10 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About New England

10 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About New England

1. Sideburn is a term named after the former governor of Rhode Island, Ambrose Burnside.

Despite being a Civil War General, Governor of Rhode Island, and United States Senator, Ambrose Burnside is arguably best known for his famous sideburns.

2. Fig Newtons are named after a suburb outside of Boston, Newton Massachusetts. 

Contrary to the popular belief that Fig Newtons were named after Sir Issac, Fig Newtons were actually (in our minds) named after the town of Newton by the Kennedy Biscuit Bakery when the cookie was first introduced in 1891. The Kennedy Biscuit Bakery named their cookies after Boston communities like Harvard, Beacon Hill, and Shrewsbury.

3. Maine’s earliest inhabitants were descendants of Ice Age hunters.

Since Maine is a product of the Ice Age, it is no surprise that Maine’s earliest inhabitants were descendants of Ice Age hunters. They are referred to as the “Red Paint” people because their graves were lined with what looked like red clay.

4. Boston is home to the first subway system in North America.

It’s true! The United State’s first ever subway tunnels still run under the Boston Common. Maybe you’re late to work every day because you are riding the oldest subway system in North America!

5. In 1939 a bill was introduced in Maine to make it illegal to add tomatoes to clam chowder.

If you put tomatoes in your clam chowder, you are not from New England. According to New Englanders, people who put tomatoes in clam chowder deserve legal repercussions. 

6. The first person jailed for speeding was from Newport Rhode Island.

In August 1904, Judge Darius Baker gave the first ever jail sentence for speeding. The criminal was going a dangerous speed of 15 miles per hour.

7. Vermont has the highest cow-to-person ratio of any state in the country.

According to state figures, Vermont has about 300,000 cattle and calves and a population of about 600,000 people. That makes the cow-to-person ratio 1:2.

8. The first snowmobile was invented in Ossipee, New Hampshire.

Virgil D. White, a Ford dealer in Ossipee New Hampshire, made the first snowmobile in 1913. Today, there are over 6,830 miles of snowmobile trails in New Hampshire. 

9. Maine has a longer shoreline than California.

Maine’s shoreline is 3,478 miles long and California’s is 3,427 miles long. Maine has 51 miles worth of bragging rights.

10. The First Dunkin Donuts was opened in Quincy Massachusetts.

This fine establishment opened in 1950 and has been fueling all of New England ever since.


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