As people in the rural areas found needs for cash, they turned to business opportunities that were home based or natural resource based. We will examine how people of Alexander earned cash to satisfy their wants and needs. Much of the information in these articles is from the Annual Report of Maine, with some additional material from census records and the 1881 Atlas by George Colby.

The Maine Reports, sometimes called Maine Registers or Maine State Year-books list merchants, manufacturers, hotels, and associations. Almost every person discussed in this article was active in farming. Farming provided each family with its needs, ie. food, fuel, fiber for clothing, and lumber for buildings. Cash was for those wants that the farm could not supply such as a cast iron cook stove, factory made cloth, pots and pans.

Hotels in rural places were often just a spare room or two in a farmer’s house.

John J. Perkins had a hotel in the 187O's. Was this John Sr. or Jr.? Both lived across from our Alexander Elementary School on the Airline.

Edward Murphy and Elisha Perkins each were listed with hotels. Murphy is not in census records or any other record that I can find. Elisha lived at 1588 Airline Road.