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Down east.

Seven wonderful things from the Annual Report of the Municipal Officers of the Town of Sorrento, Maine, for the Municipal Year Ending February 21, 1902:

1. There’s a Sorrento, Maine. I’d never heard of the place myself, but there it is in Hancock County, on the water. Hi, guys.

2. Their municipal year ended on February 21. What?

3. The largest landholder in a town called Sorrento was the Frenchman’s Bay Land Company. Italians, Frenchmen …. rural Maine = melting pot. Who knew?

4. Famous summer-folks. Fourth on the list of non-resident taxpayers, paying a whopping $44.80 in taxes on property assessed at $2,800, is one “S.V. Benet.” Was it this guy?

(Elsewhere on the list of non-resident taxpayers is one Charles A. Linguist. I have no idea who he was but I love his name.)

5. No child left behind. For teaching 25 weeks of school, Effie Baker was paid $187. 50.

6. Duuuuuude. Town meetings were held in something called the High Head Schoolhouse, which sounds like the setting for a teen-stoner movie. (The Black Crowes would have approved.)

7. Suspense. One of the items on the March 1902 Town Meeting warrant consisted of the following: “To see what action the town will take regarding the digging of clams.”

I would like to think Town Meeting registered a unanimous vote of “hells, yes” … but the document is incomplete, and does not tell us.


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