These Maine Towns People Are Fleeing As Soon As Possible

Maine, a state renowned for its picturesque coastline, quaint harbors, and thriving lobster industry. However, behind this idyllic appearance, there is a lesser-known narrative – the tale of towns being silently deserted by their inhabitants. In the face of economic hardship, environmental threats, and a shifting way of life, individuals are confronted with a challenging choice: whether to remain and defend their communities or embark on a quest for a more promising future.

Eastbrook: A Paradise Lost

Located in the picturesque landscape of rolling hills and evergreen forests, Eastbrook was once a classic Maine town. A charming scene unfolded as quaint shops adorned the main street, while the delightful scent of freshly baked bread wafted through the air, fostering a strong sense of community. Unfortunately, the once thriving local shoe factory, which had been a vital part of the town’s economy for many years, started to decline, shattering the idyllic image of the community. The disappearance of jobs, the departure of young families, and the transformation of the once lively downtown into a series of abandoned storefronts.

“It just wasn’t the same anymore,” expressed Sarah, a lifelong resident who recently moved to a nearby city. “With the closure of local stores and a lack of job opportunities for my kids, the once vibrant sense of community has sadly diminished.” The absence of the heart of the town was deeply felt.

Eastbrook’s situation serves as a powerful reminder of how small towns can be greatly affected when they rely on just one industry. Due to the closure of the factory, the tax base has decreased, resulting in reductions in crucial services such as road maintenance and school funding. The situation created a negative cycle, which in turn deterred potential new businesses and residents from choosing Eastbrook as their location.


Located in the northern region, Chesterville is a town rich in history, nestled in the scenic foothills of the Longfellow Mountains. In recent decades, the population of Chesterville has steadily declined, despite its history as a bustling center for lumber and granite production. The main street, which used to be filled with thriving shops and lively taverns, now showcases a combination of active businesses and empty buildings.

The challenges Chesterville is grappling with are multifaceted. The town’s older residents face challenges in securing job opportunities that align with their expertise. As younger generations are lured by the opportunities of larger cities and better pay, they are moving away, creating a demographic gap that poses a threat to the town’s future.

John, a local store owner, expressed concern over the loss of young people in our community. Many young individuals pursue higher education, secure promising careers in urban areas, and do not envision a future in their hometown. It’s challenging to rival the opportunities they discover in other places.

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Grand Isle

Continuing our exploration, we come across Grand Isle, a small island community surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of the Maine archipelago. Grand Isle is a hidden gem, with its pristine beaches, vibrant lobster fisheries, and a close-knit community that is renowned for its warm hospitality. Accessible only by ferry, this island offers a unique and unforgettable experience. But this idyllic island is in danger as the sea levels continue to rise.

In recent years, Grand Isle has experienced a significant rise in storm intensity and coastal erosion. The waves, which were once calm, are now aggressively pounding the shoreline, posing a serious threat to homes and infrastructure. Freshwater wells are being contaminated by saltwater intrusion, and rising sea levels are causing the destruction of crucial ecosystems.

Mary, a lifelong resident, expressed concern as she discussed the changing dynamics of our relationship with the ocean. “Storms bring an element of unpredictability, leaving us uncertain about what lies ahead.”


In the heart of the Androscoggin River valley rests Stimson, a town with a rich history intertwined with the ebb and flow of the paper industry. The landscape was once dominated by towering pines, which served as the raw material for paper production. The Stimson Paper Mill, a massive structure made of brick and steel, served as a powerful emblem of economic success and supported countless individuals and families for years.

A constant reminder of Stimson’s lifeblood filled the air, as the rhythmic hum of machinery and the pungent aroma of pulp permeated the surroundings. The town flourished, with a bustling community center, a school system that received ample funding, and an overall atmosphere of optimism that could be felt throughout. In the late 20th century, the tides of fortune started to shift. Declining demand for domestic paper was driven by competition from overseas producers and shifting consumer habits. In 2008, the Stimson Paper Mill closed its doors permanently, delivering a significant blow.

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