Maine’s Superheroes, Moving To A City Near You!

 

 

This fantastic article appeared in the Sun Journal in the Lewiston/Auburn area by Kathryn Skelton, Staff Writer. These people do exist but not in our “conventional” superhero sense.

 

Her mom thought she was doing drugs, slipping out at night, wandering the streets.

Mom didn’t realize her little girl was actually busy atoning and avenging.

As the self-styled superhero “Dreizehn” (that’s the number 13 in German), she’d slip out and look for trouble, interrupting drug deals and vehicle break-ins. Think “Kick-Ass,” but in real life. Sometimes it worked, sometimes the teenager got beaten up, badly.

Dreizehn moved to Maine from a big city outside New England a few months ago to join her similarly self-styled superhero boyfriend, “Slapjack.” Several nights a week they walk Lewiston-Auburn for hours on end as roving Good Samaritans, looking for trouble.

The streets here? Much less mean, in her limited experience.

Most nights their foot patrol means giving bottled water and granola bars to the homeless and maybe yelling at a graffiti artist, all the while costumed and armed with batons, knife-proof protective wear and brass knuckles electrified with Tasers.

Dreizehn and Slapjack are in their 20s. Their parents? They still have no clue.

“You kind of have to be a little unstable to do it,” Dreizehn said. “Going out at 2 a.m. with a mask on and thinking you’re going to save the world, it says a lot about you.”

Origin stories

They got started for different reasons. About four years ago, Slapjack said he read an article in VIBE magazine on the Real Life Superheroes movement, a worldwide community, to which they now belong, of people who dress up, assume names and do varying degrees of charity work and criminal deterrence.

Close friends of Slapjack had their home broken into. Another was hit by a drunk driver, part of Slapjack’s motivation now to hang outside bars. He calls police to report plate numbers when he sees people that he suspects have had too much to drink get behind the wheel.

“I believe in civilian patrols. The police can only be so many places at once, especially at night,” Slapjack said. “I think it’s everyone’s responsibility to keep an eye on their communities.”

He picked his code name from a favorite card game played with his grandmother.

The younger Dreizehn has been going out longer, since 2003.

“I started out, really, just bored, and didn’t want to cause trouble,” she said.

In looking to thwart mischief, there was also an element of making amends for her brother.

“He was robbing and completely destroying our family through his actions,” Dreizehn said. “It made me want to do something so nobody had to go through the pain I had to.”

She dresses to add bulk to her frame — a compressed chest, a man’s trench, men’s boots. Sometimes, in her experience, just walking up to someone is enough to make them stop whatever it is they’re doing, mainly because she appears to be a 200-plus-pound man wearing a full black and red mask with sheer white fabric eye holes.

Once on patrol, Slapjack found an unconscious man collapsed in the middle of the street and dragged him to the side of the road, potentially saving him from being run over.

But it doesn’t always go swimmingly.

“I got hit by a car,” Dreizehn said. And once, in what she believed was a meth buy, “I got ahold of what they were dealing. I ended up really taking a beating. I had my mask taken off. I managed to crawl and bite my way out of it. I had a death grip on (the meth).”

She picked her code name as a nod to her German heritage.

Why the names at all if everything’s on the up and up?

Their reasons are threefold. First, they say they don’t want their workplaces or families finding out, then worrying, questioning or demanding they give it up. Second, the couple doesn’t want to be harassed; they are, occasionally, snitches. A superhero named “Shadow Hare” began showing his face around Cincinnati too much and “the city completely turned on him,” Dreizehn said.

Lastly, putting on the costume, and wearing the name, is like becoming someone else.

“Your fear goes away,” Slapjack said.

Added his girlfriend, Dreizehn: “I wanted to be able to put a mask on so I could be somebody greater and better.”

They met through the Real Life Superheroes group. There aren’t too many others in Maine. He can name two, “The Beetle” and “Mrs. The Beetle.”

You can read more @ http://www.sunjournal.com/city/story/844777

Interesting Things To Know Abour Auburn, ME

This very good FAQ is from the Auburn Libraries staff. I wanted to do my part in getting these interesting facts out there.

1. When was the city of Auburn settled?

Auburn was first settled as a shire town in 1786. The town became part of Minot, but later separated from Minot and was incorporated as the city of Auburn in 1842. Auburn annexed the town of Danville in 1867. Auburn’s charter was adopted and its government was organized in 1869. (Source: Maine Register, 2001 ed. Standish, Maine: Tower Publishing Co., 2000.)


