Presque Isle didn’t actually become a city until 1940. Right after that, it got a shot of development steroids when the Army Air Corps began building what would become a major World War II airbase on the city’s northern outskirts. By the time the war had ended, Presque Isle’s airbase had grown into a staging area for supplies, bombers and fighter aircraft headed for the European war. The base was transferred to the newly minted Air Force in 1949, which continued to run it until the base was deactivated in 1961. Today it is the site of the Northern Maine Regional Airport and of an industrial park. Down from Presque Isle is something amazing! A structure that turns out to be a representation of the planet Venus. A small plaque at its base described the Maine Solar System Model, a marvelous work produced by faculty at the University of Maine at Presque Isle Museum of Science. Over a two-year period in the mid-1990s, a group of these folks had created a scale model of our solar system. They had laid out the models of the planets, also to scale, along Route 1 between Presque Isle and Houlton. According to their website, the result was the largest scale model of the solar system, the sun and nine planets, in the world. It was completed before astronomical authorities downgraded Pluto. What is a planet called when it gets downgraded?