Maine
 
 
 
 
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Learn before you travel. This section of Fun Easy English focuses on facts and other cool stuff about your favorite U.S. state. This is great English reading practice. This page focuses on the state of Maine.
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Maine

The largest of the New England states in area, Maine, in 1820, was the 23rd state to join the Union. Its name comes from an ancient French province of the same name. The most sparsely populated state east of the Mississippi River, it's appropriately called the "Pine Tree State," as 90 percent of its land is forest. Not surprisingly, most of Maine's economy is related to timber and the production of paper and paper products although the millions of tourists who flock each summer to "Vacationland" are a significant source of revenue. The capital is Augusta; the state flower is the white pine cone and tassel.
Flag of MaineMaine State Flag


The state flag of Maine was adopted in 1909. It displays Maine's coat-of-arms on a field of blue (the same shade of blue as the national flag). Maine's state seal also displays the coat of arms.

The North star shines above Maine's motto: "Dirigo" ("I Lead," or "I Direct"). The center shield features symbols of the natural richness of Maine - a pine tree (white pine is Maine's state tree, and "The Pine Tree State" is Maine's nickname), a moose (the official state animal), the sea, and the sky.

The farmer is a symbol of pride in Maine's agricultural roots. The sailor represents Maine's strong ties to the sea. A banner below displays the state name; "MAINE" (in capital letters).

The North star (Polaris) also appears on the state flag of Alaska. Polaris is not merely a symbol of guidance - travelers have depended on it for many centuries to find their way (it always marks due north).
Source: State Symbols USA
 
The great seal of the state of MaineMaine State Facts

Picture: state seal of Maine
State Capital Augusta
Nickname Pine Tree State
Motto Dirigo (I direct)
Statehood March 15, 1820 (23th)
Origin of Name Probably a reference to the state region being a mainland, different from its many surrounding islands.
Largest Cities Portland, Lewiston, Bangor, Auburn, South Portland
Border States New Hampshire
Area 30,865 sq. mi.; 39th largest
State Bird Chickadee
State Flower White pine cone and tassel (pinus strobus, linnaeus)
State Tree Eastern White Pine
State Song State Song of Maine
Map showing the location of MaineTravel and tourism site for Maine - This state travel and territorial tourism site provides ideas for your vacations, meetings, and more.
Maine Stories
 
The Port of Portland, Maine

Would you ever guess that the closest U.S. port city to Europe is in Maine? Well, it is.

The coastline of Maine totals about 3,500 miles and consists of sandy beaches, peninsulas, islands, inlets, bays, coves and harbors. Portland Harbor is one of many harbors on the Maine coast. The city was built on two hilly peninsulas overlooking Casco Bay. The harbor became a major shipbuilding and mast building center in the 18th century. By 1806, Portland ranked as the sixth largest port in the country. Its success made it a target for attack by the British during the War of 1812 and by the Confederates during the Civil War. Portland was also a target for German U-boats, or submarines, during World War I. It was rated the most important harbor in the continental U.S. during World War II, since it was the closest one to Europe. The coastline and islands of Casco Bay were ringed with artillery bunkers on the alert for submarines. Some fishermen and divers claim that there are sunken German U-boats somewhere in Casco Bay.
 
Wabanaki Basketry

The Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac, and Maliseet tribes of Maine are known as the Wabanaki Indians, or "People of the Dawn." They are known for their baskets that they weave with the leaves of sweet grass and thin strips of an ash tree (splints). These Indian tribes share a common story that tells how their ancestors emerged from an ash tree when the Creator split it with an arrow. So, for thousands of years, they have used ash splints to make baskets for both personal and community use. Today, many people collect them as beautiful works of art.

The baskets fall into two categories: work baskets, which are used for gathering, storing, and transporting goods, and fancy baskets, ones that are crafted for the public, with decorative designs. Intricate shapes and designs and bold colors are used to make woven handkerchief baskets, powder-puff holders, purses, vases, wastebaskets, thimble baskets, candy dishes, knitting baskets, cradles, and fans.

Mary Mitchell Gabriel, a member of the Passamaquoddy tribe, has spent more than 60 years perfecting the art of basket making. She is working to preserve this important cultural tradition by teaching her two daughters how to make the baskets. She is also teaching others through the Maine Cooperative Extension Service and the Maine Basketmakers Alliance.
 
