. Famous for the abundant produce from her gardens, Whittier's . . . Map (db m59502) HM
20 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 2 — The Circus Comes to Town / Le cirque arrive !Belfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
Circuses and Caravans of wild animals appeared in Belfast as early as 1816. In 1885, Barnum's "Greatest Show on Earth," featuring 16 elephants including Jumbo, pitched its tent on Congress Street where over 8,000 people enjoyed the . . . Map (db m59384) HM
21 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 26 — The Finest and the Fastest / Le plus rapides et les plus racésBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
The abundant lumber, steam-powered sawmills and stretches of wide, flat beach, Belfast became a ship building center with shipyards lining the waterfront. In 1793, Robert and James Miller built the schooner Jenny Miller, the . . . Map (db m59531) HM
22 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 19 — The First Mayor / Le premier maireBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
Ralph Cross Johnson built this house just as the War of 1812 was beginning. He and his brother, Judge Alfred Johnson, were active in all manner of Belfast's businesses and politics. Ralph Johnson was a representative in Maine's first . . . Map (db m59503) HM
23 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 24 — The Great Conflagration / La grande conflagrationBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
Belfast artist William M. Hall's drawing of the "Great Conflagration" was published in Harper's Weekly magazine a week after the fire. At 10:30 on the night of October 12, 1865 a fire that started on the waterfront rapidly . . . Map (db m59528) HM
24 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 7 — The James P. White House / La maison de James P. WhiteBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
Designed by architect Calvin Ryder and built in 1840, the James Patterson White House is considered the finest example of domestic Greek Revival architecture in Maine. Born in 1800 in a log house not far from this site, James White . . . Map (db m59391) HM
25 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 20 — The Nut House / Ah ! La noixBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
Originally a cigar making factory, the building shown became Perry's Tropical Nut House when owner Irving Perry started selling pecans in 1926. The business flourished as automobile traffic along Route 1 grew and it soon became . . . Map (db m59506) HM
26 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 27 — The Oldest Manufacturer / Le plus ancien fabricantBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
Mathews Brothers Company, started in 1854 by Spencer Mathews and his two brothers, is the oldest manufacturing company in Belfast. After fire destroyed the original factory in 1873 (panel #24), the company reopened just 70 days later . . . Map (db m59547) HM
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27 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 14 — The Opera House / L'OpéraBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
Hayford Hall was built between 1866 and 1868 by Axel Hayford, a local contractor and businessman. It housed businesses on the lower level and a ballroom/theater with a balcony on the second level. Renamed the Belfast Opera House in . . . Map (db m59496) HM
28 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 16 — The Silver Screen / Le septième artBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
The burgeoning appeal of the silver screen led to the construction of the Colonial Theatre which opened the night the Titanic set sail from England in April 1912. A fire in 1923 following a showing of the film "Way Down East" . . . Map (db m59500) HM
29 Maine, Waldo County, Belfast — 3 — The Windsor Hotel / L'Hôtel WindsorBelfast, Maine — The Museum in the Streets —
By the mid-19th Century Belfast was becoming a popular destination for travelers. The Windsor Hotel, originally built as a private home in 1807, was enlarged to accommodate the influx of guests and lodgers. First known as the New . . . Map (db m59385) HM
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Jun. 3, 2023