The Gem Theater on Peaks Island was opened in 1884 as a roller skating rink and became a theater in 1898. The huge building, seen here in 1900, was one of the first in a long line of Maine summer stock playhouses. It remained in operation until the mid 1920s and was destroyed by a fire in 1934. Collections of Maine Historical Society. Order a copy at, item #12895

In commemoration of Maine’s bicentennial this year, The Forecaster is featuring historical highlights and artifacts from our communities’ past 200 years. This feature can be found in print and online every other week.