Molunkus Couple Seeks To Revive “Maine’s Route 66″
MOLUNKUS TOWNSHIP, Maine (WAGM) -
A chance discovery has led a Southern Aroostook couple to work towards restoring a piece of Maine history. NewsSource8′s Brian Bouchard has the story.
While on a walk one day, Nathan Nipula made an unusual discovery.
“And it had tons of leaves and dirt and rocks on it…I was walking our property, looking for scrap metal, and I come across a rusty sign, basically looking like a piece of sheet metal sticking up out of the ground” says Nipula
After dusting it off, he noticed it was a sign with the words “Pine Tree Trail”. Nipula and his fiancée Roberta McKay, then began researching the history behind the sign and found that it belonged to an initiative from 1936 meant to increase economic prosperity for the State of Maine by encouraging tourism following the Great Depression. The “Pine Tree Trail” once ran from Portland to Fort Kent, but faded to obscurity following World War II and the adoption of the Interstate System. The couple then decided to bring the trail back in a grassroots effort to highlight a part of Maine History that has been forgotten.
“The future of this project is to bring all of the communities on this almost 500 mile stretch of road back together… We’re going to try to bring economic prosperity to all communities on the trail, like they envisioned all those years ago.”, says McKay
Nipula states that they’ve approached the Maine Department of Transportation, and they’ve agreed to hang new signs along the original stretch of the trail, but the DOT has no funds to do so. The couple has started a website to generate interest in the project, and fund the signs. They’re hoping municipalities will get on board with the project, and view it as an opportunity to highlight their communities along the trail, and want to brand it as “Maine’s Route 66″
“My goal is to just get the route resigned and to get it put back on maps”, says Nipula
The couple says that the project is really just getting started even though interest in the project has grown considerably in the last few months. But they hope to have signs like these funded and installed along the route of the original “Pine Tree Trail” for its revival on Memorial Day of 2022.
For more information on the Pine Tree Trail Project, visit their website at https://www.pinetreetrail.com/
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