Is there a dry cleaner in the county?

Geographically, Sunrise County is one of the largest in New England – the county line is an hour-and-a-half drive away from where I live, unless you’re going to Canada – but there are a lot of things we don’t have.

There are only three traffic lights, for instance – all in Calais en route to the busy international border crossing.

So I was wondering, just in case, where the closest dry cleaner is. We have two laundromats, but say, what if I wanted to send my dress shirts out to be washed and pressed, as I did back when working in an office?

The answer, it turns out, is forget it.

This really is a do-it-yourself kind of place.

If you’re planning on visiting, be prepared.


We’re getting a glimpse of a most incredible cruise ship

We were anticipating the expedition cruise ship Roald Amundsen’s arrival at the Breakwater today after it had circled Alaska, crossed the Arctic Ocean, and visited Greenland and Baffin Bay on an intrepid voyage from Vancouver, British Columbia, across the Northwest Passage – albeit from the west.  But when that itinerary was halved, and the second leg shortened, we were crossed off the ports of call. At least we were then added to a shorter round of New England stopovers that followed.

So now the Amundsen is expected to show up today and you can bet that the locals will be lined up for a personal look. This is not any floating resort.

With global warming, Northwest Passage trips are being offered each year for bold, well-healed, bucket-list travelers desiring to go where few have ventured before. This opportunity requires ice-breakers, not just any cruise ship. The Norwegian-flagged Amundsen is one with style and luxury.

The visit should heighten our anticipation of its return next September as part of a remarkable 94-day Pole-to-Pole adventure that will continue to Antarctica.

Sounds like a historic journey to me.

Here are ten more facts.

  1. In 2019, the new, 530-passenger, 459-foot, stylish state-of-the-art vessel joined Hurtigruten Expeditions’ fleet.
  2. It is propelled by environmentally sustainable, innovative hybrid technology that reduces fuel consumption and CO2-emissions by 20 percent.
  3. The ship is specially constructed for voyages in polar waters, where it serves as a comfortable base camp at sea.
  4. Unlike a typical vacation cruise, an expedition is for curious minds and explorers, focusing on the geography, biology, cultures, and histories along the way. To serve that aim, the Roald Amundsen has a science center packed with banks of stereoscope microscopes and related laboratory gear, as well as touch screens, lecture spaces, a small library, and areas for workshops in photography, biology, and similar interests as guests, staff, and crew mingle and generate a heightened understanding of the landscapes being explored.
  5. It’s not your utilitarian research vessel but posh, with all cabins having outside views. Half even have private balconies. Aft suites include private outdoor hot tubs for enjoying spectacular views.
  6. Its three restaurants are inspired by Nordic and Norwegian heritage.
  7. The ship is named after the first explorer to reach both the North and South Poles.
  8. Passage through the Panama Canal takes roughly 12 hours.
  9. Arrival in Antarctica will be late spring there, when the Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins will be at the start of their courting season, while the Adélie penguins may have already laid their eggs and be nesting.
  10. Fares for this expedition started at $57,000 – or $600 a day. I doubt that any of those are left.

If you had the money, is this something you’d love to do?

The Cartlands were part of the Underground Railroad

Closely related to poet John Greenleaf Whittier was the Cartland family in Lee. In fact, Greenleaf was especially close to cousin Moses Cartland, though their expectation of dying as bachelors was ultimately crushed when Moses wed a much younger first cousin, contrary to Quaker discipline.

My trail starts with Joseph Cartland, born in Dover in 1721, who moved the family to Lee and established Walnut Grove farm, which would eventually encompass two thousand acres. With first wife Lydia Allen, who died in 1758, and second wife Anna Hanson, he had 11 children, most of them active Quakers.

The Cartland home in Lee is known as a stop on the Underground Railroad of escaping slaves.
The meetinghouse doubled as a Friends school.

Their spacious home became a stop on the Underground Railroad, and the Quaker meetinghouse, which doubled as a Friends school, stood across the road.

His son Jonathan Cartland, married to Elizabeth Austin, and their children included the noted abolitionist and educator Moses A. Cartland, a confidant of second-cousin John Greenleaf Whittier, who was a frequent guest. Moses also served in New Hampshire’s House of Representatives and was a founder of the Republican Party. His brother Joseph Cartland, husband of Gertrude Whittier, headed Haverford College for four years before they became principals of the Friends School in Providence, Rhode Island. They retired to Newburyport, Massachusetts, which had a Meeting that was part of Hampton/Amesbury Monthly Meeting.

Cartland influence in Dover continued. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, William and Howard Cartland owned Cartland Grocery on Locust Street.

From there, my notes trail off.


Check out my new book, Quaking Dover, available in a Nook edition at Barnes & Noble.

Welcome to Dover’s upcoming 400th anniversary.