Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Manana Island

Location of Manana and Monhegan

Location of Manana and Monhegan

The Island and the Open Sea from Monhegan Harbor (2007)

The Island and the Open Sea from Monhegan Harbor (2007)

The Fog Signal Station on Manana (2007)

The Fog Signal Station on Manana (2007)

[like BANANA] is part of Monhegan Plantation, just across Monhegan Harbor. It has no major buildings, except for the Fog Signal. The long ramp that runs from the harbor to the Fog Station is the “road” for supplies and fuel. Seguin Island had a similar arrangement with a rail tramway operated by machinery at the base.

The Fog Signal Station from the Harbor (2007)

The Fog Signal Station from the Harbor (2007)

The fog signal was instituted in 1854, beginning with a 2,500 pound bell that was struck by hand. In 1870 an engine operated the new 10-inch Daboll trumpet, vastly improving the signal strength. According to Bill Caldwell (p. 133), “When Betty Humphrey, high in her lighthouse atop Monhegan, saw fog rolling in far at sea, she pushed a button. That rang a loud electric gong in the bedroom of Fog Signal Keeper Frank Adams on Manana, who would leap from his bed and start his trumpet sounding.” The signal is now fully automated.

Tramway from the Harbor to the Station on Manana (2007)

Tramway from the Harbor to the Station on Manana (2007)

A former New York City native, Ray Phillips was the well-known “hermit of Manana Island” from 1930 to 1975. He had attended the University of Maine, fought in World War I, and worked in New York City. Phillips then sailed a small boat to Manana and took up residence, raising sheep and living alone. A documentary film chronicles is life on the island. See the YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFWqx_g4PLs

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Additional resources

Bill Caldwell, Islands of Maine.

Harris, Elizabeth. The Hermit of Manana. 2006. (documentary film) http://www.thehermitofmanana.com/

Niclas, Yolla. The Island Shepherd. New York. Viking Press. 1959.

Simpson, Dorothy. The Maine Islands in Story and Legend.


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This entry was last modified: October 31, 2016 02:02 AM

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