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Imagine you're in Hancock County; the year is 1881. With Downeast Maine still in the age of sail, goods are shipped by coasting schooner; people get around in boats, by foot, horse and buggy, stagecoach, steamer, and scow ferry. Coastal towns are bustling with local industries—brickyards, shipyards, water-powered saw and grist mills, fishing, farming, lumbering. Quarries ship granite to markets near and far, and a mining boom is in full swing.

Everyone who loves exploring Downeast Maine, maps, history, old deeds, and genealogy will enjoy using and perusing this remarkably detailed historic Atlas, a fascinating time capsule of Hancock County in the last glow of a 19th-century coastal economy. Compiled and published by George N. Colby, the original Atlas was drawn in Ellsworth based on actual surveys and then-new U.S. Coast Survey charts, and engraved and printed in Philadelphia; only 350 copies were printed, now a collector's item. The new Coastwise Geographic Edition, updated for today's users, includes all the archival maps arranged in a more geographically consistent layout for today's users, with period photos, a preface for historic context, lively excerpts from an 1878 county survey complementing the town profiles, a bibliography of complementary sources, and an index of historic and current place names. In celebration of Maine's bicentennial, and as a Maine mapmaker with deep roots in Hancock County, I am pleased to keep in print such an important documentation of our county's history and Downeast cultural landscape, printed in the Atlas's hometown of Ellsworth.

Quality paperback with fabric binding, printed in black & white on cream paper with color cover, 72 pages, 12"x 15 ¾". Maine Mapmaker/Waterbird Press, ISBN 978-1-7346402-0-5. Spring 2020. $42.00


For more on the story behind the Atlas, read www.ellsworthamerican.com/living/nearly-140-years-later-new-colby-atlas-edition-produced

Kate Cough's Ellsworth American article
Waterbird Press, Penobscot, Maine

Colby's archival county map from the Atlas of Hancock County, Maine, 1881, hand-colored by Jane Crosen for the front cover of the Coastwise Geographic Edition of the Atlas (see above), is available as a poster. The complete map, cropped to fit the proportions of the newly arranged edition's front cover, seemed too beautiful not to offer also as a print suitable for framing. Printed on smooth poster-quality cream paper, the hand-colored Map of Hancock County measures 13" x 19". $15.95

Waterbird Press, Penobscot, Maine

Jane Crosen, Mapmaker, 110 McCaslin Road, Penobscot, ME 04476    © 2021
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