[The old truss over the Kenduskeag Stream, near ME 15.]
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Maine's Lettered Highways (1913)

[Return to RoadsAroundME] Maine's first highways were not numbered -- they were lettered. As part of the first annual report of the State Highway Commission in 1913, by Lyman H. Nelson, Philip J. Deering and William M. Ayer, the SHC accepted 21 state highways and proposed three additional highways which were accepted in future reports, all being assigned a letter of the alphabet as an identifier. Although these routings do not appear to have ever been signed per se, all of them survive in some form in the modern numbered routing system.

With the advent of the pole highways in 1919, it is unclear if the SHC still used the letter designations internally to refer to these routings, but it is clear that with the advent of Maine's use of the New England Interstate system in 1925 that the letters were definitely replaced by their numbered counterparts. The numbered equivalents for a given routing are stated with each entry.

This entry is probably incomplete and I would appreciate any verifiable corrections. All entries below come from pp64-65 in the 1913 report book.

A

Definition
Kittery to Portland, beginning at the Portsmouth-Kittery bridge and running through Kittery, York, Wells, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Biddeford, Saco, Scarboro [sic], South Portland, to Portland.
Length
50 miles
Replaced by
NEI 1 (now US 1)

B

Definition
Fryeburg to Portland, beginning at the New Hampshire line in Fryeburg and running through Fryeburg, Bridgton, Naples, Casco, Raymond, Windham, Westbrook to Portland.
Length
47 miles
Replaced by
NEI/ME 18 (now US 302)

C

Defintion
Portland to Bath, beginning at Martin's Point Bridge in Portland, running through Falmouth, Cumberland, Yarmouth, Freeport and Brunswick, West Bath to Bath.
Length
31.4 miles
Replaced by
NEI 1 (now US 1)

D

Definition
Woolwich to Belfast via Rockland, beginning at Peoples' Ferry in Woolwich, through Wiscasset, Edgecomb, Alna, Newcastle, Damariscotta, Nobleboro, Waldoboro, Warren, Thomaston, Rockland, Rockport, Camden, Lincolnville, Northport to Belfast.
Length
62.4 miles
Replaced by
NEI 1 (now US 1)

E

Definition
Portland to Augusta, via Lewiston, beginning at Portland and running through Falmouth, Cumberland, Gray, New Gloucester, Auburn, Lewiston, Greene, Monmouth, Winthrop, Manchester to Augusta.
Length
60 miles
Replaced by
ME 100

Note that ME 100 didn't reach Portland initially; the remainder of the routing was probably NEI/ME 26.

F

Definition
Auburn to Rangeley, beginning in Auburn, and running through Turner, Livermore, East Livermore, Jay, Wilton, Farmington, Strong, Avon Phillips, Madrid, Letter E (Oxford county), Sandy River plantation, to Rangeley.
Length
75.6 miles
Replaced by
ME 107 (now ME 4)

G

Definition
Augusta to Waterville, beginning at Augusta running through Sidney, Belgrade, Oakland to Waterville.
Length
24 miles
Replaced by
ME 100 (now ME 11)

H

Definition
Augusta to the Quebec line, beginning at Augusta, running through Vassalboro, Winslow, Waterville, Fairfield, Skowhegan, Norridgewock, Madison, Anson, Embden, Solon, Bingham, Moscow, Caratunk plantation, The Forks plantation, West Forks plantation, Johnson Mountain, Parlin Pond, Jackman plantation, through Sandy Bay plantation to the Canadian boundary.
Length
122 miles
Replaced by
NEI 20 (now US 201, except Norridgewock-Solon, which is US 201A)

I

Definition
Fairfield to Bangor, beginning at Fairfield, running through Benton, Clinton, Burnham, Pittsfield, Palmyra, Etna, Carmel, Hermon to Bangor.
Length
48 miles
Replaced by
ME 100 to Pittsfield, then NEI 15 to Bangor (now ME 100 to Pittsfield, unnumbered higway to near Canaan, then US 2 to Newport, and US 2/ME 100 to Bangor)

J

Definition
Newport to Greenville, beginning at Newport, running through Corinna, Dexter, Dover, Foxcroft, Guilford, Abbot, Monson, Shirley, to Greenville.
Length
53 miles
Replaced by
ME 104 (now ME 7 to Dover-Foxcroft and ME 15 to Greenville [also ME 16 from Abbot to Dover-Foxcroft, now ME 6/ME 15/ME 16])

K

Definition
Bangor to Fort Kent, beinning at Bangor, running through Veazie, Orono, Oldtown [sic], Milford, Greenbush, Passadumkeag, Enfield, Lincoln, Winn, Mattawamkeag, Molunkus, Medway, 1R6 (Penobscot county), Township A, R7, 2R7, 2R6, Stacyville, Sherman, Crystal, Island Falls, Dyer Brook, Merrill, Smyrna, Ludlow, New Limerick, Houlton, Littleton, Monticello, Bridgewater, Blaine, Mars Hill, Easton, Presque Isle, Caribou, Connor, Cyr, Van Buren, Grand Isle, Madawaska, Frenchville, to Fort Kent.
Length
235 miles
Replaced by
NEI 15 to Mattawamkeag (now US 2, except Old Town-Orono, which is US 2A), then ME 157 to Medway, then ME 211 to Sherman (now ME 11), then ME 158 to NEI 15 east of Sherman, then NEI 15 to Houlton (now US 2), then NEI 24 to Madawaska (?Fort Kent) (now US 1 except Mars Hill-Easton, which is now US 1A, and Easton-Presque Isle, which is now ME 10).

