Bayside, a quaint historic district of Northport, ME, is Americana miniaturized. I stumbled upon the town while vacationing in Maine on a day trip along Route 1. Chatting with a kayaker, I discovered it’s a former Christian community—could still be, but I didn’t think it was a good idea to go poking around with questions about religion. With its religious and camp-like qualities, Bayside reminds me of Asbury Grove in Hamilton, MA and even Martha’s Vineyard at one time. Gingerbread-style houses and colorful cottages line the village green that slopes down to the harbor where a rainbow of boats rest onshore.
The row of houses slants just so, resembling San Francisco’s painted ladies on Alamo Square.
Children unsupervised and in bathing suits run from the park down the dock and straight into the water, then climb up the ladder and do it again. And again. I spent an afternoon lounging in the sun overlooking the harbor dotted with sailboats, contemplating whether I could take up religion if it meant living here. Probably not. But it is a sweet little community.