WESTON – Most people are too awestruck by the spectacular vistas offered along the Million Dollar View Scenic Byway to think much about the history of the rural communities that dot the passageway.
The Million Dollar View Scenic Byway Committee and the Northern Maine Development Commission, with the help of a Portland-based design firm, are hoping to change that.
The two groups are teaming up with Nancy Montgomery Design Inc. to develop interpretive panels that will be placed at scenic turnouts along U.S. Route 1 between Danforth and Orient, which is designated as the Million Dollar View Scenic Byway.
As part of the project, officials will assemble historical information using words, pictures and maps to help tell the story of communities along the byway, explain the significance of historic sites, buildings and events, and educate travelers about lakes and wildlife in the area.
The eight-mile Million Dollar View Scenic Byway lies in the southeasternmost section of Aroostook County and northern Washington County.
Brian Longstaff, Northern Maine Development Commission’s senior planner and byway project manager, said in a prepared statement that he felt the panels would serve several purposes, including drawing more tourists into the region.
“As travelers learn more about the history and significance of the byway’s many resources, they gain a sense of place that makes their trip more memorable and may serve to bring them back again or be better able to relate their experience to others so that they too will want to visit this region,” said Longstaff.
Funding for the project is being provided by the state Department of Transportation’s Scenic Byways Program. Nancy Montgomery Design Inc. was selected to use the thematic concepts of the byway committee to put together supporting artwork and text into the informational panels.
The design firm is appealing to the public for help in finding resource materials such as old photographs, paintings, postcards, written records and other memorabilia to help tell the area’s unique stories.
Nancy Montgomery will meet with the byway committee and interested public at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, at the Weston town office.
Anyone with desired resource materials who would be willing to allow them to be reproduced for use in the project is asked to contact Longstaff at 532-0644, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or Margaret Frye at the town office at 448-2316, e-mail email@example.com.