Calais, Maine

MIT Camp East Machias
Harold E. Nelson
14 Hill Avenue,
Newport, ME 04953

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The MIT Camp Technology at Gardner Lake, East Machias ran from about 1912 into the 1950's.  Students took the train to Machias, then were taken to the camp, where they performed actual surveying relating to their engineering studies.  Mostly hydrography, triangulation, baselines, all the stuff just like the Coast Survey did, even precise leveling read to the tenth of a mm.

They also did astro work and seismography.  The site is being renovated into a kids camp which will open in a couple of years.

I was very fortunate to have a friend of mine give me the grand tour, which include seeing the old seismograph building and observatory, both hidden away in the woods where no one would find it, without GPS.

In the woods on the camp's grounds is an observatory building very similar to the one built at Calais.  Instead of a stone pier in the center of the building, it was made of concrete, and the building has a skylight hinged for viewing the stars as they pass the meridian

It was difficult to get a good photo of the observatory as trees are growing up all around it, but it was fascinating to actually visit the site and imagine what Calais Observatory looked like.


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