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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
 
 

Belfast, Maine Historical Markers

 
A Benevolent Bequest Marker image, Touch for more information
By James True, May 29, 2012
A Benevolent Bequest Marker
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 5 — A Benevolent Bequest 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 and trimmed . . . — Map (db m59389) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 15 — Belfast City Hall 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 at the . . . — Map (db m59497) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 6 — Belfast Historian's Home 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 lawyer. Joseph . . . — Map (db m59390) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 21 — Biggest Little City 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 movers of goods. . . . — Map (db m59508) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 28 — Broiler Capital of the World 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 made ready for . . . — Map (db m59548) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 25 — Captain Albert W. Stevens 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 steamboat . . . — Map (db m59530) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 8 — City Park 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 landscape architect . . . — Map (db m59392) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 9 — Civil War Hero 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 married . . . — Map (db m59395) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 13 — Downtown Main Street 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 woodsmen to . . . — Map (db m59495) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 10 — Education First and Foremost 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 (photo c. . . . — Map (db m59398) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 11 — First Church 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 features . . . — Map (db m59493) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 29 — Five-Masted Beauty 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 company . . . — Map (db m59549) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 4 — Main and High 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 Block was . . . — Map (db m59388) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 1 — Making a Living 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 pairs of . . . — Map (db m59382) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 22 — Memorial Bridge 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 the wharfs at . . . — Map (db m59527) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — On this site (Belfast Commons)
On this site generations of workers made windows, built ships, and processed poultry. Passengers and freight were carried by sailing ships and steamships to the four corners of the world. In 1999 Belfast Commons was generously given to the citizens . . . — Map (db m59658) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 12 — Post Office Square 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 Office Square . . . — Map (db m59494) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 30 — Regal Passenger Steamer 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 plied the . . . — Map (db m59550) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 18 — Stylish Lodging 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 wife was known . . . — Map (db m59502) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 17 — The Belfast Historical Society Museum The Museum in the Streets
When James Langworthy built this Federal style structure in 1835, Market Street, which the building faces, was little more than a cow path leading to a watering hole. But as both a home and store, it was one of more than thirty businesses in . . . — Map (db m59501) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 2 — The Circus Comes to Town 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 spectacle, . . . — Map (db m59384) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 26 — The Finest and the Fastest 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 first of many . . . — Map (db m59531) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 19 — The First Mayor 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 legislature . . . — Map (db m59503) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 24 — The Great Conflagration 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 spread. Despite . . . — Map (db m59528) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 7 — The James P. White House 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 enjoyed . . . — Map (db m59391) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 20 — The Nut House 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 Maine's #1 . . . — Map (db m59506) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 27 — The Oldest Manufacturer 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 on this . . . — Map (db m59547) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 14 — The Opera House 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 1883, it was . . . — Map (db m59496) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 16 — The Silver Screen 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" leveled the . . . — Map (db m59500) HM
Maine (Waldo County), Belfast — 3 — The Windsor Hotel 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 England . . . — Map (db m59385) HM

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