Zac McDorrIt’s a good idea to move away from Maine for a while. When you get back, you suddenly appreciate the opportunities that our state has to offer. I can’t believe all the local historical sites I never visited, but now I can make my history bucket list:

Maine’s First Ship: I can cross this one off the list, because I just visited the building site of the Virginia in the Bath Freight Shed. A reproduction of the ship built at Popham in 1607, the almost-completed shell makes you wonder how colonists crossed the ocean in such tiny boats.

Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village: About an hour from Bath, the last Shaker Village in America dates back to 1783 and houses the last two Shakers. Some of the historic buildings are open for tours, and you can learn about a fascinating sect where celibacy was required of everyone. The last two Shakers must be awfully busy, as the website features hundreds of Shaker-made products for sale.

Woolwich Historical Society Museum: This 19th-century farmhouse is full of interesting artifacts dating back 6,000 years. See Native American artifacts, a Civil War rifle and drum, a rope bed, a loom, antique ice skates, a sleigh, and other interesting items.

Swan Island: Once the home of a small community, this island across from Richmond is now uninhabited. Several 18th-century houses still remain, and the island is a great place to camp and enjoy history and nature.

Cushings Island: I spent one of the best days of my life here as a teenager. Half the island is summer homes, and the other half is covered by ruined fortifications similar to Fort Baldwin but far more extensive and untouched. Can’t wait to get back.

Malaga Island, Seguin Lighthouse, Plymouth and Salem, Massachusetts, The Freedom Trail … the list of history I still need to see is endless.

Zac McDorr is a Coastal Journal contributing writer. He recently moved home after living in Oklahoma City for many years.