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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

In the City of Eastport, Maine

Two days ago, Bea had gone off with our guests to Eastport, ME.
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    The “Island Hopper” – a ferry line connecting Campobello with Deer Island and Eastport

Eastport lies directly opposite of Campobello Island. The city is entirely spread out over Moose Island and has a connection to the mainland via a causeway.
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Eastport is the easternmost city in the continental United States (although the nearby town of Lubec is the easternmost municipality).

Independence Day in Eastport is not simply a festival, but rather a celebration of the birth of a nation. Towns and villages throughout Maine and Canada come together to party, but also to remember those who sacrificed so much to preserve and protect America. Because "Old Home Week" traditionally begins on Canada Day and runs through Independence Day, it is actually a celebration of the birth of two nations. Eastport hosts the largest Fourth of July celebration in Maine. Grand Independence Parade (with considerable participation of its Canadian neighbors), Fireworks over the Bay of Fundy, free entertainment at Overlook Park, greasy pole and water sports, antique car show, contests and games for all ages with prizes. Since 1905, U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard ships have made a port call over the 4th and provided free tours.
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The native Passamaquoddy Tribe has called this area home for at least 10,000 years. Some archeologists estimate the inhabitation at 20,000 years. However, the first known European contact was the St. Croix colony founded by the French explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1604. Near present day Calais, the Saint Croix Island Acadia settlement predates the first successful English settlement at Jamestown, Virginia by three years. On June 25, 1604, Champlain and his men spent a long and severe winter on St. Croix Island with no fresh water and diminished supplies. Two-fifths of the men died of Scurvy and the colony moved across the bay to Port Royal in present day Nova Scotia.

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Eastport was incorporated as a town from Plantation Number 8 PS by the Massachusetts General Court, and named for being the easternmost port in the United States. Lubec, on the mainland, was set off and incorporated as a town on June 21, 1811.

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From 1807 to 1809, the town was a center of extensive 2-way smuggling during the Embargo Act imposed by President Thomas Jefferson. In 1809, Fort Sullivan was erected atop a village hill, but it was captured by a British fleet under command of Sir Thomas Hardy on July 11, 1814 during the War of 1812. England claimed that Moose Island was on the British side of the international border which had been determined in 1783. Nevertheless, the town was returned to United States' control in 1818. The boundary between the U. S. and Canada in the area remained disputed until settled by the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842. Eastport would be incorporated as a city on March 18, 1893.

By 1886, the town contained 13 sardine factories, which operated day and night during the season, and produced approximately 5,000 cases per week. About 800 men, women and children worked in the plants. But the industry would decline, and many people moved away. Indeed, the city went bankrupt in 1937. In 1976, the Groundhog Day Gale destroyed many structures along the waterfront. Today, catching fish remains the principal industry, although tourism has become important as well.

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DSC_0037-mi-1JPGEastport is also a port of entry. An international ferry crosses to Deer Island, New Brunswick during the summer months. Each 4th of July, the city becomes a destination for thousands of celebrants. Navy ships have docked there during the 4th of July celebration for many years. Each September, the city hosts the annual Maine Salmon Festival in the historic downtown district.

For Bea and our guests it was a marvelous sunny day with  a lot of fun.

 

While being in Eastport they were watched all the time by the “Fisherman”.

 

Thanks for stopping by again.

 

 

4 comments:

  1. What a great history lesson of the town (city). And it looks like they had great weather.

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  2. Thanks for the background history lesson of your area. Sounds like a great day of celebrations.

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  3. wow thanks for the history lesson..can't wait to visit your area...you are a walking historian....sounds like a great celebration day

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  4. Sure looks like the perfect place to enjoy the two holidays. Thanks for sharing the interesting history about the area. Have a Great Friday!

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