Travel from Portland to the Kennebec Valley by stagecoach had begun long before Augusta had been selected for the Capitol site. As early as 1792, Caleb Graffam rode the post and conveyed newspapers from Portland to Hallowell. By December of 1793, he carried passengers from Portland to Hallowell in a sleigh. This was just once every two weeks, but it made a good start. Up until the advent of the railroads in Maine, stagecoaches carried visitors, politicians and business men between Portland, Maine’s interim capital, and Augusta. Stage owners were frequently tavern owners as well. What better business model than being able to physically carry your customers to your tavern’s front door! The presentation will cover the roads, stage lines, and taverns used to convey and accommodate travelers from Portland to Augusta and include stories of actual travelers who braved the winter snows, summer storms and some reckless stage drivers.
KHS speaker, western history author, entrepreneur and inventor, Leland J. Hanchett, Jr., has now published his first book on Maine’s history and his ninth book overall. After sixteen years in computer design and manufacturing, Leland started his own manufacturing company, founding Hanchett Entry Systems, Inc. A Swedish company bought him out in 1998. Lee then wrote six books about Arizona followed by one on Montana. During his engineering career, he patented thirty electronic, optical and mechanical devices.
The Kennebec Historical Society April Presentation is free to the public (donations gladly accepted). The presentation will take place on Wednesday, April 17, 2019, at 6:30 p.m. at the Hope Baptist Church, located at 726 Western Avenue in Manchester.