When James Scott, the Director of Planning and Communications at Urban&Civic, visited America for a project with Harvard Business School, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit the original Houlton (a mere 536 miles away!) and find out more about the transatlantic history first-hand.
Met by Nancy Ketch (Houlton’s Community Development Manager) and Butch Asselin (Houlton’s Town Manager) James was given royal treatment, getting together with other town officials and local historians who were able to give him a feel for the American community that our new development is named after. He visited the Houlton Historical Museum and the original relay station which received that famous transatlantic message. It was decommissioned in 1957 and is now a family home.
James discovered that Houlton was chosen as the relay station because the signal could not reach all the way from the heart of England to New York directly. Whereas the UK masts were massive antennae reaching upwards into the sky, the US transmission lines were laid out horizontally, stretching out for many miles at ground level.
Today, on both sides of the pond, everyone is keen to continue the relationship between the two Houltons, enjoying their common history and further developing the ties between the two communities. So keep an eye out for more information about Houlton, Maine in the future.