Maine has been part of the United States pretty much from the start. In fact, it could easily claim to be among the original colonies. The problem is, it’s only been Maine about the half the time. It was granted status as a province back in 1622, but it was actually part of Massachusetts at that time—and remained part of Massachusetts until 1820.

Everything changed when the Missouri Compromise was passed in 1820. To keep the number of free states and slave states equal (which was essential to keeping the peace, at least for a while), Maine was granted statehood as a Free State while Missouri became a Slave State.

This wasn’t an ideal solution for many people in Maine, which had submitted a proposal to congress in December 1819 petitioning for statehood. But after 40 years of unsuccessfully trying to become its own state, it was a “compromise” enough people were willing to accept.

This marker—erected by the NSCDA in Maine in 1931—is Maine’s reminder to everyone that while it is officially the 23rd state, it was part of the original 13 colonies.

At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Maine Soldiers and Sailors Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); USMC Memorial Marker (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sloop Ranger Memorial (about 600 feet away); Portsmouth Memorial Bridge Marker (approx. 0.4 miles away in New Hampshire); Historic Rice Public Library (approx. 0.4 miles away); North Pier (approx. 0.4 miles away in New Hampshire); Portsmouth Pier & Wharves (approx. 0.4 miles away in New Hampshire); Memorial Bridge 1923-2012 (approx. half a mile away in New Hampshire).