Lord Campbell's O-mage
MAINE COURSE, DAYS 4 & 5: Bangor, ME, to Ellsworth, ME
After finally getting to sleep after the concert was over in BANGor Saturday night, we awoke to a steady rain on Sunday, wishing the rain had begun about 12 hours sooner. The forecast called for rain all morning, followed by an afternoon of rain before a rainy evening set in. We took that as a hint and decided to spend the day working on some projects that needed our attention. Thanks to laptop computers, your projects follow wherever you go in today’s world.
By noon, it was time to check out of the Courtyard rain shelter in Bangor and drive the 30 miles back to Ellsworth, where we would spend the night. Our plans to spend Sunday at Acadia National Park had been scrapped by the weather, so we spent some time in the afternoon outlining what we want to do for the remaining days of this trip before we go home on Saturday.
According to our revised agenda, we got up early Monday morning and left Ellsworth about 7:30, driving northeast on US-1 toward the Canadian border. Our destination was the Roosevelt Campobello International Park on Campobello Island, off the coast of Maine in the Bay of Fundy. Part of the Canadian province of New Brunswick, the island is about nine miles long and three miles wide.
|FDR Bridge from Lubec, Maine, to Campobello Island, New Brunswick|
By the 1850s, the island began attracting visitors because of its natural beauty, mild summer climate, and proximity to large American cities of the Northeast. As its popularity grew, a group of Boston and New York businessmen bought most of the island from the Owen descendants with the intention of developing it as a resort for wealthy Americans and Canadians. They built three large hotels on the southern end of the island and subdivided the area around them into seaside building lots.
Their timing was impeccable. It was the height of the Gilded Age, when the very rich enjoyed an abundance of leisure time and vacations lasted all summer. James Roosevelt, his wife Sara and one-year-old son Franklin first visited Campobello in 1883. They were so enamored with the island, they bought a land lot, had a house constructed, and became summer residents by 1885. Many years later, Mrs. Roosevelt bought the cottage next door as a wedding gift for Franklin and his fiance Eleanor.
|Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Cottage on Campobello|
After Eleanor Roosevelt's death, the Dutch Colonial cottage was donated to the American and Canadian governments for the purpose of establishing an international park to honor both Roosevelt and the long-standing friendship between the two nations. Additional land and four other remaining cottages were purchased, increasing the park's size to 2,800 acres.
With its mix of American and Canadian staff, we found the park extremely well-managed and maintained. All the interpreters in the cottages were quite knowledgeable and engaging. They eagerly shared information about other spots to visit on the island, leading us to eat lunch at the park's own Fireside restaurant and visit East Quoddy Head on the northern tip of the island. By the time we arrived, the tide had just started coming in, restricting access to the lighthouse island.
|Incoming tide blocks walking route to lighthouse.|
|West Quoddy Light Station|
|View from the coastal trail|
|No way to make the hosta grow out blue?|
Tomorrow we plan to spend the day exploring Acadia National Park, just 15 miles away in Bar Harbor.
Roosevelt Cottage Stats:
- Size: 7,200 sq.ft.
- Total rooms: 34 (including 18 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms)
- Year built: 1897
- Price paid by elder Mrs. Roosevelt for the house: $5,000 (furnished)
- Lighting: kerosene lanterns (no electricity until the 1950s)
- Heating: 7 fireplaces + kitchen stove
- Telephone: no
SUNDAY, 21 JUNE & MONDAY, 22 JUNE 2015
More Photos from Today
|Canadian border crossing station on Campobello|
|Hubbard Cottage, one of four other remaining summer homes|
|Large oval window in Hubbard cottage dining room|
|Hubbard back lawn|
|Roosevelt cottage dining room|
|The Roosevelts and their children at Campobello (elder Mrs. Roosevelt between the couple, as she often was)|
|With this sign, an insubstantial chain is all that's needed to close the trail to the lighthouse when tides roll in.|
|Stamping in on a rocky beach|
|Leaving a little something behind|
|Lubec, Maine from FDR bridge|