Inventor of the Doughnut Hole monument.

Birthplace of the Inventor of the Donut Hole

Field review by the editors.

Rockport, Maine

As with so many world-changing events, the truth behind the invention of the donut hole has been obscured by the gooey, uneven frosting of history. But a tale that survives is of a 15-year-old sailor named Hanson Crockett Gregory, born in Rockport, who like other seamen of his day ate blobs of ship-cooked lard-fried dough called "dough-nuts." The centers of these blobs were often raw and indigestible, so on June 22, 1847, Hanson had the idea to cut a hole in the middle (One version of the story has him skewering the blobs on the handles of the ship's big steering wheel for easy snack access). Eureka! The nicely fried donut with a handy hole proved to be so popular that Hanson's mom started selling them around town.

Rockport didn't forget Hanson. In 1947, the 100th anniversary of his discovery, a small monument was erected at his birthplace (spelling his invention "donut"). The building that once stood there is now gone, but the Lutheran church that currently occupies the spot takes good care of the monument, planting around it with flowers.

Hanson died in 1921, and the National Bakers Association officially recognized him as the inventor of the donut hole in 1948. By pure coincidence the town in which Hanson was buried -- Quincy, Massachusetts -- was also where the first Dunkin' Donuts opened, and when its owners learned in 1982 that Hanson lacked a tombstone, they paid for one themselves.

Birthplace of the Inventor of the Donut Hole

Address:
179 Old County Rd, Rockport, ME
Directions:
Drive south of town 3.5 miles on US-1. Veer right onto Old County Rd. Drive one mile. Turn right into the parking lot of the Nativity Lutheran Church. You'll see the small monument outside, between the parking lot and church.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Owls Head Transportation MuseumOwls Head Transportation Museum, Owl's Head, ME - 5 mi.
Andre the Seal StatueAndre the Seal Statue, Rockport, ME - 4 mi.
Prison Gift ShopPrison Gift Shop, Thomaston, ME - 6 mi.
In the region:
Captain Brown: Giant Old Salt Fisherman, Boothbay Harbor, ME - 33 mi.

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