From the American Scene: The Fleshpots of Maine
Although my home town is considered of average size for the state of Maine (population 9,000), I must in all truth admit that it is only another seacoast village masquerading as a metropolis. Though its Main Street is raw and new with a full quota of chain stores, supermarkets, and 5-and-ioc emporia, it is still cobbled and it still smells of fish when an east wind is blowing. The parking meters recently installed on Main Street after a full year of controversy among the town fathers made national news when an individualistic citizen insisted on hitching his horse to one without paying the usual fee.
The town itself hugs the south shore of the harbor, with the principal industrial area and the ugly Main Street pre-empting the splendor of the harbor view for a good mile and a half. The slum areas, which are near the principal commercial dock and the lime-reducing kilns at the waterfront, face the colossal and expensive summer hotel on the north shore. The better residential sections fan out directly behind Main Street in a half-mile radius inland. Within a half-circle of two miles by one, the streets are more sparsely settled and gradually give way to farm houses or country homes situated near the many tiny “villages” (post office, general store, and the inevitable white clapboard school house for elementary grades) that are incorporated with our township. Within three miles of town there are forests, mountains, lakes, and streams, to say nothing of the various sumptuous private estates with stables, tennis courts, and golf courses. The sprawling, turreted Samoset Hotel—painted bright yellow and set among cool gardens at the Oceanside—dominates the north shore, but its wealthy patrons cannot buy exclusiveness, for the public breakwater and lighthouse are hard by its grounds and the young people from town who go swimming and fishing there cut across the hotel’s golf course. The more beautiful and unspoiled sections of the south shore are exclusively the domain of the natives or descendants of the natives who own the modest summer cottages there.
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