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The Maine Event - Monhegan Island

Posted 09-23-2012 at 01:04 PM by TAKINBETZ

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It was a beautiful day. The week was warming up nicely and the seastate was calm, so you gotta be on the water!!!!

We took the Balmy Days out of Boothbay Harbor for the 90 minute, ten mile trip through the Bay of Maine. The trip out was beautiful and we were able to view several new lighthouses as well as a better view of the RAM Light that we had seen from the coast a few days ago.

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Burndt Island Lighthouse which was erected in 1821.

It has its own ghost story … the Kelly family were the Coast Guard keepers in 1971. One night, out of the blue, they were awakened by creaking from inside the house and a voice shouding “KELLY”. They searched and found no one and no boats in sight. They decided it was the “ghost of the lighthouse”. The next time the “haunting” happened, they pulled the covers over their heads and ignored it.

Way off in the distance was Cuckolds Lighthouse.

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Coast Guardsman Kelly Farrin lived with his wife at the Cuckolds for two years, 1969-1970. He later wrote of life on a lighthouse island:

The Cuckolds was about a mile or so offshore and was exposed to the open ocean. The waves washed on the shore relentlessly and were never silent. I measured the island with a tape measure and calculated it to be roughly 520 feet in circumference at the high water mark.

Life on the island was pretty much a routine of standing watches and cleaning and painting any non-moveable items on the island. The Cuckolds was a family light with two families assigned, and the personnel stationed there got two days a month shore leave. Occasionally the women and even the men could leave the island, but the men always had to be there at night. There were often weeks at a time when the water around the island was so rough that we couldn't leave at all. Because we seldom got off the island, we always needed at least a month's worth of food and other supplies.

They say lighthouses are romantic, but I do know that this one had quite a reputation concerning the divorce rate. I would say it takes a sturdy relationship to endure that much togetherness. “

Got to the island around 11:00 and to hike around the trails to the lighthouse. These homes are so beautiful and the settings are breathtaking.

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Monhegan Island is a small, rocky island ten miles from Boothbay Harbor. It was known to Native Americans as a prime fishing area and today you can see that many of the villagers make their living from the sea.

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For hundred years this island has been a summer haven for artists and other visitors who appreciate the isolation wilderness areas and quiet relaxed atmosphere.

During the summer, the “summer people” boosting the population from 44 to several hundred. It is the most picturesque place we visited in Maine.

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Hiked up to the Lighthouse overlooking the town of Monhegan

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Interestingly, in early 1900’s Thomas Edison visited the island and in 1954 his son Ted Edison acquired the land to form a land trust preserve. Above the rocky headlands, Ted Edison found that the land above the cliffs was going to be subdivided into 50 quarter acre lots! He purchased the lots over time and acquired other tracts and donated everything to the Monhegan Associates. Not a total of 480 acres is managed by the Monhegan Associates.

Around 2:00 we boarded the ferry for a ride around the island. To really appreciate the Maine coast, it is best seen from the water.

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We came upon one of the numerous rock islands and sitting on the top was a bald Eagle. What a sight. Even from a distance you could see this bird sitting so majestically.

It was a beautiful ride back to Boothbay and a perfect ending to our “four days” in Maine.

Headed back to Mt Ascutney, Vermont to continue hosting through the rest of September.

We live a charmed life!
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