Aroostook, named from a Native American word meaning “Beautiful River” is aptly nicknamed the “The Crown of Maine”. It is the northernmost region of Maine bordering Canada, and the largest county in America east of the Mississippi River. The Hammond family lives in Easton, a town of around 1300 in the eastern county where potato farming and processing is the primary economic driver, and Amish horse and buggies are regular fixtures on sparsely traveled rural highways. I met them at a regional beauty pageant in Caribou in the fall of 2004 while studying in Portland, and they soon became family. Stephanie and Brooke were 8 and 11 years old, and their journey to becoming regional pageant princesses was my project for that semester rendered on b&w film. I have visited them as often as possible since. It has been a great gift to witness their courageous coming of age for the last 16 years through the loss of their mother, Kim, to cancer, weddings and births, and the grace of life lived, and lessons learned.