Page 63 - WCM 2022 Winter
P. 63

  The Historic Tour Map (available at the library, town hall, or online at highlights some 29 historic buildings and locations, several
of which are open to the public. With so many stunningly beautiful historic properties, Kingfield is
a perfect place to explore and experience the grandeur and simplicity of life in a bygone era. Kingfield also offers an annual POPS Concert, seasonal First Friday Art Walks, and the weekend-long Kingfield Festival Days every summer, featuring a themed parade, music, food and lots of family-friendly fun. With miles of access to ATV and snowmobile trails, off-roading is also a popular attraction in Kingfield. Moose, deer and eagles are abundant, and can often be spotted from scenic lookouts along the trails. Spectacular
fall foliage and hunting are popular draws, and the Carrabassett River, known for great fly-fishing, also provides a scenic backdrop for kayaking, canoeing and tubing, or just taking respite along the winding river banks. The nearby dam creates a crystal-clear pond with waterfall, perfect for cooling off on hot days.
Named for Maine’s first Governor, William King (1820), and like many early settlements in New England, Kingfield was largely known for logging, hunting, farming and industry. With numerous mills to process lumber and crops, the town soon grew to include several stores, a physician, and even a rake factory, some still standing today. In the early 1800s, Solomon Stanley, envoy to Governor King, settled in Kingfield. He and his descendants were prominent leaders in the community, and involved in politics, business, religion and the development of the town. Stanley’s twin sons, Francis Edgar (F.E.) and Freelan Oscar (F.O.) became famous for their groundbreaking contribution to photography with the development of the Stanley Dry Plate. This cutting-edge technology allowed photographers to capture movement and greatly reduced the amount of time required to take
a photograph. The Stanleys’ invention was eventually sold to the Eastman Kodak Company in 1903, and the brothers went on to invent and produce the Stanley Steamer automobile (1902-1924).
Shortly after building their first car in 1897, in August of 1899, F.O. Stanley, together with his wife, Flora, pulled off one of the earliest known automobile publicity stunts and made history when they made the first motorized vehicle ascent of Mount Washington. Reportedly the brakes were so inadequate for the steep return trip, huge cinderblocks had to be tied
to the back to slow the vehicle down. Housed in what was originally the Stanley School building on School Street, the Stanley Museum offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into this diverse family and their many accomplishments. Included is the artwork
Above: A gorgeous reproduction of a 1909 Stanley Steamer. Fueled by both water and kerosene, the Stanley was known for its torque and traction for climbing hills. Earlier models reportedly got up to 10 mpg, and in 1907, clocked in at an impressive 150 mph.
Below: Note the kerosene fueled headlights and right-side steering wheel on this 1910 Model Stanley Steamer. As traffic increased, and sidewalks became a safety necessity, later versions switched to a left side steering column.
 A remarkable innovation for its day, the Stanley dry plate revolutionized photography

   61   62   63   64   65