Bean-Hole Beans

What's a bean-hole bean? No, it's not a bean with a hole in it. Bean-hole beans get their name because they are baked in a hole. For hundreds of years, the Penobscot Indians of Maine cooked their food in a hole in the ground. The first thing you need to cook bean-hole beans is a shovel!

Recipe for bean-hole beans:

-Dig a hole in the ground 3 feet deep and line it with rocks.
-Build a fire in the hole and let it burn down to large embers and ash. (This can take half a day before enough coals are produced to cook the beans properly.)
-Use dry beans such as Great Northern, Yellow Eye, Jacob's Cattle, or Soldier.
-Other ingredients include onions, salt pork, ham hock, bacon, tomatoes, brown sugar and molasses.

Put the beans and other ingredients in a cast iron pot and cover with water and a lid. Place the pot in the hole, cover with a wet dish towel or burlap sack, shovel some of the embers and ashes on top of the pot, and then cover with dirt. Cooking time varies depending on which recipe is used but it can take as long as 16 hours. Then get ready with a shovel and a bowl!
Source: Library of Congress
National Forests, Parks, and Monuments of Maine

The following is a description of national forests, parks, and monuments in the state of Maine. If you plan to visit or live in Maine for awhile then you should definitely plan to visit some of these fantastic places.
 
National Forests
White Mountain

This National Forest is located in the White Mountains, which the Appalachian Trail and White Mountain Scenic Byway pass through. The forest includes Mount Washington, which at 6,288 ft (1,917 m) is the highest point in the Northeast and the location of the fastest wind speed recorded on earth, although the summit is located in a state park. This national forest is also partially located in the state of New Hampshire.
 
National Parks
Acadia

Covering most of Mount Desert Island and other coastal islands, Acadia features the tallest mountain on the Atlantic coast of the United States, granite peaks, ocean shoreline, woodlands, and lakes. There are freshwater, estuary, forest, and intertidal habitats.
 
National Monuments
Katahdin Woods and Waters

Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument covers 87,563 acres (35,435 ha) of mountains and wilderness in the North Maine Woods area of north-central Maine, including a section of the East Branch Penobscot River. It borders the eastern side of Baxter State Park in Penobscot County.
 
Travel America
Acadia National Park
(Beginner - Listening, reading)

A video lesson which shows you an interesting place in America.
The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed.
Great English listening and reading practice.
This video is all about Acadia National Park.
Cool America
Route 66 - Famous American Road

U.S. Route 66 (US 66 or Route 66), also known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways in the U.S. Highway System. The highway, which became one of the most famous roads in the United States, originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending in Santa Monica, California, near Los Angeles, covering a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km). It was recognized in popular culture by both the hit song "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66" and the Route 66 television show in the 1960s.
Route 66: The Highway That's the Best
(Beginner - Listening)

A video lesson which shows you an interesting place in America.
The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed.
Great English listening practice.
This video shows travel along Route 66, the most famous road in America.
Chicago: The Start of Route 66
(Beginner - Listening)

A video lesson which shows you an interesting place in America.
The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed.
Great English listening practice.
This video shows travel along Route 66, the most famous road in America.
Going West for Decades on Route 66
(Beginner - Listening)

A video lesson which shows you an interesting place in America.
The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed.
Great English listening practice.
This video shows travel along Route 66, the most famous road in America.
Arizona: The Spirit of Route 66
(Beginner - Listening)

A video lesson which shows you an interesting place in America.
The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed.
Great English listening practice.
This video shows travel along Route 66, the most famous road in America.
Route 66 California: The End of the Trail
(Beginner - Listening)

A video lesson which shows you an interesting place in America.
The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed.
Great English listening practice.
This video shows travel along Route 66, the most famous road in America.
Ten Must-See Route 66 Attractions
(Beginner - Listening)

A video lesson which shows you an interesting place in America.
The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed.
Great English listening practice.
This video shows travel along Route 66, the most famous road in America.
Four Famous Foods On Route 66
(Beginner - Listening)

A video lesson which shows you an interesting place in America.
The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed.
Great English listening practice.
This video shows travel along Route 66, the most famous road in America.
International Tourists Drawn to Route 66
(Beginner - Listening)

A video lesson which shows you an interesting place in America.
The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed.
Great English listening practice.
This video shows travel along Route 66, the most famous road in America.
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