Articles by Wayne E. Reilly

 
WAYNE E. REILLY
Wayne E. Reilly

Bangoreans made big profits shipping rum, coal, wood during WWI

By Wayne E. Reilly on April 24, 2016, at 1 p.m.
Bangoreans lamented the decline of their harbor as a lumber port a century ago. But anyone who owned a sailing vessel still was making plenty of money.
WAYNE E. REILLY
The Windsor Hotel in Bangor before the fire of 1911.

Wealthy Bangor snowbirds missed the glory of spring a century ago

By Wayne E. Reilly on April 10, 2016, at 11:05 a.m.
A trip to Bangor in the spring enabled one to witness ice-out on the Penobscot River and all that came after.
WAYNE REILLY
Wayne E. Reilly

Booze, brawls enlivened old Bangor in Springtime

By Wayne E. Reilly on March 27, 2016, at 2:55 p.m.
First, the loggers began arriving from the woods. Then the mayhem picked up in the days ahead.
WAYNE E. REILLY
Wayne Reilly

Bangor laundrymen prosecuted under Chinese Exclusion Act

By Wayne E. Reilly on March 13, 2016, at 11:43 a.m.
They were merely laborers — victims of one of the most racially charged laws in U.S. history — trying to support themselves in Bangor’s Chinese laundries.
WAYNE E. REILLY
Wayne E. Reilly

Bangor police cleaned up ‘trenches of Satan’ on Harlow Street

By Wayne E. Reilly on Feb. 28, 2016, at 11:41 a.m.
Their target was “bad resorts,” also known as disorderly houses, houses of ill repute, public nuisances, bad road houses and other euphemistic jargon of the time.
WAYNE E. REILLY
Wayne E. Reilly

Ice house fire marked the end of Maine ice export industry

By Wayne E. Reilly on Feb. 14, 2016, at 8:57 a.m.
The public grew increasingly skeptical of ice taken from the Penobscot River rivers as pollution from paper company waste, sewage and the residue of sawmills fouled the water.
WAYNE E. REILLY
Wayne Reilly

Escaped German POWs visited Bangor in 1916

By Wayne E. Reilly on Jan. 31, 2016, at 10:27 a.m.
Newspaper stories about escaped German POWs and Canadian trains loaded with guns and ammunition in Maine’s North Woods fanned the flames of war fever in the early weeks of 1916 more than a year before the United States entered the Great War in Europe.
WAYNE E. REILLY
Wayne E. Reilly

Mainers joined WWI effort long before US declared war

By Wayne E. Reilly on Jan. 17, 2016, at 10:11 a.m.
Much of the idealism and enthusiasm initially felt by Mainers who became involved early in World War I quickly evaporated after the United States entered the fray.
WAYNE E. REILLY
Wayne E. Reilly

Ice on Penobscot River transformed Bangor a century ago

By Wayne E. Reilly on Jan. 03, 2016, at 9:25 a.m.
There was nothing quite like the arrival of the ice on the Penobscot River each winter to spark excitement in Bangor.
WAYNE E. REILLY
Wayne E. Reilly

When a daredevil’s ‘fire dive’ into the Kenduskeag didn’t go as planned

By Wayne E. Reilly on Dec. 20, 2015, at 8:37 a.m.
Daredevils were seemingly multiplying as fast as the technology that allowed them to risk their lives flying in aeroplanes, climbing skyscrapers and diving from absurd heights, and spreading their fame in the movies.
WAYNE E. REILLY
Wayne E. Reilly

Arctic explorer Robert Peary urged Bangoreans to prepare for WWI

By Wayne E. Reilly on Dec. 06, 2015, at 8:18 a.m.
Besides building up its military capabilities, Adm. Robert Peary advocated an “aerial coast patrol system,” an early warning network for spotting invasions.
WAYNE E. REILLY
Wayne E. Reilly

When Bangor banned lunch carts

By Wayne E. Reilly on Nov. 22, 2015, at 2:08 p.m.
The battle over Bangor’s lunch carts climaxed a century ago this fall when local entrepreneur Fred Tower applied for a license to set one up at Franklin and Hammond streets across from what was then City Hall.
WAYNE E. REILLY
Shack stores in Center Park where City Hall sits today after the Bangor fire of 1911.

