Pictures of the Week


Who was Estevan Gomez?  Very few people in Bangor knew until a Portuguese-American philanthropist from New Bedford, Massachusetts, informed us that Gomez was the first European to see the Bangor area.

A Portuguese navigator, Gomez was trying to find a route to the Far East when he arrived Down East in 1525.  Like Columbus, he was working for the Spanish king at the time.  He landed his ship La Anunciada first at Cape Breton, then sailed down the Maine coast past Mount Desert Island, through Eggemoggin Reach, and up the Penobscot River, which he named "Rio de las Gamas" because he saw so many deer en route.

gomez.jpg (74320 bytes) This monument on the bank of the Kenduskeag Stream, near where it flows into the Penobscot River, was donated to the city of Bangor by Portuguese-American residents of New Bedford, Massachusetts.  They are justifiably proud of the sea-going heritage of Portugal.  The monument was built by New Bedford resident Julio Vasconcellos and was dedicated on Columbus Day, 1999.
The base of the monument is a stonework mosaic compass.  In 1525, the compass and astrolabe were the only reliable navigational instruments for use in uncharted waters.   The subtle colors of the monument make an attractive addition to the Bangor scene, as well as a reminder of our rich history. compass.jpg (56935 bytes)

Learn more about Estevan Gomez

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