1910 Photo of Downtown Norway, Maine, Shows Little Change
I love looking at old photos of Maine and especially photos taken where I grew up in the Oxford Hills. You can imagine how awesome it was for me to see this photo of downtown Norway, Maine from 1910 and seeing what's changed and how much has remained the same.
In 1910, the automobile was a fairly new invention that few people owned. The local Ford dealership in South Paris had only been open for a year. Ripley and Fletcher Ford was selling Model T's in exchange for cows. That's a true story.
Street cars were how people got around town. Trolleys that ran down the middle of the street on rails were packed with people, like you can see in the photo recently posted by Allagash Outpost on Facebook.
The above photo was taken just 16 years after a fire burned down most of the buildings in downtown Norway, so what you see was all brand new.
The trolleys and tracks are gone today as is the dirt road in favor of pavement, but when you compare it to what the same location looks like today on Google Streetview, you see that not much else has changed in downtown Norway in over 100 years.
The Norway Opera House still stands on the left, the large building with the clock tower. It had fallen into disrepair, but the town seized the building by eminent domain and in 2013 had restored it after it was on the verge of collapse.
Almost all the buildings you see in the 1910 photo are still standing and the downtown area is thriving once again after the shopping centers of the 1970s and 80s forced many downtown shops to close. Locally owned businesses, such as restaurants and pubs, small grocery stores, and furniture and appliance stores, occupy the very same buildings you see in the 1910 photo. It's a perfect example of how everything eventually comes full circle.