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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Perry, Maine

The above sign standing vigil in the tall grass along Route 1 welcomes us to Perry, Maine. Main Street in Perry technically begins in Canada. Settled in the late 1750s and early 1760s with a trading post along the St. Croix River, the town was incorporated in 1818, while British still held the town of Eastport six miles to the south. The War of 1812 left a few discrepancies and some unfinished business along the Canadian border.

Perry was named for an American hero of that war, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. Founded as part of Washington County, the area was still then part of Massachusetts. According to the Maine Historical Magazine published in 1893, at the first town meeting in March that year, Moses Lincoln was chosen as town moderator, and Eliphalet Olmstead was chosen as constable. Moses and Eliphalet seem to have gotten things pretty well in hand.

There was around 850 people living in Perry now, and part of the town lies within the Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy Indian Reservation. Sitting across Passamoquoddy Bay from Deer Island and Campobello Island, both in New Brunswick, Canada, town of Perry straddles a lot of boundaries, past and present, and a lot of history.

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