2. What is the current population of Auburn? of Lewiston?

The 2002-2003 population of Auburn is 23,203, of Lewiston 35,690. (Source: Maine Register, 2004 ed.)


3. What is the longitude and latitude of Auburn, Maine?

Auburn, Maine is located at 44.05 N. latitude, 70.15 W. longitude. (Source: DK World Atlas, Millennium Edition. London: Dorling Kindersley Ltd., 1999.)


4. Who was Edward Little?

Edward Little was a descendant of one of the original settlers of what is now Auburn. He was born in 1773 in Newbury, Massachusetts and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1798. He became a successful lawyer and businessman in the city of Newburyport, but a disastrous fire in 1811 destroyed the assets he had built up. In 1815 he moved to Portland, and in 1826 he moved again to what is now Auburn. When his father, Josiah, died in 1830, he inherited land in this area.

Little was a quiet, scholarly person who was known for his devotion to the community. He donated land for the building of a Congregational Church, contributed generously to Bowdoin College, and in 1834 founded the Lewiston Falls Academy, which later became Edward Little High School. He died in 1849 at the age of 76. (Sources: Ralph B. Skinner et al, Auburn: 100 Years a City, 1869-1969. Lewiston, Maine: Auburn History Committee, 1968; also: vertical file materials from the Auburn Public Library.)


5. What’s so special about Mt. Apatite?

In the early 1900s, Mt. Apatite, which is located on the outskirts of Auburn, housed quarries that produced large amounts of commercial feldspar. Mining activities in these quarries also turned up rare minerals, colorful tourmaline crystals, and large crystals of smokey quartz.

Today, Mt. Apatite Park is owned and administered by the City of Auburn and is one of the best places in Maine for members of the general public to go mineral hunting. For directions to Mt. Apatite, plus an excellent summary of its history and geology, see the Maine Geological Survey’s Geologic Field Trips Page.


6. What were some of the worst disasters to effect the Lewiston-Auburn area?

The New Auburn Fire of 1933 – On May 15, 1933, a windswept fire sped through downtown New Auburn and destroyed 249 buildings in four hours. The fire moved so quickly that reporters from the Lewiston Journal, trying to report on the story, were forced to rush from telephones in buildings that had not caught fire when they entered. Over 2000 people from 422 families were left homeless, and the resulting damage was valued at over $2 million in 1933 dollars. (Source: Lewiston Journal Illustrated, Magazine Section, May 27, 1933.)

The Flood of 1936 – In March of 1936, heavy snowfall, record rains, and a sudden thaw combined to unleash record-breaking floods in many parts of the eastern United States. By the time the flooding was over, the nation’s death toll stood at 136, over 200,000 people were homeless, and total damage was estimated at $300 million in 1936 dollars. In Maine, five people were killed, approximately 200 bridges were washed out, and damage was estimated at $25 million. No one was killed or injured in Lewiston-Auburn, but New Auburn was completely marooned when South Bridge swept away and the Main Street Bridge was submerged. (Source: “The Flood of ’36,” Lewiston Daily Sun, February 3, 1986, p. 9.)

The Blizzard of 1952 – On February 17, 1952, a blizzard dumped 26 inches of snow on southern Maine while gale force winds whipped snow into towering drifts. Across the state, five people were killed and thousands of motorists were stranded as most of the state’s roads were completely blocked. In Lewiston, shoe shops and textile mills kept operating, but many of them closed early for two days in a row – a very unusual occurrence. The snowfall from the storm pushed Lewiston-Auburn’s snowfall total for the winter to nearly ten feet. The blizzard was the single heaviest snowfall in Lewiston since 30 inches reportedly fell during the blizzard of 1888. (Source: The Lewiston Daily Sun, February 19, 1952, p. 1.)

The Flood of 1987 – On April 1, 1987, four days of rain combined with melting snow to create the worst flooding of the Androscoggin River since 1936. The river crested at a height of 23.66 feet, ten feet above flood stage and high enough to send water surging just below street level at the Longley Bridge. Although the flood did heavy damage in low-lying areas, no injuries were reported. The worst flooding in the state was in Augusta along the Kennebec River, which crested at 36 feet. (Sources: Lewiston Daily Sun, Lewiston Evening Journal, April 1 & 2, 1987.)

