Although the weather was quite warm around “tax day”, I knew that the trails would be a slushy snow / mud mixture that I had no desire to slog through. This was a sunny day and I wanted to enjoy the time with an easy ramble along a solid surface. With this in mind, I decided to head south to Wiscasset for an afternoon of exploration.
Wiscasset is a pretty little town located on the Sheepscot River. Possibly best noted for the little lobster shack known as “Red’s Eats”, that sits on route 1 just before heading north over the Wiscasset Bridge. But the town is also home to a number of historical buildings dating to the early 1800s and I thought it would be interesting to wander through the history of the area.
I had wanted to explore the village for quite some time and I felt that the middle of April was a good time to set out on this adventure, since traffic would clog Route 1 halfway to Bath once tourist season began. I arrived in town in under an hour and parked in a lot off Route 1. From there, I headed towards the river.
Just before the marina, I paused for a moment to admire the federal style Customs House built in 1870. Although it was quite breezy by the water, I walked along the piers and gazed out over the river, letting the stillness of the scene calm my winter weary soul. I wasn’t following any trail. I just wanted to wander. Having passed through the town along Route 1 so many times before, I was just curious about what discoveries could by found beyond main street.
The road climbed steeply as I headed away from the dock, finally levelling out in front of Castle Tucker. This Regency style mansion was built in 1807 by Silas Lee, a U.S. Congressman. Here I found a plaque explaining the history of the building along with a stand with maps detailing an historic walking tour of the village. I discovered later, that this was part of an effort called “Museum in the Streets”; a project dedicated to creating a self-guided walking tour that would allow visitors to discover the history of Wiscasset. Each building included on the tour had a panel explaining the history of that particular structure.
Back on Route 1, I searched for a small green space called the Sunken Garden. I had heard about this place but had never been able to see it as we drove through the village on our journey north. I must have looked lost, for a gentleman walking a dog asked if he could help me find something. He directed me one block north, where I finally found it. Down a few steps and hidden by stone wall, I could see how this tranquil place was easy to miss. Although there were crocuses in bloom and the hint of tulips to come, I could only imagine the beauty of this place in full bloom. Satisfied with the discoveries made during this day of exploration, I headed home.