The Old Canada Road is a long-lost trail between the Canadian province of Quebec and Maine, in the northeast corner of the United States.
Yes, it really was lost, and finding it again was a complex process that involved state-of-the-art technology.
How the location of the road was pinpointed was very interesting, and I'll return to it as soon as I've given you a little background information.
The road was begun in 1817, a few years before Maine even became a state.
At the time, Quebec was a major market for livestock, crops, and fish, so a road to Quebec was seen by officials in Maine as necessary for trade.
For about 20 years, the movement of people and goods was mostly from Maine to Quebec, but then the trend reversed as thousands of Canadians immigrated to Maine to escape poor crops, a lack of jobs, and the threat of disease.
I think it was a cholera epidemic.
Besides these negative reasons, major building projects in Maine also made the state very attractive for the Canadians who needed work.
I should stress, though, that immigration during that period went in both directions.
In fact, the flow of people and goods went completely unhindered.
There wasn't even a border post until around 1850.
The people of the time saw Maine and Quebec as a single region, mainly because of the strong French influence, which is still evident in Maine today.
Eventually, the road fell into disuse as a major railway was completed; finally, people simply forgot about it and that's how it came to be lost.
This brings me back to the original topic.
OK. In the last class we talked about the classification of trees, and we ended up with a basic description of angiosperms.
You remember that those are plants with true flowers and seeds that develop inside fruits.
The common broadleaf trees we have on campus fall into this category, but our pines don't.
Now, I hope you all followed my advice and wore comfortable shoes because, as I said, today we're going to do a little field study.
To get started, let me describe a couple of the broadleaf trees we have in front of us.
I'm sure you've all noticed this big tree next to Brant Hall.
It's a black walnut that must be 80 feet tall.
As a matter of fact, there's a plaque identifying it as the tallest black walnut in the state.
And from here we can see the beautiful archway of trees at the Commons.
They're American elms.
The ones along the Commons were planted when the college was founded 120 years ago.
They have the distinctive dark green leaves that look lopsided because the two sides of the leaf are unequal.
I want you to notice the elm right outside Jackson Hall.
Some of its leaves have withered and turned yellow, maybe due to Dutch elm disease.
Only a few branches seem affected so far, but if this tree is sick, it'll have to be cut down.
Well, let's move on and I'll describe what we see as we go.
I was really glad when your club invited me to share my coin collection.
It's been my passion since I collected my first Lincoln cent in 1971; that's the current penny with Abraham Lincoln's image.
Just a little history before I start in on my own collection.
Lincoln pennies are made of copper, and they were the first United States coin to bear the likeness of a President.
It was back in 1909 when the country was celebrating the centennial of Lincoln's birth in 1809 that the decision was made to redesign the one-cent piece in his honor.
Before that, the penny had an American Indian head on it.
The new penny was designed by artist Victor David Brenner.
新的美分由艺术家Victor David Brenner设计。
This is interesting because he put his initials V.D.B. on the reverse of the coin in its original design.
There was a general uproar when the initials were discovered, and only a limited number of the coins were struck with the initials on them.
Today a penny with the initials from the San Francisco Mint, called the 1909-SVDB, is worth over $500.
Now, when I started my coin collection, I began with the penny for several reasons.
There were a lot of them.
Several hundred billion have been minted, and there were a lot of people collecting them, so I had plenty of people to trade with and talk to about my collection.
Also, it was a coin I could afford to collect as a young teenager.
In the twenty-five years since then, I have managed to acquire over 300 coins, some of them very rare.
I'll be sharing with you today some of my rarer specimens, including the 1909-SVDB.