(Available from June 25-October 15 each year.)
LAKES REGION LETTERBOX TRAIL- RAYMOND/S.CASCO
.....This trail is designed to offer letterboxers an opportunity to do their questing by a combination of driving and walking. How much walking you do is up to you. Most of the trail could be done by just walking. Please avoid walking on Rt. 302 (except for sidewalked areas) as this is a very busy highway in the summer. Be aware of motorists aas you walk on narrow streets and come upon curves and hills in the road. Please park only in designated areas. The total distance of this trail is about 4 miles. Approximate time is up to you. If you drive most of it, it will take a little over an hour. If you walk most of it, it will take a little over a couple of hours.
.....Most of the sites selected for this trail were chosen because of their connection to Raymond's geological, cultural, economic, and historical development.
.....We encourage you to take your time to really appreciate the natural beauty and rich heritage of this community. This trail includes a combination of three local trails-"Main St. /Village," "Significant Citizens of Raymond," & "Architectural Styles Found in Raymond." To visit additional sites in Raymond, we invite you to explore our "North Raymond Letterbox Trail" located in the other end of town. Good Luck!:
THIS IS WHERE YOUR JOURNEY BEGINS
LETTERBOXING STARTS AT "THE GOOD LIFE" OR "SUNSET VARIETY"
PURCHASE YOUR TRAILGUIDES & STAMPBOOKS
COLLECT YOUR FIRST STAMPS THERE AND
ENJOY BEING PART OF LETTERBOXING SOCIETY!
.....You may park your car at Sunset Variety, the Good Life Market, or the church parking lot if you wish to walk the first half of the trail. Or you can drive and park briefly at each of the next stops until you get to the church where you can park and do a few of the sites. From Sunset Variety or The Good Life, get back onto Rt. 302 briefly. At the light, bear right and turn onto Main St. Our first site on this trail is a house tucked up on a little hill. (Look for the stamp under the signpost.):
"BUNGALOWS" MAY BE CHECKED FOR PROOF
BY EXAMINING THEIR SHINGLED, HIPPED ROOF.
AN ENCLOSED PORCH WITH A DORMER ABOVE THE DOOR
PROVIDES A USEFUL DETAIL FOR EVEN AN AMATEUR.
THOSE 1 AND 1/2 STORY COTTAGES MAY BE SHORT
BUT THEY SURE WERE POPULAR IN THIS LAKESIDE RESORT
.....Proceed down Main.St a short way, until you come to a gray "Federal" style house on the right (large house with sunroom and barn). The stamp for this site can be located between a fence post and a telephone pole:
2-STORIED AND A GABLED "PITCHED" ROOF WAS PROTOCOL
POPULAR FROM 1785-1820 WAS THE STYLE OF "FEDERAL"
"LINTELS" & MULTI-PANED WINDOWS WITH SHUTTERS
DOORWAYS IN THIS STYLE WERE FLANKED W/"PILASTERS"
THE FINAL CLUE FOR DETECTING THIS STYLE YOU KNOW
ARE THE ENTRYWAYS, OFTEN FRAMED BY A "PORTICO."
.....Proceed tp the next buidling on the right. Look for the stamp near the front steps:
MOST NEW ENGLAND TOWNS HAD A LOCAL MEETING HALL,
OFTEN 2-3 STORIED, THEY WERE VERY STEEP AND TALL.
BUILT BY FORHAN FOR CIVIC USES ON THIS SITE,
THE ORIGINAL BUILDING LATER GAVE WAY TO IGNITE!
THIS PLACE WAS HOME TO THE "KNIGHTS OF PYTHIAS,"
A FRATERNAL SOCIETYW/PEACEFUL MATTERS TO DISCUSS
.....The next architectural feature can be found inside the Village Church. If you get a chance to visit it while its open, you can see an example of "Tromp l' oiel," a "trick of the eye" technique used to create the illusion of depth on a flat surface.Look for the stamp near the front stpes of the church:
THE VILLAGE CHURCH WAS BUILT IN 1878.
SUMNER PLUMMER BUILT THE WEATHER VANE ON THE STEEPLE.
TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THE INSCRIPTION NEAR THE POINTED FINGER,
IT TELLS WHAT SUMNER PLUMMER THOUGHT OF RAYMOND PEOPLE
.....Next, take a look across the street. The brown building you see now, used to be one of 14 one-room schoolhouses in Raymond:
YOUR NEXT STOP WILL BE A FORMER ONE-ROOM SCHOOLHOUSE
STUDENTS THAT SAT IN THOSE DESKS GOT A CRAMP!
THE LETTERBOX IS HIDDEN IN THE OUTSIDE YARD.
ACT LIKE A SCHOLAR, SURELY YOU'LL FIND THE STAMP!
