Gail Aloisio, White Mountains Community College
Finalist, $200

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Famous Sign Map

“The Famous Sign” as I have always known it, has been the subject of popular tourist postcards for a very long time. It was erected as an attempt to attract tourists to western Maine, and it worked. Camera wielding families and postcard printers couldn’t resist the sign that makes any motorist in western Maine an instant world traveler. All nine locales on the sign are real towns in Maine, and all within a day’s drive. The sign is well known in Maine, and lies only 8 miles from my home. My mother, a native of Paris, Maine, was the school mate of the little boy in this particular postcard, named Reed. So popular is this signpost, that it has been stolen and replaced several times in its nearly 100 year history. Many imitating signs have popped up to point the way to other towns with interesting names, but Lynchville’s “Famous Sign” is perhaps the original.

I created my map using ESRI’s ArcMap 9.3 and it is in Western Maine’s standard State Plane projection. I acquired data on Maine state roads as well as town boundaries online from Maine’s Office of GIS. Country, state and city data, as well as the shaded relief base map is ESRI data. The postcard on the map was acquired courtesy of the Bethel Historical Society in Bethel, Maine. And the signpost at the intersection of Rts. 5, 35, and 118, I had to draw myself!