Giovanni Verrazzano was, officially, the first European to discover
the Maine coast. From that date in 1524 on, explorers including
Andre Thevet and Sir Humphrey Gilbert reached her shores, and Maine
gradually become populated by pioneers who utilized the abundant
fish and lumber. Privateers, coal schooners and coastal steamers
were built during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Maine
yards and, at the same time, fishermen built sloops and lobster
boats in every quiet cove. Roger Duncan's rich and anecdotal
history traces Maine's 400-year maritime history, detailing the
state's role in the development of the United States and
emphasizing Maine's role in the fishing industry. Other themes
explored are the demise of the coastal trade when faster
transportation was offered by railroads and automobiles and the
sudden popularity of yachting after World War II.
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