Maine's Lake Region is uniquely endowed with a network of lakes and waterways that define its identity. Long before the first resemblance of a road extended into the hinterland from Falmouth (Portland), the more intrepid and rugged individuals traveled up the Presumpscot River to Sebago Lake, and then up the serpentine Songo River to where they either chose to meander up Crooked River or continue following the Songo the short distance from the confluence of the two rivers into Brandy Pond, and up beautiful Long Lake (or Long Pond, as it was first named). For little more than 40 years beginning in 1830 the Lake Region reaped the benefits of the Cumberland & Oxford Canal that extended from Portland to the Lower Basin on Sebago Lake. By 1870 the rails of the Portland & Ogdensburg Railroad were laid to Sebago Lake Station and this momentous event ushered in the colorful steamboat era. A little more than a decade later the Lake Region was directly linked to the outside world by the lilliputian Bridgton and Saco River Railroad.
Diane and Jack Barnes are accomplished historians who have written many publications on Maine history. They have close ties to the Lake Region--Jack was raised on the shores of Sebago Lake and taught for eleven years at Bridgton High School.