The Ice Storm of 1998 – During the week of January 4th, 1998, one of the worst ice storms of the century coated parts of New York, New England, and eastern Canada with between three and six inches of ice. The storm was the worst natural disaster in Canadian history, resulting in 24 deaths, over $1 billion in damages, and the loss of power for over 3 million people. In Maine, the storm resulted in four deaths and over $100 million in damages. Nearly 3000 utility poles and 3 million feet of power lines were destroyed. Four out of five Mainers lost power for at least a few hours, and some went as long as twenty three days without power as utility crews from Maine and states as far away as North Carolina worked to repair the damage. (Source: “Ice Storm ’98: When Maine Froze Over,” special supplement to the Maine Sunday Telegram/Guy Gannett Newspapers, January 1998.)


7. When did George Bush Sr. live in Lewiston?

President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara lived in Lewiston briefly while he was stationed at the Lewiston-Auburn Naval Air Station during World War II. During a return visit to Lewiston in 1991, President Bush recalled that he and Barbara were living here when he heard the news of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death in 1945. (Source: Lewiston Sun-Journal, September 4, 1991, p.1.)


8. When did the Poland Spring House fire occur?

On the night of July 3rd, 1975, Poland Spring House was destroyed by a fire that could be seen as far away as Turner and South Paris. The five story complex, which dominated a scenic hilltop, had been closed for some time, but negotiations had been underway to sell it for $2 million. The building was nearly one hundred years old, and at the height of its popularity at the turn of the century was one of the nation’s most noted and luxurious resorts. It featured 300 rooms, dining and music rooms nearly 200 feet in length, and was the first resort hotel in the country to feature a golf course. By the 1930s, advances in transportation and the increasing popularity of vacations abroad had started the resort’s gradual decline. (Source: Lewiston Daily Sun, July 4, 1975, p.1.)


9. Who were some important inventors from Maine?

Freelon and Francis Stanley – Born in Kingfield in 1859, the Stanley twins invented the Stanley Steamer, a steam powered automobile, in 1897. It was the first mass-produced automobile in the United States. The Stanley Steamer was the first car able to reach speeds up to 120 mph, and the Stanley twins were notorious for speeding. In 1918, Francis was speeding along the Newburyport Turnpike on his way back to Boothbay Harbor when he swerved to avoid two farm wagons. He hit a pile of cordwood and was killed. The Stanley’s steam-powered car was eventually supplanted by the emergence of Henry Ford’s mass produced gasoline car, and the Stanley Steamer company went out of business in 1925.

Hiram Stevens Maxim – Born in Sangerville in 1840, Hiram Maxim invented the first practical machine gun, in which the gun’s recoil was used to automatically reload its chamber. Dejected by the rejection of his invention in the United States, Maxim moved to England, where in 1889 his gun was adopted for use by the British Army. Capable of firing ten rounds per second, the machine gun was a deadly weapon that was quickly adopted by other European countries and went on to revolutionize modern warfare. Hiram became a British citizen and in 1901 was knighted by Queen Victoria for his accomplishments.

Leon Leonwood Bean – Born in Greenwood in 1872, L.L. Bean developed the famous Maine hunting shoe, a rubber-bottomed boot sewn to a leather top which provided hunters with both comfort and protection from wetness. Bean began making the shoe for friends and selling them through the mail to holders of Maine hunting licenses. The Maine hunting shoe became the basis of a thriving mail order business, which eventually expanded to include outdoor clothing, camping gear, and hunting and fishing supplies. Today the L.L. Bean company employs over 4,000 people and has annual sales of over $1 billion*.

(Sources: Daphne Winslow Merrill, A Salute to Maine, Vantage Press, 1983; Bob Niss, Faces of Maine, Guy Gannet Books, 1981; Jim Brunelle, Maine Almanac, Guy Gannet Publishing, 1978; *L.L. Bean website.)


10. Where are the Maine Indian reservations located?

Maine has four Indian reservations:

  • Houlton Maliseet Band Council, Houlton. Tribe served: Maliseet. Population served: 250.
  • Indian Township Passamaquoddy Tribal Council, Princeton. Tribe served: Passamaquoddy. Population served: 385.
  • Penobscot Tribal Council, Old Town. Tribe served: Penobscot. Population served: 1,050.
  • Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy Tribal Council, Perry. Tribe served: Passamaquoddy. Population served: 700.

Please note: the population figures listed are from 1990 and are given as estimates only.

(Source: Barry T. Klein, Reference Encyclopedia of the American Indian, 5th ed. West Nyack, NY: Todd Publications, 1990.)

