Doc Grant's Restaurant, Rangeley, Maine
Elmer "Doc" Grant opened a restaurant in the small town of Rangely in 1941. After a brief hiatus while Grant served in the merchant marine during World War II, Doc Grant's reopened in 1946. Doc was always looking for a promotion to bring in tourism to Rangeley, and after a brother who was an Air Force pilot mentioned that the town was near the 45th Parallel, Doc was quick to capitalize on it. He put up a large sign pointing to the Equator and North Pole outside the restaurant in 1957. A Boston Globe article from the next summer mentions talk of putting up a more permanent stone monument exactly on the 45th Parallel, but apparently it was never built. The postcard illustration above shows the restaurant in about 1980.
Over the decades Doc Grant's became a well-known and well-loved local landmark and meeting place. In 1946 Doc and his wife Lelia started a 4th of July childrens parade of decorated doll carriages which continues today. Inside the restaurant, a mural featured a tropical hula-dancing girl beside a fur-suited Eskimo lass, with a comfortable space halfway between. In truth the town is located a little south of the 45th Parallel, and south of the real halfway point between the Equator and the Pole, but most visitors were not troubled by such slight inaccuracies. The restaurant closed some time around 2000.
Though the restaurant is now gone, the sign outside still proclaims the approximate location of the 45th Parallel.
The Former Home Of
Halfway between the Equator
< Equator : North Pole >
Altitude 1,547 Feet
Thanks to Mark Bryant for sending this photo.
View 45th Parallel Markers in Google Maps