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The first gemstone mine in the United States was started in Paris, Maine, in 1821, completely by accident. Friends Elijah Hamlin and Ezekiel Holmes went for a hike and Hamlin spotted a shiny green crystal under the roots of a fallen tree. A Yale professor identified the crystal as tourmaline-the most valuable mineral or semi-precious gem found in the state, and Maine’s official mineral. The Hamlin necklace, made of fine tourmalines from the mine, is in the collection of the Harvard University Mineralogical Museum.

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Remember those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer when everyone piled into a car and headed lo the drive in? Revisit those days with a trip to one of Maine’s outdoor movie screens. They’re probably considered retro now, but they’ve been here all along. Maine is one of only fifteen states that still has one of these distinctly American institutions. At

The Saco Drive-In (969 Portland Rd.) offers a double feature prices vary by the number of people in the car (up to five) and “casual food” of the piz/a slice, hot dog, burger, and chicken nugget variety is available.

The Bridgton Twin Drive-In (383 Portland Rd.) offers two choices of double features on its two screens. Open seven days a week in summer, rain or shine, Bridgton screens retro movies on Tuesdays. Snack food is available.

Skowhegan Drive-In (201 Waterville Rd.) Another 1950s era drive in, Skowhegan offers single showings and double features. Open seven days a week, rain or shine. Food available. Charges per person, cash only.

Prides Corner Drive-In (651 Bridgton Rd., Westbrook) I his family owned theater has been open since 1953. lhere is a snack bar.

Bangor Drive-In (1674 Hammond St. Herrnon) Reopened after a thirty year hiatus, this twin screen outdoor cinema shows double features of first run movies. Snack bar. Charges by the carload.

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