Maine is the largest of the New England states of the NE United States. It is bordered by New Hampshire, the Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick, the Atlantic Ocean (the Gulf of Maine), and the Bay of Fundy.
Area, 33,215 sq mi (86,027 sq km).
Pop. (2000) 1,274,923, a 3.8% increase since the 1990 census.
Largest city, Portland.
Nickname, Pine Tree State.
Motto, Dirigo [I Direct].
State bird, chickadee.
State flower, white pine cone and tassel.
State tree, Eastern white pine.
Manufacturing is still the largest sector in the state’s economy. Maine is a leading producer of paper and wood products, which are the most valuable of all manufactures in the state. Food products and transportation equipment are also important, but production of leather goods (especially shoes) has declined. The mineral wealth of the state is considerable. Many varieties of granite, including some superior ornamental types, have been used for construction throughout the nation. Sand and gravel, zinc, and peat are found in addition to stone. However, much of Maine’s abundant natural and industrial resources remain undeveloped.
Agriculture has always struggled with adverse soil and climatic conditions. Since the opening of richer farmlands in the West, Maine has tended to concentrate on dairying, poultry raising and egg production, and market gardening for the region. The growing of potatoes, particularly in Aroostook County, was stimulated by the completion of the Aroostook RR in 1894. Blueberries, hay, and apples are other chief crops, and aquaculture is growing in importance.
The population of Maine is centered on the cleared land along the coast and major rivers, Augusta is the capital; Portland, Lewiston, and Bangor are the largest cities. Maine’s two great parks are Acadia National Park on and around Mt. Desert Island; and Baxter State Park, which includes the northern end of the Appalchian Trail at Mt. Katahdin in the N Maine wilderness.
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