Hartland, Maine, a town located in the south-east corner of Somerset County, is just over 36 miles (41 miles driving distance) west of Bangor. Population in the 1960s ranged from 1,447 (1960) to 1,414 (1970).

When Laura Collins leaves Collinsport in 1967 (189), she boards a bus for Hartland. It is later explained that Laura was to board a train from there (190). She had originally mentioned that she would be heading for Boston (188).

The only passenger rail service between Maine and Boston in the 1960s had stops in Bangor and Portland, as served by the Boston and Maine Railroad (B&M), which was forced to discontinue its long-distance passenger rail service in 1965 as a result of competition from the automobile.

As of 1967, Hartland was part of the Harmony Branch of the Maine Central Railroad (MEC), which served the packing plant of the H. C. Baxter Snowflake Canning Company, whose Hartland laboratories had developed the frozen french fry.

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