Western Maine – In a find researchers are calling “astonishing,” a previously unknown town has been discovered in western Maine, the inhabitants of which still rely on hand-crank phones for communication.
“In this day and age, we thought we’d found every town in Maine,” said University of Maine lead anthropologist Dr. Jennifer Smith. “To find one more after all these years… it’s a once in a lifetime discovery!”
The last Maine town to use crank phones, Bryant Pond, gave up its traditional system in the early 1980s. It was believed to have been the last town in the United States still relying on the early 20th-century technology.
“This rewrites a lot of what we thought we knew about the development of Maine societies,” Dr. Smith said.
The town, which anthropologists haven’t yet named, was discovered accidentally when one of the researchers took a left when he should have taken a right.
“We were initially heading to New Hampshire to hit the state liquor store,” Dr. Smith said, “but after two hours we realized we were lost.”
It was then the researchers stumbled into the uncontacted town.
Smith said the research into the culture of the community has only just begun, and worries the introduction of newer technology could ruin it.
“There are still people across Maine who have a hard time dialing more than 4 numbers, but these people and their primitive ways only have numbers for ‘one,’ ‘two,’ and ‘many,'” she said.