.....From here you can either return to your car or continue walking. the next stop is is about .3 miles. Follow Main St. and take a right onto Mill St. If you took your car, park it at the far end of the cemetery.(Just before the road curves to the right, there are a couple of roads to your left. It will be okay to park your car at the very edge of the cemetery. Be sure you're not blocking the fire lanes or obstructing the view of drivers rounding the hill on Mill St. From that point, walk on the inside of the granite fence (traffic can be heavy). Follow the path down to a granite gate (with a chain) that is closest to the Cemetery Vault. The stamp is on the other side of the vault, in a corner, on the ground. From the granite gatepost, if you walk about 50' up a slight incline, to the left, in back of the "Longley" plot, you should find Betty's grave.
*****THE GRAVESTONE TELLS US THAT BETTY WELCH WAS RAYMOND'S 1ST-BORN FEMALE,
SHE GREW UP, GOT MARRIED AND HELPED TO RUN THE FARM,
HER HUSBAND BECAME SICK WITH RHEUMATISM AND NEEDED SNAKE OIL AS A CURE,
BETTY SAVED THE DAY BY HUNTING FOR RATTLESNAKES WHO DARED SHOW HER NO HARM!
.....For your next stamp, return to Main St. Turn right and look for a gray house on the right with a fancy roof. You can park in the old fire station lot or at the Raymond Village Library. Look for the stamp at the end of the wooden fence on the left:(Box replaced on 9/15/'04))
"MANSARD" ROOFS WERE BUILT W/AN ADDITIONAL FLOOR,
SO THAT YOU COULDN'T BE TAXED FOR ONE MORE.
TWO-BY-TWO WINDOW ARRANGEMENT IS A FREQUENT COMPLIMENT
HOODED DOORWAYS, CORNICES, PENDANTS & BRACKETS ARE DETAILS OF THIS FRENCH-STYLE YOU WON'T FORGET
.....The next stamp is at the junction of Main St. & Rt. 121. Look for the stamp near the "Cottage Industries" sign:
"ITALIANATE" WAS INSPIRED BY VILLAS IN THE COUNTRY
ELABORATELY DETAILED AS YOU CAN PLAINLY SEE.
FROM STRONGLY CONTRASTING COLORS TO GABLED ROOFS & HOODED DOORS
BAY WINDOWS WITH THEIR STAND-OUT CURVATURES PROVIDE A STYLE THAT SURELY WILL ENDURE.
.....The next stamp can be found across the street. You can park your car in the Raymond Village parking lot. Look for the stamp in front of the building, near some shade.:
BOOKS USED TO BE IN PEOPLE'S PARLORS, THEY HAD NO PERMANANT HOME,
FUNDS WERE RAISED TO BUILD A NEW LIBRARY SO THE BOOKS NO LONGER HAD TO ROAM,
A ROOM IN THIS BUILDING WAS DEDICATED TO A TIRELESS LIBRARIAN, ELEANOR PLUMMER
CHILDREN FROM RAYMOND CAN VISIT HER WING IN THE WINTER OR SUMMER.
.....The next box can be found a couple of miles from here. Proceed down Rt. 121 (Meadow Rd.) This one is a little tricky to find. Look for Fire Lane #63-1, on the right. Near that sign, you'll see a small clearing on your right. The stamp is hidden to the left of the clearing, near the base of a tree. This site honors a native american, PRINCESS GOLDENROD:
PRINCESS GOLDENROD OWNED A TEEPEE GIFT SHOP,
LOCALS & TOURISTS BOUGHT SWEETGRASS BASKETS AT THIS POPULAR TOURIST STOP.
SHE LIVED A SIMPLE LIFE ON MEADOW RD.
PRESERVING A CULTURE, SO THAT IT WOULD NOT ERODE.
.....For the next stamp, proceed by car down Rt.121 about .25 miles.Look for a sign on the left that reads,"Dielectic". The stamp can be found near the base of some trees nearby. for this site, we chose to honor Dr. Charles Brown.:
DOC BROWN WAS A MAN OF GREAT LOCAL RENOWN,
FIRST PERSON TO GRADUATE COLLEGE FROM OUR TOWN.
HE STARTED THE DIELECTIC CO. & SENT AIRWAVES THRU THE AIR, A TERRIFIC EXPERIMENT,
THE RESULT WAS THE WORLD'S LARGEST ANTENNA, A TRULY ENORMOUS EVENT!
.....(If you have time and would like to see the company, turn at the sign and drive a short way up the hill. Dielectirc is quite a local complex!)
For your next stamp, head back on Rt. 121 towards Main St. At the intersection of Main St. & 121, turn right onto Main St. Go for a short way, only .3 miles 'til you arrive at a rather crooked looking building on the right. Look for the stamp near a window planter box.....
THE "HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT" WAS DESIGNED BY A FATHER FOR HIS LITTLE GIRL,
FIRST AS A PLAYHOUSE, THEN AS A SHOP,
CANDIES, SWEETS AND ICE CREAM THAT MADE ONE'S LIPS CURL,
THE "HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT" IN RAYMOND,
EVERY SUMMER TOURISTS' FAVORITE STOP!
