Can You Name This Island and the Town That Once Thrived On It?

The small township abandoned the island in the 1930s.

Where in Maine? September 2023
Photo by Dave Waddell

It’s only a few dozen yards from the mainland, but no bridge reaches this long, narrow island, a haven for eagles, deer, and campers looking for a quiet getaway. In the 17th century, the English came to the island, displacing an Abenaki band known as the Kennebecs, and settlers and their descendents built a community around farming, fishing, and harvesting ice. Then, in the 1930s, the island’s small township was abandoned. The record is foggy, but the exodus probably owed to the Depression and pollution of the surrounding waters. The Maine Conservation Corps later built a trail system. A few years back, some YouTube ghost hunters hiked around and claimed to witness residual hauntings in one of the handful of 18th-century structures still standing. Most visitors will have better luck looking for birds, though — the isle is managed as a wildlife refuge today. 

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May 2024, Down East Magazine

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