Maine: An Encyclopedia
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Islands

Matinicus Island and Criehaven Island

Location of Matinicus and Ragged Islands

[muh-TIN-ih-kuss] is an island plantation, organized on October 22, 1840, in Knox County in the Gulf of Maine 20 miles south of Rockland from which it is accessible by ferry. Its name, says Lawrence Bond, means “far off island,” from … Continue reading

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Monhegan Island

Location of Manana and Monhegan

Attractive to artists since the late 19th century, its first draw was fish. See video and photos. After early European explorers passed by (Cabot in 1497, Weymouth and Champlain in 1605), the abundance of fish soon became apparent. Botanists have identified over six hundred varieties of wildflowers on the island. Monhegan Light was commissioned on July 2, 1824. Continue reading

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Mount Desert Island

Location Map for Mount Desert Island

[mount dez-ERT] is an island in Hancock County, containing the towns of Mount Desert, Bar Harbor, Tremont, and Southwest Harbor. Though only 400 years have passed since Europeans first viewed it, the island has been visited by native people for … Continue reading

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North Haven

Location of North Haven Island

Located in Penobscot Bay, it is accessible via the State Ferry Service from Rockland, with connections to Vinalhaven. See video and photos. Fishing was the major industry on the island for many years, with a brief venture into canning. Boat building emerged as a major economic activity producing both fishing vessels and yachts for summer people. Long a resort community, it has few permanent residents. The “Turner Farm Site,” on the National Register, is a treasure of artifacts from Maine pre-history. Calderwood Island nature preserve is here. Continue reading

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Orrs Island

Orrs Island Bridge from Great Island in Harpswell at Sunset (2003)

Inhabited since 1762, the island has many historic structures, such as the 1855 Meetinghouse and 1900 Chapel, that have survived the test of time. Part of the town of Harpswell, it is home to the Coastal Studies Center of Bowdoin College, on the shore of Harpswell Sound near Casco Bay. Several wooded walking trails offer ocean views. Continue reading

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Peaks Island

Approaching the Island (2014)

The Island is a City of Portland neighborhood in Casco Bay, accessible by ferry from the terminal on Portland’s waterfront.  The brief trip carries freight, vehicles, bicycles and tourists. While the population is about 900, the number of people on … Continue reading

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Peary, Robert E.

The Peary House on Eagle Island (2002)

(1856-1920), who summered on Eagle Island, received a degree in civil engineering from Bowdoin College in 1877, was a noted Arctic explorer who became famous as the discoverer of the North Pole, though many experts believe that the claim has … Continue reading

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Seguin Island

Seguin Island Light Station (2000)

Some uncertainty exists about the meaning of the famous island’s name of “Seguin” or “Satquin” according to Eckstorm. One explanation is that “From the east it does resemble a tortoise, whence evidently its name from the Indian, che-quen-ocks, called Siguenoc.” … Continue reading

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Southport Island

Map of Maine Showing the location of Southport. Green areas are unorganized territories.

Located between Sheepscot Bay and Booth Bay, it is connected by a swing bridge to the town of Boothbay Harbor, and the casual visitor might not assume the town with two lighthouses was on an island. See photos. At the height of the summer, traffic is often backed up at the bridge as boats pass. Townsend Gut is the narrow waterway that separates the two towns. It is a shortcut from Boothbay Harbor to the Sheepscot River. The general store in West Southport village has been an institution for over a century. Continue reading

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Swan’s Island

Location Map for Swan

in Hancock County is southeast of Mount Desert Island, accessible by ferry from Bass Harbor in Tremont. See amateur film clip. Beaches and picnic areas may be found at the villages of Minturn and Atlantic, in addition to Swan’s Island village. Continue reading

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Vinalhaven Island

Carver

The island town is home to two nature preserves, both managed by the Nature Conservancy. See photos. Granite quarrying was an important industry in the 19th and early 20th centuries, both on the main island and on nearby Hurricane Island, which is in the town of Vinalhaven. Now a community of summer residents and Maine residents, it is accessible by the State Ferry Service, which provides transportation, for passengers and vehicles, to and from Rockland. Continue reading

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