Wiscasset Travel Blog› entry 26 of 51 › view all entries
Wiscasset is an idyllic Maine village conveniently bisected by Route 1 if you are enjoying the premiere coastal pathway. Straddling the Sheepscot River in mid-coast Maine, the town is steeped in Federal style buildings, bearing witness to its prosperity as a ship-building center and seaport during colonial times. The busiest port north of Boston until the War of 1812, the conflict strangled the good times and although the town kept chugging along, the glory days were past and the population would hold steady.
Today Wiscasset is a big tourist draw thanks to its beautiful setting and architecture, though it has lost its biggest draw. Until 1998 two schooners, the Hesper and the Luther Little, sat stranded in the Sheepscot and lured bazillions of photographers. The ships arrived in 1932, purchased and transported here by a wealthy local. I have no idea what he intended to do with them, but he apparently died before putting any plan into action and the pair just sat in the water and rotted away over the decades.
I first saw them in 1987 and even then they were quite lovely. Unfortunately time took its toll and a strong storm inflicted serious damage in 1998, knocking down the remaining masts. Sadly transformed into eyesores, the majestic pair were removed.
With or without schooners, Wiscasset still is a lovely place to visit. There are multitudes of quality dining options and two of the historic homes (the Nickels-Sortwell House and Castle Tucker) are now museums you can visit, in addition to the Old Jail and Jailer’s House – if you have to go to prison, why not retire in one with 41-inch granite walls? I give Wiscasset two thumbs up!