Maine – The Pine Tree State

Maine postcard available at Legends' General Store.

Maine postcard available at Legends’ General Store.

The most northern and eastern state of New England, Maine, is known for its beautiful scenery, including its rocky coastline, low, rolling mountains, heavily forested interior, and picturesque waterways. First settled in 1604, it became the nation’s 23rd state in 1820.

It is the largest state in New England but the 12th smallest state by area in the nation and the 9th least populous. European settlement began in 1604. However, indigenous peoples have been here for thousands of years, including Algonquian-speaking natives in the early 1600s.

Maine was part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts until 1820 when its citizens voted to secede and become a separate state. Maine was admitted to the Union as the 23rd state on March 15, 1820. Its name comes from an ancient French province of the same name. Its nickname is the “Pine Tree State,” as 90 percent of its land is forest. Not surprisingly, most of Maine’s economy is related to timber and producing paper and paper products. However, the millions of tourists who flock to “Vacationland” each summer are a significant revenue source.

The current flag of Maine features the state coat of arms on a blue field and was adopted in June 1909. In the shield’s center, a moose rests under a tall pine tree. The farmer and seaman represent reliance on agriculture and the sea. The North Star represents the state motto – Dirigo (Latin for “I Lead”).

Fast Facts:

Capital – Augusta

Nickname – Pine Tree State

State Animal – Moose

State Bird – Black-capped Chickadee

State Flower – White pine cone and tassel

State Tree – White Pine

Porpoise in Kennebunkport, Maine by Carol Highsmith

Cape Porpoise Harbor in Kennebunkport, Maine, by Carol Highsmith

The Bigelow Preserve, Maine y Paul Mitchell, Appalachian Trail Conservancy

The Bigelow Preserve, Maine, by Paul Mitchell, Appalachian Trail Conservancy

©Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated February 2024.

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