Maine Madness

The US State of Maine is, on the face of it, a reasonably normal, sensible and conservative New England state; but lurking within Maine’s boundaries are some whacky attractions you will find nowhere else in the world.

Let’s start with what is, probably, the world’s only Umbrella Cover Museum. Locates on Peaks Island, a 20 minute ferry ride from Portland, the museum proudly boasts that is “celebrates the mundane everyday”. In the early 1990s Nancy Hoffman began collecting the covers, sheaths and cases of umbrellas from around the world. Now there are hundreds of them hanging from the walls
and ceiling, each one with its own particular story.

Eartha, it is claimed, is the world’s largest globe, and with a diameter of 41 feet, and I am not about to argue, especially when the Guinness Book of World Records declares it to be so. This enormous globe is housed in a three storey glass atrium at the headquarters of map makers DeLorme in Yarmouth, and the best part is that entry to view it is free.

The religious group known as Shakers were given that name because of their ecstatic and violent bodily agitation in worship. Officially called The United Society of Believers, and established in New Gloucester in 1776. The Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village still remains on that site, and is the only practising Shaker village in America. The village includes the Shaker Museum and the Shaker Store. The Shaker Store is a gift shop offering Shaker handmade oval boxes and other “fancy goods.” The museum offers village tours, special events and a window to experience a lifestyle that is both simple and pure.

Imagine the Universe built on a scale of 1:93,000,000 and that’s what you get in Maine with the Maine Solar System Model which is the world’s largest three dimensional scale model of the solar system, and which extends for 40 miles between Houlton and Presque Isle. The model has ten major components, those being the sun and the nine planets from Mercury to Pluto, with moons for Earth, Saturn, four for Jupiter and Pluto. Note that in Maine Pluto is still a planet, whereas it’s been de-planeted just about everywhere else.

And if you think a giant model of the solar system can’t be upstaged, you are wrong! Maine has done it again with Lenny: the world’s only full-size moose made of chocolate. Exhibited at Len Libby Candies in Scarborough, Lenny is comprised of 1,700 pounds of solid milk chocolate. Not only that, but the animal theme is expanded with Lenny’s new chocolate friends such as Libby, a full-size female black bear, and her cubs Cocoa and Chips.

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