Flashback To The 1931 Maine Central Railroad Schedule

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Boobytown

For some time now I had the knowledge of a mysterious part of Maine’s varied history, this time from Lewiston. I lived almost my entire life in the tri-state region of Massachusetts so upon reading this story I never acted on actually going for an actual visit. I cannot even tell you now that I have been there, I haven’t. What I can tell is the unusual stigma attached to a village in Maine by the name of Lower Dallas.

In the mid 1800’s the prosperous city of Lewiston in Maine had an innovative and at the same time bastardy plan at the same time. The roll call for welfare was quite large during this period. The city needed a way to turn the tide of people depending on the system. Someone, I do not know who, came up with the idea with shipping them off to what is known as Lower Dallas just east of Rangely in the northwest corner of the state. These people were hard up while living in Lewiston and after the move to Lower Dallas things only got worse. Stories of people running off into the fields to eat dandelions raw were the norm. Of all of these welfare afflicted Lewstonians the most prominent family was the Bubiers thus the towns name of “Boobytown” came into being.  The Boobytowners were always known by the people of Rangely as honest and fair trading partners and always had the utmost respect for them. Sad that such a quality of people was shipped away in favor of saving a few dollars (in today’s money mush more).

Today if you can find the way to the location of Lower Dallas you will find a virtual ghost town, complete with newspapers from the period around WW 2 on the floor of some of the structures. It is in these ways that Maine is trully unique as if someone leaves the forest locks it up until later discovery. Last heard, the is only one descendant of the Bubiers still living near Boobytown, Virgil Bubier. If anyone is looking to go there I hear he is one of the best people out there with the history of the place.  It’s an understatement to say that a general feeling of paranormal activity also prevails here according to reports, which can only be imagined with the history of these people stolen from their home. I hope in the future more attention can be brought to this incident in Lewiston’s history and the whole state of Maine in general. I can only hope this article keeps alive the drive for people to find out more about it.

I want to give special credit to Art Sordillo and Yankee Magazine for this other, somewhat related article, definitely a good read.

http://www.outtakes.com/45th/45thnopics.html

Views Of Lewiston/Auburn, Maine

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The Maine Turnpike – A National Historic Landmark

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Oh the joy’s of the Maine Turnpike. The stretch of road that goes from York, ME to Gardiner, ME that has a very “solid” pricing system. It took more than 8 trips for me to move from Douglas, MA to Auburn, ME. In those trips, a round trip would cost in tolls 10.50. That means in terms of a total figure would be almost 100 dollars in toll money.
At first I was skeptical about the voracious appetite of the Turnpike for my money. But as I learned more about it, it made more and more sense to why it really is so high. The Turnpike is the only one of t’s kind in the country to pay for its own maitenance and upgrades entirely on it’s own. That is no small feat for a road that gets punded by brutal Maine winters. The road itseld is a landmark. It is officialy classified as a Civil Engineering Landmark. Innovative and revolutionary techniques were applied for the first time on the road. The Turnpike Authority has a very good history on their website and I suggest everyone checks it out. Here is an exerpt from it.

Mile-A-Minute Highway

In 1947, when the Authority cut the ribbon on the new road, the Maine Turnpike was the first superhighway built in the postwar era and one of only two modern toll highways in existence in the United States (the Pennsylvania Turnpike opened in 1940). With four wide, clearly marked lanes and a wide grass median, an innovative safety feature at the time, the Maine Turnpike provided a vision of the future of transportation. The highway was straight, swift, safe and efficient. Few people in Maine had ever had the chance to travel at 60 miles per hour. That was why, when the highway opened on a cold day on December 13, 1947, the Portland Press Herald dubbed it the “Mile-A-Minute” highway.

The Maine Turnpike was the first superhighway in the world to be paved entirely with asphalt—not concrete. This decision raised the eyebrows of highway engineers who thought concrete was the only material suitable to build highway lanes. Many skeptics from around the world were invited to see for themselves the value and durability asphalt under Maine’s extreme weather conditions and left impressed.

Back then, the amounts of snowfall during a Maine winter were legendary. In order to clear the Turnpike efficiently, the Turnpike commissioned what is believed to be the first left-handed snow plow in this country. This highway operations “first” was considered an important advance, and representatives from several of the country’s new superhighways came to witness the new plow in action. Today “lefthanders” are standard issue for highway maintenance crews throughout the nation.

 

 

Here is the link to the site…..

 

http://www.maineturnpike.com/about/history_of_the_mta.php

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