Shack stores lingered years after Bangor’s great fire

By Wayne E. Reilly on Nov. 08, 2015, at 7:29 a.m.
After the fire of 1911 destroyed much of Bangor’s downtown, many small businesses immediately found housing in what became known as “shack stores,” temporary structures built haphazardly of rough lumber and whatever other materials were around. After banning wooden buildings downtown in an effort to avoid further fires, city fathers …
WAYNE REILLY
Exchange Street in Bangor was sometimes so congested with autos and horse-drawn vehicles that trolleys were blocked. The trolley tracks can be seen leading down to Union Station.

Horses, trolleys contended with ‘devil wagons’ for Bangor streets

By Wayne E. Reilly on Oct. 24, 2015, at 12:22 p.m.
A “hot debate” about traffic congestion in downtown Bangor flourished a century ago, when a growing number of automobiles — aka “devil wagons” — and other gasoline-powered vehicles competed with plodding horses and clanging electric trolleys for control of the streets.
WAYNE E. REILLY
Trolley getting ready to cross the Bangor-Brewer bridge.

Jitney ‘buses’ competed with Bangor trolleys a century ago

By Wayne E. Reilly on Oct. 11, 2015, at 9:45 a.m.
From the beginning of their existence, automobiles posed a threat to the trolley systems that had developed in large and small cities across the nation.
WAYNE E. REILLY
The little Bon Ton Ferry connected Bangor and Brewer across the Penobscot River for many years along the course followed by the Chamberlain Bridge today. In the background is the terminal operated by the Eastern Steamship Co. where the big “Boston Boats” arrived.

Mishaps marked decline of coastal steamboats a century ago

By Wayne E. Reilly on Sept. 27, 2015, at 12:45 p.m.
With the disappearance of steamboats went most of the excitement and glamour of travel along the coast of Maine …
WAYNE E. REILLY
Much of Central Street was rebuilt after the fire of 1911. This post-fire view shows the Graham Building on the right and the Central Building on the left (under the flag) as well as other new buildings that are still standing today.

Confetti war, Charlie Chaplin look-alikes marked dedication of rebuilt Central Street a century ago

By Wayne E. Reilly on Sept. 13, 2015, at 12:33 p.m.
In the years after the fire of 1911, fairs became popular events to mark progress in rebuilding Bangor. One of the most successful was held Aug. 15, 1915, to celebrate the rebirth of Central Street …
WAYNE E. REILLY
Wayne E. Reilly

Machine guns roared on Hammond Street as Bangor prepared for WWI

By Wayne E. Reilly on Aug. 30, 2015, at 10:50 a.m.
“Bangor Will Be Headquarters For Machine Gun Company,” the Bangor Daily Commercial announced in a multi-tiered headline March 12, 1915. “The plan is to have a company consisting of 50 men, with a captain and two lieutenants … There will be four machine guns,” the story said, describing the latest …
WAYNE E. REILLY
Wayne Reilly

Motordromes, aeroplanes transformed Bangor fair

By Wayne E. Reilly on Aug. 16, 2015, at 4:03 p.m.
The Eastern Maine State Fair in Maplewood Park (Bass Park today) was the apex of entertainment a century ago in Bangor. The Queen City of the East had many other popular diversions, from circuses to opera, but for attracting crowds — more than 10,000 people some days — nothing beat …
WAYNE E. REILLY
Wayne E. Reilly

‘Stargazing’ a popular sport in old Bangor

By Wayne E. Reilly on Aug. 02, 2015, at 2:18 p.m.
The Bangor area was a great place for celebrity watching a century ago. From Hollywood heart throbs to powerful millionaires to famous babies, one could expect to see them in person or at least read about them in the local news. Throw Bar Harbor into the mix, which the steamboat …