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Around the World in Maine: Belfast

8:25 AM, May 15, 2013   |    comments
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BELFAST, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - We spent he morning at Weaver's Bakery in Belfast, taking in a long time tradition.

We found out on our visit to Belfast that the city will be turning 240 next month.

Its history was built on old world work.

It may be far from the Emerald Isle, but its hard not to feel the Irish spirit, when you're walking the streets of Belfast Maine.

 Megan Pinette is an expert on the Celtic roots of this city, from when the Scots Irish first settled here centuries ago.

   Traditional Scotsman who originally came from Northern Ireland.

    She says they came into Belfast in the spring of 1770. They purchased about 20,000 acres of land here for about pennies an acre.

Once settled they helped build a foundation for this stretch of the midcoast both on farming and ship building.

   As the 19th century rolled on, that industry and others would bring in a new wave of Irish immigrants.

   They saw this as the next big thing, this was going to be the area that was going to grow.

   Pinnette says, "they're working down on the wharfs of Belfast Harbor, they're working as gardeners, these were the unskilled laborers. They were not afraid to work, they came here and they came with the idea of working and they worked very very hard."

   And today, much of their work is still alive in the city.     From architecture on Main Street to the first church of Belfast.

    But while the area has become more diverse, some say the greatest gift this group passed on was a sense of grit.

    Pinnette says: "I always like to think of these people being really tough people. They just kept building and just kept going and I think there's a little bit of that spirit still left here."

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