Old Orchard Maine Landmarks

Old Orchard Maine Landmarks
Records indicate that the first settler established Old Orchard Beach, a hamlet on coastal Maine, in 1653. The name of the town originated with an old apple orchard that sailors used as a landmark. Old Orchard Beach has more than 250 years of established history of the tourist industry. Several opportunities to hike, bike, snowshoe, camp, kayak or canoe exist in the Old Orchard Beach area. To get to those activities, you may need the help of some local landmarks.

The Beach

The 7-mile strip of beach attracts tourists with its salty ocean water and sandy shore. You can swim in the ocean, get a suntan, watch children make sand castles and comb the beach for shells. As a permanent geological feature, the beach is easily used, when giving or receiving directions, as a reference point.

Old Orchard Beach Pier

Paired with the beach, the Old Orchard Beach Pier opened in 1898, stretching more than 1,700 feet long. Within a few months, though, the pier was damaged by a storm. In 1909, another storm damaged the pier, shrinking it to about 700 feet. It witnessed an international car race, many musical performances and attempts at trans-Atlantic flight. In 1978, a storm further damaged the pier. In 1980, the new enclosed pier opened. The pier splits the 7-mile beach in half. The majority of vacationers and locals congregate around the savory, sweet smell of beach food such as pizza, chowder and french fries. The pier hosts amusement rides, carnival games, arcades, tattoo stalls and other shops.

Ferry Beach State Park

Ferry Beach State Park encompasses a 100-acre area between Saco River and Pine Point. A ferry once served beachgoers, thus the name Ferry Beach State Park. The park's beach area attracts the most attention with swimming, fishing and beachcombing opportunities. The park also hosts 1.4 miles of hiking trails. The park offers excellent nature study, rare plants like the Black Tupelo Tree and one of the last undeveloped sand dunes in Maine.

Ferry Beach State Park
95 Bayview Road
Saco, ME 04072
(207) 283-0067

Tracks

Alongside the ocean, a set of working train tracks run through the town. The Amtrak stops at the station, where passengers disembark at Old Orchard Beach. Those getting on the train either head north to nearby Portland, Maine, or south toward Boston. The current station sits close to the beach. The train arrived in Old Orchard Beach in 1842 and continued until 1952. The trains continued to use the seaside tracks. In 2002, the trains resumed stopping at Old Orchard Beach train station during the summer.

The Temple

In 1881, the Ocean Park Association created the building known as the Temple. Originally, a Baptist church, the locals currently use the building as a lecture and event hall. The restored octagon-shaped building, on the National Register of Historic Places, possesses modern plumbing and electricity.

Article Written By Amy L. Gouger

Amy L. Gouger holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from East Stroudsburg University. Previously a technical agent, she now serves as a ghostwriter and contributor to various online publications.

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