L

Definition
Belfast to Bangor, beginning at Belfast, running through Searsport, Stockton Springs, Prospect, Frankfort, Winterport, Hampden to Bangor.
Length
31 miles
Replaced by
NEI 1 (now US 1 except Stockton Springs-Bangor, which is US 1A and US 1AB)

M

Definition
Bangor to Trenton, beginning at Bangor, running through Brewer, Holden, Dedham, Ellsworth to Trenton.
Length
33.4 miles
Replaced by
NEI 1 and ME 183 (now US 1A and ME 3)

N

Definition
Ellsworth to Calais, beginning at Ellsworth, running through Hancock, Franklin, Sullivan, Gouldsboro, Township 7, S.D. (Hancock county), Steuben, Milbridge, Cherryfield, Harrington, Columbia, Columbia Falls, Jonesboro, Whitneyville, Machias, East Machias, Whiting, Trescott, Edmunds, Dennsyville, Pembroke, Perry, Robbinston, Calais, with a spur from Perry to Eastport, and a spur from Whiting through Trescott to Lubec, and a spur from Columbia Falls through Addison to Jonesport.
Length
143.4 miles
Replaced by
NEI 1 (now US 1). The spurs were replaced by, respectively, ME 190, ME 189 and ME 187.

O

Definition
Brettun's Mills, in Livermore, running through Canton, Peru, Dixfield, Mexico, Rumford, Hanover, Newry, Bethel, Gilead to the New Hampshire line.
Length
49.2 miles
Replaced by
ME 108 to Dixfield (apparently crossing the river), then NEI 15 (now US 2)

P

Definition
Augusta to Rockland, beginning at Augusta, running through Chelsea, Whitefield, Windsor, Jefferson, Somerville, Washington, Union, Hope, Rockport to Rockland.
Length
37 miles
Replaced by
ME 101 (now ME 17)

Q

Definition
Augusta to Brunswick, beginning at Augusta, running through Hallowell, Farmingdale, Gardiner, Richmond, Bowdoinham, Topsham to Brunswick.
Length
36.6 miles
Replaced by
NEI 20 (now US 201)

R

Definition
Augusta to Belfast, beginning at Augusta, running through Vassalboro, China, Palermo, Liberty, Montville, Searsmont, Morrill, Waldo to Belfast.
Length
39 miles
Replaced by
ME 102 (now ME 3)

S

Definition
Gray to Bethel, beginning at Gray, on state highway E, running through New Gloucester, Poland, Mechanic Falls, Oxford, Norway, Paris, Woodstock, Greenwood, Bethel, to join state highway O.
Length
43.6 miles
Replaced by
NEI/ME 26

T

Definition
Newry to the New Hampshire line at Upton, beginning at Newry, on state highway O, running through Newry, Grafton and Upton, to the New Hampshire line.
Length
19.4 miles
Replaced by
NEI/ME 26

X

Definition
Bangor to Dover, beginning at Bangor, running through Glenburn, Kenduskeag, Corinth, Charleston, Garland, Hermon to Dover.
Length
38 miles
Replaced by
ME 105 (now ME 15)


The following definitions were listed as "tentative," pending approval, in the 1913 report.

U

Definition
(Tentative) Biddeford to Lebanon, beginning at Biddeford, running through Kennebunkport, Lyman, Alfred, Sanford, Lebanon to the New Hampshire line.
Length
(Tentative) 27.2 miles
Replaced by
NEI 11 (now ME 111 to Alfred, ME 4A/US 202 to Sanford, then ME 11/US 202).

This definition is made confusing with the presence of Kennebunkport in the order stated, but that portion is actually in modern Arundel.

V

Definition
(Tentative) Norridgewock to Farmington, beginning at Norridgewock, on state highway H, running through Mercer, New Sharon, to Farmington, to state highway F.
Length
(Tentative) 21 miles
Replaced by
NEI 15 (now US 2)

W

Definition
(Tentative) From Belgrade Depot to New Sharon, beginning at Belgrade, on state highway G, running through Belgrade, Rome, to New Sharon, on state highway V.
Length
(Tentative) 15.4 miles
Replaced by
ME 140 (now ME 27)



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