C = Cole Land Transportation Museum


I’ll bet you thought I would choose Campobello Island for C. But I can’t, because it’s a Canadian Island located in the mouth of the Bay of Fundy (see F).

Instead, I have something fun for the whole family, a place where Rhe might have taken Jack on a weekend, maybe with Sam in tow, since he likes old cars.

Cole Land Transportation Museum (Billy Hathorne)

Cole Land Transportation Museum (Billy Hathorne)

The Cole Land Transportation Museum is located in Bangor, ME, and is open seven days a week from May to November. This museum was created to collect, preserve, and display (before they disappear forever) a cross section of Maine’s land transportation equipment as well as U.S. military memorabilia to remind this and future generations of the high price some Americans have paid to protect our freedom.

There is always a back story to every museum, and this one is no

Getchell Brother Ice Company tranport wagon, early 1900s, restored in 1965 (Billy Hathorne/ Wikipedia)

Getchell Brother Ice Company tranport wagon, early 1900s, restored in 1965 (Billy Hathorne/ Wikipedia)

exception. Charlie Flanagan and Galen Cole, best friends from Bangor High School, served their country together during World War II. Cole was 19 when he was wounded by a German shell that killed five fellow soldiers when it hit the half-track they were riding in during the Battle of the Rhineland in April 1945. Flanagan had been killed in action five months earlier on the Siegfried Line. Here is what Galen Cole has said about Charlie Flanagan to more than 30,000 youngsters who’ve visited the museum over two decades: “Your freedom meant more to him than did his life.”

1937 McCormick-Deering tractor (Billy Hathorne)

1937 McCormick-Deering tractor (Billy Hathorne)

After his discharge in 1946, he and his wife raised five children and grew

Stanley Steamer

Stanley Steamer

the Cole transportation companies. His creations included a tank van that allowed the company to transport petroleum and freight in separate compartments. But the man who kept an eye out for what was new and innovative never lost his love for those things that served well in the past. Hence, the museum.

The museum contains the former Maine Central Railroad Company’s

Prairie Schooner (Billy Hathorne/Wikipedia)

Prairie Schooner (Billy Hathorne/Wikipedia)

station house, a Maine Central Railroad car and the front car of the Bangor

Getchell Brother Ice Company tranport wagon, early 1900s, restored in 1965 (Billy Hathorne/ Wikipedia)

Getchell Brother Ice Company tranport wagon, early 1900s, restored in 1965 (Billy Hathorne/ Wikipedia)

and Aroostook Railroad engine, which one may board. It also features vintage automobiles, including a Stanley Steamer, early horse-drawn wagons and a prairie schooner, which is a scaled-down

covered wagon. The museum also includes farm tractors, a potato harvester (potatoes have historically been a primary export of Maine), a horse-drawn hearse, and delivery trucks of dairy products and ice. A special room includes a command car used in World War II,and there are also outdoor military vehicle exhibits of both World War II and the Vietnam War.

Happy A-Zing!World War II tank (Tikiko)

World War II tank (Tikiko)


30 thoughts on “C = Cole Land Transportation Museum

  1. Great choice for C. I went to that museum years ago with my dad as part of an old car club trip. We spent a chunk of time with the Stanley Steamer since one of the club members renovates those. We forget that steam powered cars were popular way back when.

  2. internetreviewofbooks

    This is fascinating history. I never visited the Cole Museum when I lived in New England, but visited Campobello.

    • Where did you live in New England? Did you ever venture to my home town of Plymouth, MA? I do plan to visit Campbello, probably next year as this year’s trek to Maine is completely jammed packed with activities.

  3. The back story to the museum was so moving. We must never forget the sacrifices which were made for our freedom. We are coming up to celebrating the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli during WWI. This is often seen at the birth of the Australian nation and the foundation of mate ship.
    Your choice was much more wholesome than mine. Mine was chocolate.
    xx Rowena

    • OOOOh, chocolate. You know you are writing to a chocoholic? I actually didn’t know about Gallipoli until I saw the movie, which was very emotional and a little overwhelming. My congratulations on the birth of Australia! My son is considering taking a job there when he leaves the Army here.

  4. Elizabeth Calwell

    Bay of Fundy, I’m dying to go there myself. I have friends that have told me about it and they said it was fascinating when the tide comes in. Or maybe Acadia National Park, that sounds interesting too.

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