The Star-Herald

Presque Isle Society releases second virtual tour

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Presque Isle Historical Society’s virtual tours of historic downtown were well received when launched in mid-April, with almost 3,000 views since that time.  As a result, the society has released another set of virtual tours, these of historic sites around town.  

“This city is rich with amazing history,” said Kimberly Smith, society secretary/treasurer. “For instance, were you aware that Presque Isle provided the national Christmas tree to Washington, D.C., in 1959?  Or that our city was the site of the nation’s first intercontinental ballistic missile?  How about the fact that the Aroostook State Park was the first state park in Maine?  Did you know that the first successful trans-Atlantic balloon flight lifted off from Presque Isle?”  

Many of these, she said, are fairly well known historic facts.  

“On the lesser known side, how many people know that Presque Isle once had its own steamboat?  Or that Mantle Lake was established in 1887 and not as a park, but as part of the fire department?  What better time to learn more about this community,” Smith said.

There are 14 new virtual tours of historic sites now available on the society’s website.  These include:  the 1959 National Christmas Tree, the SNARK Missile, the Double Eagle II, Mantle Lake, Painted Ladies of Presque Isle, Henry Rolfe, the University of Maine at Presque Isle, Historic Fairmount Cemetery, Aroostook State Park, Northern Maine Sanatorium, the Nathan Perry Steamboat, the Northern Maine Fair, Gouldville School and the Granges of Presque Isle.   

Tours are conveniently set up as mini virtual vignettes, most around five minutes in length.  One can view them all or just one, in any order.  To view the vignettes, go to:

Presque Isle Historical Society, an all-volunteer 501c3 non-profit corporation, was founded in 1963.  Its mission is to study, promote and preserve the history, culture, heritage and artifacts of Presque Isle for present and future generations.  

For more information on the Society and its many programs and events, visit, call (207) 762-1151 or email

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your 4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.