SENIORS TOUR PENOBSCOT, MAINEAug 14th, 2012 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel
Seniors Find Out About Penobscot
I have always been enthralled by the name Penobscot. I had seen it in print over the years and really never knew what it was nor where it was. There are lots of “exotic words and places” in the English language like Erinaceous or Finnimbrun or Lamprophony and to me, Penobscot is one of them. I read recently in The Economist about Penobscot, Maine and wanted to do a little investigation on my own to see if maybe seniors might find the town and area of interest for a good visit. I discovered that Penobscot is a town of 1,344 hardy souls in Hancock County, Maine and that the Bagaduce River runs through it. It’s pronounced Puh-NOB-scott. (“NOB” rhymes with “sob.”) It comes from Panawahpskek, which means “the place where the rocks open out.” This was the name of an important Penobscot village.
The Penobscot Indians
I learned that the Penobscot Indians were the ones that gave their name to the town and area that is filled with culture and history. And how about listening to the days of the week in the Indian language. It looks a little like the Greek language, doesn’t it? Though the last fully fluent speaker of the Penobscot dialect has passed on, several Penobscot elders still speak some of the language and are working to revive its use in the Penobscot Nation today. The Penobscots are original natives of Maine.
This map shows the Native American Tribes in Maine. The Penobscots still live there today, on a reservation at Indian Island (near Old Town.) Seniors are invited to visit Indian Island – home of the Penobscot Nation. Here one can explore the Penobscot Nation Museum or the Princess Watahwaso’s Family Museum.
With a trained guide, visit the many departments and programs that comprise the government center of the Penobscot Nation: the Tribal Council Chambers, the Tribal Court, Penobscot Cultural Medicine Trail, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Indian Island School. The Sockalexis Bingo Palace, houses historic information as well as a traditionally made birch bark canoe. Then walk over to Nick Andrews Shores and pavilion for a breath-taking view of the Penobscot River along the River Trail. Sounds like fun to me. This fact sheet provides seniors with lots more interesting history and culture.
The Penobscot River and Building
The Penobscot River is a 109-mile-long river that includes the river’s West Branch and South Branch increasing the Penobscot’s length to 264 miles making it the second longest river system in Maine and the longest entirely in the state. Interesting to note that in Detroit one finds the Penobscot Building named for the Penobscot people. Native American motifs in art deco style ornamentation is used on the exterior and the interiors and it is a huge structure.
Things For Seniors To See And Do
Penobscot is “Where Maine and the Sea Make History”. The Marine Museum provides senior visitors with information of present exhibits and several neat photos. To the north, the county seat of Penobscot County is Bangor. While you are in Maine, you will find lots of activity including finding great places to take in the seafood (see other towns below).
The head of Penobscot Bay, frequently called the “Gateway to DownEast Maine” is also the “Gateway to Acadia”. French Colonial settlement along the Eastern Seaboard began in DownEast Maine and proceeded east through New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and north into Quebec.
I can’t believe that I discovered so much about Penobscot. I hope that you will enjoy your visit, seniors as much as I’ve enjoyed it. It’s always kinda fun to check in on the local newspaper in a small town and the Penobscot News is no different. The town records is similar with very interesting history and facts.
I picked out a nice B&B for you to check out called the Brass Fox that is a classic Victorian New England farmhouse” built around 1830. Wikipedia is interesting with more places, buildings, the name of ships and more facts that keep popping up. Penobscot is everywhere…and I did not even know where it was. It was a fun visit, wasn’t it? jeb
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