CAMPOBELLO ISLAND – 23-24 July 2014





Wednesday the 23rd was a day that we could explore on our own.  Most folks, as did I, headed back to the states with Eastport, Maine the destination.  On Tuesday I learned of a museum in Lubec – the last remaining herring smokehouse, and wanted to start my day learning there.

Part of the Smokehouse Museum Complex in the Fog



Remember where the tide is

But, I found it did not open until 10 AM and with the time change it was too long a wait, so off I headed to Eastport – but not the direct route.  I shunpiked on even further back roads, but was only able to experience trees.

ME-39Eastport, Maine is the most eastern city in the US (Lubec is the eastern most town in the US). Sardines were first canned in Eastport in 1876, and soon the city became the Sardine captial of the world with 18 canneries.  The last one closed in 1983. Most of the downtown is of brick following a disastrous fire in the 1870s. It is becoming an art colony, and worth a visit.

Beginning of Downtown Eastport, Maine

Beginning of Downtown Eastport, Maine

And, down the dirt road to the right, the recommended Quoddy Bay Lobster – the spot for lunch on the pier


Another recommended spot to visit is Raye’s Mustard Mill – and I did stop to see the 100 year old factory stone wheels grinding the seeds.  The mill wheels are driven by leather belts from overhead drive wheels, and pumps driven in the same way pump the mustard from one stage to another – no images allowed – a proprietary thing, sorry.

On my list to learn more about is the War of 1812.  England invaded and occupied this area in 1812. The Treaty of Ghent in 1814 settled the dispute, but the English did not leave the area until 1818.

Lubec Smokehouse Museum

Lubec Smokehouse Museum

I got back to Lubec in time to experience the herring smokehouse complex (do click onto their website) which closed ME-46in 1991 after about 150 years of operation in the same manner. Sardines and herrings come from the same family, and if I am correct sardines are baby herrings (at least smaller).  Sardines are cooked in the tins, but the herrings were smoked following a process of pickling in brine, then secured on skewers through a gill and the mouth.  The smoking process occurs in another building on the piers with fire built on gravel spread over the floor boards.  The skewers are moved higher and higher in the smoking process, and when done are removed from the top, and then cut up and packed. If you click and expand the diagram just above on the right, you will get an idea of the workflow in the process, each building having a different function. Note that a few buildings and piers have been lost from fire or storm. RAY RECOMMENDS a visit to this unique museum.



150 year old oak sticks used for smoking the herring.

150 year old oak sticks used for smoking the herring.

Today, Thursday the 24th, Colin (an outstanding lecturer) returned for the morning to teach us more about FDR and Eleanor and their family roots – the Delanos and the Roosevelts and Roosevelts (pronounced differently for Oyster Bay branch (Teddy) or Hyde Park).  Both families of money and quite a seafaring background for the Delanos. Wish I had taped the talks – so much to learn about these fascinating people, but I have already ordered two recommended books to add to my reading piles.

In the afternoon we toured the Roosevelt Cottage.  For the most part it is as the family had it with their furnishings.  After contracting polio in 1921, FDRs visits were fewer.

LIVING ROOM in the Roosevelt Cottage

LIVING ROOM in the Roosevelt Cottage


Dining Room in Roosevelt Cottage. Note large megaphone Eleanor used to call the family to meals.

Dining Room in Roosevelt Cottage. Note large megaphone Eleanor used to call the family to meals.

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Then at 3PM we had “Tea with Eleanor.”  Wherever she was, no matter what she was doing, tea was at 3PM.  And at Campobello the hostesses provide a great deal of information about the life of the First Lady while guests are enjoying their tea and cookies.

Overall — it is a long way to travel, but RAY RECOMMENDS add the Roosevelt Campobello International Park to your list of “must visits.”

Remember I had no idea of what to do getting here or in returning home?  Well, I stumbled into this ferry landing on the island yesterday on the “do it yourself” day


and looking at the map decided that instead of driving back through Lubec and Eastport to cross back into Canada at Calais to explore some small villages, I will take this ferry to Deer Island, cross that island and take another ferry to the mainland (get your maps out, or at least  Then I will explore, and end up in a B&B I just booked in Calais.  So, you will eventually get that report, and also learn what I figure out tomorrow to do on the rest of the way home.  So, bye for now, as always, yours, RAY

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1 Response to CAMPOBELLO ISLAND – 23-24 July 2014

  1. scotttho says:

    Hey Ray! When you come down to visit us at the lake we’ll supply the campfire and the hotdogs. Will you supply the Raye’s mustard?

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