Sept. 1, 1814: A British force occupies Castine during the War of 1812. The town becomes part of the short-lived second incarnation of the British crown colony of New Ireland.

When the British leave the following April, they take with them 10,750 pounds collected as tariff duties during their occupation. That money is used to fund the establishment of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Sept. 1, 1846: Transcendentalist author Henry David Thoreau, later the writer of the 1854 book “Walden; or, Life in the Woods,” departs northward from Bangor on the first of his three wilderness expeditions into Maine’s North Woods. The second occurs in 1853 and the third in 1857.

During those visits, Thoreau explores Moosehead Lake and climbs most of Mount Katahdin in an age when no clearly marked mountain trails exist and the nearest settlement is dozens of miles away.

Mount Kineo juts up from the shoreline of Moosehead Lake in this 1997 photo that was part of a project retracing Thoreau’s steps in Maine. Staff photo by John Ewing


Joseph Owen is an author, retired newspaper editor and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. Owen’s book, “This Day in Maine,” can be ordered at To get a signed copy use promo code signedbyjoe at checkout. Joe can be contacted at: [email protected]


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