Editor's Desk

Over the past two centuries, our capacity for travel from the St. Croix Valley has changed dramatically. The line of thought came to mind when I’d heard about Bill Gibson’s recent trip to Hawaii, which prompted a brief search to find out how long it takes to get there from here. With a total of about 17 hours of driving and flying, a person that started their day in Calais will be in Honolulu by the end of it, having covered almost 5,200 miles in between.

By contrast, the residents of Calais two hundred years ago would have been much more limited in the extent of their reach. Even traveling to Eastport represented a notable affair that took up most of the day, with travelers only able to travel by foot, by boat or via horse. In June of 1824, the first steamship arrived in Calais, carrying 200 passengers from Eastport and signaling the beginning of a new means of transportation. By the time of the Rose Standish in the late 1800s, travelers could leave Calais in the morning, arrive in Eastport 3-4 hours later, and connect with Portland and Boston in the days following.

In perspective, the casualness of flying great distances in the modern age would truly be a novel concept to the Calais residents of even a century ago. That the population of the area has held as well as it has is a testament to the desire of community members to return this place no matter how far their travels take them.

Lura Jackson