Theme Thursday - T1 R13 WELS

Location map of Maine, USAImage via Wikipedia
This week's theme is MAP.

What and where is T1 R13 WELS? The State of Maine has some very strange place names for their cities, towns, and MCDs. MCDs? An MCD is a Minor Civil Division. Of the 911 MCDs in Maine 380 have place names with nondescript letters and numbers. This is how the State of Maine keeps track of areas that are not populated or the population is to low to pony up the taxes to run a full fledged town. There are many areas in Maine that are not populated. In fact the State of Maine is known to have the last great wilderness areas in the United States east of the Mississippi River.

Would you like to own your own town? Buy up all the property in a MCD and you can be the mayor and name it whatever you would like.

There is a road in Maine called the "Golden Road." The Golden Road is a private road owned and maintained by the paper companies. It is mainly used to haul logs to the paper plant in .

The paper companies allow the public to use the road for a toll fee. It is a major east west route in the state. The good news, there is no speed limit. The bad news it is not paved and there are huge trucks hauling double loads of logs that like to tailgate. Basically the loggers own the road, if you are in the way you better move or there will be trouble!

There is one more crazy thing about the Golden Road and that is Google Maps/Earth has actually photographed it. If you are into looking at 100 miles of trees go ahead and check it out.

Entering Kokadjo
Along the Golden Road is a little hamlet by the name of Kokadjo. Kokadjo's official name is T1 R13 WELS. That is interpreted to be Tract one, Range 13, west of the east line of the state. (WELS) Kokadjo's zip code is 04441 so there must be a post office somewhere. It probably is in the General Store there. The photo shows the Golden Road in Kokadjo is paved, but that's about 1000 feet and the only paved portion.The MCD next to Kokadjo is T2 R13 WELS. Yes it's confusing but there is a slight method to this madness.

Maine's town names have their oddities. There are the biblical and epic MCDs: Augusta, Benedicta, Bethel, Canaan, Carmel, Carthage, Corinth, Gilead, Hiram, Hebron, Hermon, Mt Abram, Palmyra, St Agatha, St Albans, St Croix, St Francis, St George, St John (2 of those), Temple, and Troy.

There were two towns called Woodland until the USPS got sick of delivering mail to the wrong place.They renamed Woodland, on the border with Canada, to Baileyville.

Maine isn't without it's virtues, those towns are Friendship, Harmony, Hope, Industry, Liberty, Prospect, Strong, Union, and Unity, what a peaceful place that must be.

There are towns with US city names,  Albany, Alexander, Cambridge, Charleston, Charlotte, Dallas, Detroit, New Gloucester, Long Island, Nashville, Oakland, Portland (I'm pretty sure Portland, Maine was organized before Portland Oregon), Richmond, Salem, and Washington.

Foreign cities are well represented in Maine,  Athens, Bath, Belfast, Canton, Exeter, Frankfort, Limerick, Lisbon, Madrid, Moscow, Naples, Oxford, Paris, West Paris, Plymouth, Sydney (Sidney), Trenton, Verona, Vienna, York

China, New Canada, Denmark, Lebanon, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Poland, Orient, Rome, Sweden, New Sweden, and Wales, are countries that can be visited within a day's drive.

There are towns named for the first five presidents of the US as well as the 16th.

Lobster Township located well inland on Moosehead Lake, (freshwater) Casco is located well inland from Casco Bay, part of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Great Seal of the State of Maine.Image via Wikipedia

There are a number of towns that have the same name as towns and cities in Massachusetts. This isn't surprising as Maine was once part of Massachusetts, then know as the District of Maine. Maine separated from Massachusetts when Maine citizens were getting upset about a little something called taxation without representation at the state house in Boston. Does that sound familiar England? Ironically the taxation without representation movement started in Massachusetts with the Boston Tea Party.

Then you have the gores. A gore is the result of some surveying error. They probably didn't have very actuate surveying equipment when towns, and MCDs were laid out. And there was probably to much whiskey brought on surveys. The result is some very oddly shaped areas on a map. Most gores I see in the Delorme Maine Atlas and Gazettier are situated on the border with Canada. There is Blake Gore, Massachusetts Gore, Coburn Gore, Moxie Gore Hibbert's Gore, and the Gorham Gore.

You have Township C, Township D, and Township E. Townships A and B apparently are victims of drunken survery parties as they don't appear in the atlas. Township C had so much land that the town next to is named "C Surplus."

There is a place called Merrill Strip. Meryl Streep lives there.

One place in Maine that is out of this world is Mars Hill. They even boast a replica of the solar system claimed to be the largest "to scale" replica in the world. I wonder if there is a largest "to scale" replica of the Milky Way Galaxy somewhere in the solar system.

There is a town called Ripley, believe it or not.

Finally, nestled at the tip-top of Maine surrounded on three sides by the Province of Quebec, Canada, is the MCD called the Big Twenty Township. That has to be a name for the ages considering its location is the furthest from the state capitol. Residents there, are in fact closer to Quebec City than they are to state capitol in Augusta.

Check out Delorme Map's for a list of all the MCD's in Maine and map your way over to Theme Thursday for more fine Map posts by clicking here.
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