.....You'll want to return to your car. At the end of maine St. you'll reach the junction of Rt. 302. Turn right. Take Rt. 302 for about .5 miles. Look for the Hawthorne Rd. on your left. Take it and follow it until it ends at the "Hawthorne House."There's usually a lot of traffic at the corner, so park your car at the general store behind the Hawthorne House. It's o.k. to leave your car there for a few minutes but not for a long while. Look for the stamp near the front entrance.....
RICHARD MANNING BUILT NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE'S BOYHOOD HOME,
NEAR THE WOODS AND CAVES YOUNG NATHANIEL USED TO ROAM.
HAWTHORNE WENT TO BOWDOIN TO BECOME INTELLECTUALLY BRIGHTER,
HE USED HIS EDUCATION TO BECOME A WRITER.
.....The next 3 stamps can be reached by walikng from the Hawthorne House or you may drive it.From the Hawthorne House head back towards Rt. 302 on the Raymond Cape Rd. On the right, immediately after the dam, you'll come to the next site on the right. Look for the box at the edge of the driveway to a gray shingled house. The stamp is near a stone wall at the base of a tree.....
JOSEPH DINGLEY RACED SAMUEL JORDAN ACROSS SEBAGO LAKE,
THE 1ST ONE TO RAYMOND WOULD GET AN EXTRA 100 ACRE LOT.
DINGLEY CHEATED BY STARTING AT NIGHT SO HE REACHED FIRST
HE BUILT THE FIRST DWELLING, MILL & DAM ON THIS VERY SPOT!
.....Look across the road for the next box. This is the Manning House. Richard Manning was Nathaniel Hawthorne's uncle. The stamp can be found on the right side of the front yard near a stonewall to the right of the driveway near the street.....
RICHARD MANNING, A RAYMOND PROPRIETOR,
BUILT THIS HOUSE IN A WILDERNESS.
SPARING NO COST FOR ITS RICH ARCHITECTURE,
LOCALS DUBBED IT "MANNING'S FOLLY" FOR WHAT THEY DEEMED EXCESS
.....A short distance from the Manning House, you'll find a dirt road to the left, the Captain Dingley Rd. Follow it as it bends around to the left, for a short distance until you reach the Manning Cemetery off to the left.(You could park your car in the field at the fork.) Look for the stamp near the stone gate.....
AFTER RICHARD MANNING DIED,
MRS. MANNING BECAME A WIDOW.
HIS DEATH SHE COULDN'T ABIDE,
SO SHE MARRIED LT. FRANCIS RADOUX
.....Proceed by car or foot down Raymond Cape Rd., still heading toward Rt. 302. On the right you'll see a large white set of buildings. Look for the stamp next to a little building in the front, near the road.....
IF YOU LISTEN CAREFULLY YOU MAY HEAR CLIP-CLOPS,
THESE WOULD HAVE COME FROM THE NEARBY CARRIAGE FACTORY & BLACKSMITH SHOPS.
THE WATKINS' FAMILY HOMESTEAD FARM,
IS AN EXAMPLE OF "BIG HOUSE,LITTLE HOUSE, BACK HOUSE, BARN."
.....Return to Rt. 302. As you turn left onto Rt. 302 at the "cry of the Loon," look quickly and you'll see a sign which reads, "Migis Lodge." At that sign, turn left down a dirt road. Proceed about .1 miles and you'll see a wooden corral. During the summer you may see exotic animals inside.
Migis Lodge" is the site of one of the oldest summer camps in Raymond. The Gulicks, Luther 7 Charlotte were responsible for helping to make Raymond the summer camp capital of the world!. Charlotte was the founder of "Campfire Girls." Gulick's sister started a family camp on the site of Migis Lodge. It currently still operates as a summer resort for families who wish to have a "Maine experience.".....
MIGIS LODGE IS WHERE YOU'LL FIND YOUR NEXT STAMP,
TAKE A LEFT AND A CORRAL FENCE YOU'LL DISCOVER.
LOOK IN EARNEST NEAR A CORNER FENCE POST,
AND A BOX WITH A STAMP YOU'LL UNCOVER
.....One more box to find! Cross Rt. 302, carefully! It's very busy in the summer. Look for the "Blacksmith Winery." The stamp is located in a black mailbox on a stand near the front door.....
FORMER SITE OF THE WATKINS' BLACKSMITH SHOP,
WITH A FORGE, AN ANVIL,& GIANT LEATHER BELLOWS.
NOW THE SITE OF "BLACKSMITH WINERY,"
WHERE ONE CAN ENJOY A FINE GLASS OF WINE WITH YOUR BEST FELLOWS!
Thanks so much for joining us. We hope that you've enjoyed our Letterbox Trail. Please pass the word onto friends, family and neighbors so that they too can start collecting their own stamps!