Thursday, June 30, 2016

Happy Canada Day!

Canadian flag

O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada! Where pines and maples grow,
Great prairies spread and Lordly rivers flow!
How dear to us thy broad domain,
From East to Western sea!
The land of hope for all who toil,
The true North strong and free!
God keep our land, glorious and free.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!

O Canada! Beneath thy shining skies,
May Stalwart sons, and gentle maidens rise.
To keep thee steadfast thro' the years,
From East to Western sea.
Our own beloved native land,
Our true North strong and free!
God keep our land, glorious and free.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!

Ruler supreme, who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our Dominion, in thy loving care.
Help us to find, O God, in thee,
A lasting rich reward.
As waiting for the better day,
We ever stand on guard.
God keep our land, glorious and free.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

All Flags Out–It’s International Marathon Day

We may be the smallest and youngest community in Canada but we have great minds and big dreams turning into reality.
Over the past 4 years the two communities of Lubec,ME and Campobello Island have been host to an International Marathon event.
1-DSC_0604Today is runners day and about 800 runners have crosed the FDR International Bridge. They started at shortly after 6am Atlantic Time and were running through the Welshpool Intersection from 8am. 2 constables of the RCMP were making sure all traffic was getting through without putting runners in danger.
Somewhere between 4-5000 people had found food and accommodation in the wider area. Needless to say no empty bed nor room was to be found anywhere within a 50 mile circle. I love it when weather is great and today was no exception, but I’m sure the runners would have appreciated a few degrees less. We had 24C during the afternoon. Luckily, a very nice breeze sprang up around 2pm making the temps so much nicer. Overall it was (and still is) one of the best summer days one can ask for. After watching the runners for a while I settled on our porch with a cool Blueberry Beer and later a cream cake with strawberries. Oh, what a delight!

Marathon day is always a free day for me as we can’t run tours across the island. With one lane reserved for the runners, there is only one lane all along and one has to drive very slow for not putting anyone in danger.

But “work” will commence soon enough though I keep saying touring around with guests is no work to me. In truth I love it and it is the best I ever did. The many happy people enjoying this island makes my days.
Molly is kinda relaxed and naps at the porch. I wonder what she is dreaming about.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

THIS Is Why We Are Here

Only a short post today. Mother Nature blessed us with a great sunny day and ended it with a symbol of peace – a beautiful rainbow!


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Where Are The Hotels? The Continuing Story of History

If you read yesterday’s posting you might wonder what happened to the 3 hotels on Campobello Island. Sadly, they all met the same fate. After tourism declined, one burned and the others were dismantled with the materials, most of them elaborately chosen and formed, recycled into private residences throughout the island.  Why did tourism decline after Campobello had risen to the status of a fashionable tourist resort?

There is a host of reasons for that.
1. Structures in society changed with the growing  industrialization.
2. World War I started in 1914
3. The automobile had come into more common use making people more mobile.
4. A fish oil factory in Eastport,ME spewed out bad odours drifting with westerly winds across Campobello

The hotels were built in the early 1880s. By 1910, tourism had declined to the point that the hotels were empty shells.  Surrounding grounds grew over quickly and the stately grand buildings fell into disrepair. Paint was flaking off rapidly and harsh winter storms knew no mercy. The drifty businessmen
with the grand plans had left the island and let Campobello deal with this problem.

Yet, to this day we are looking back to this remarkable period of early tourism with a certain pride and summer residents have again purchased buildings reveling in the former flair of elegance and history.

But that is not all. There is something solid left from those days of grandeur. Materials were recycled into private residences…..
Our house is from 1903. Around 1915 substantial upgrades were done to the building. Costly materials from the hotels were used.
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We discovered quite nice door-and window trim, our staircase rails were not common standard for a simple farmhouse from 1903, and the same is the case for a stained-glass window and the interior doors, several showing small holes after the room numbers, and one even showing the shape of a 5….or is it a 6?
But even the Roosevelt Cottage profited from hotel materials. The 1915 addition of the original 1895-building is sporting the same door and window trim as we enjoy in our simple farmhouse. Of course, we love the history of our house and this island, which has been taken care of through hard-fact materials but also through the spider- web of stories. You hardly find a square-foot of this island where history isn’t present. While Franklin D. Roosevelt met British Prime Minister Winston Churchill at high seas off the coast of Newfoundland, to discuss how to deal with Nazi-Germany and Adolf Hitler, his wife Eleanor was staying on Campobello with the children. She didn’t even know what was going on. Franklin’s mission was top secret.

In 1960 a Hollywood movie about the Roosevelts and Campobello appeared. “Sunrise at Campobello” was partly produced on the island. Starring actors were Ralph Bellamy (Franklin D Roosevelt) and Greer Garson, (Eleanor Roosevelt) Hume Cronyn (Louis Howe) Jean hagen (Marguerite “Missy” Lehand)
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It was a big event for the islanders. Actors and technicians needed accommodations and food. Famous people were on site. Another part of history.

But history didn’t stop there either. On September 11 2001 Campobello was in danger to become the most isolated part of Canada:

Park staffer Ron Beckwith was in his office here at the Roosevelt Campobello International Park when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center. A bus tour full of tourists from the New York City area had just pulled into the visitor’s center. By the time the second plane hit, everyone was in shock and the New Yorkers were desperate for information about their city, friends and loved ones.

The Roosevelt cottage, built in 1887, has long been the centerpiece at Roosevelt Campobello International Park on Campobello Island, New Brunswick.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt at a picnic on Campobello Island on July 30, 1936. Their guests were Allison Dysart, left, premier of New Brunswick, and J.B. McNair, right, attorney general of New Brunswick.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt at a picnic on Campobello Island on July 30, 1936. Their guests were Allison Dysart, left, premier of New Brunswick, and J.B. McNair, right, attorney general of New Brunswick.

Below: The same spot today


“We have poor cell reception now, and it was even worse then, so we were starved for information,” recalls Beckwith,  “We set a portable television up in the visitor’s center and did our best to get everyone a chance to use our (landline) telephones.”

“We’d hear rumors about how the border was going to close, so we all scrambled around to get all the tourists back over the border before that could potentially happen,” he says. Rangers fanned out over the park’s 2,800 acres of forest, beach and rocky headlands, looking for visitors, telling them what had happened to the Twin Towers and Pentagon and advising them they might consider getting back to their cars and heading back to Maine.

The visitors back on their own side of the border, the park turned eerily quiet. After all, if the borders are sealed it’s extremely difficult to get to the island from the rest of Canada — and impossible to drive here outside of high summer, because the tiny passenger ferry to the rest of New Brunswick stops running and the only bridge leads to Maine. “At the time we didn’t think too much about what the long-term impact would be,” Beckwith adds. “And it turned out to be a very big impact.”

Because of its peculiar geographical location — on an island isolated behind border posts from both the U.S. and Canada — the Roosevelt Campobello park was hit particularly hard. Like the president whom it honors, the park was partially paralyzed, and has had to shift and refocus its energies in the wake of an unexpected catastrophe.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

President Franklin D. Roosevelt Was A “Reverse Snowbird”

Today we know Snowbirds as being mostly elderly retired people who venture south with their RVs to escape the harsh winters of the north. And it is a “migration” of the thousands.  But a long time before RVs were around and the term “Snowbird” was invented, there was a trend for the wealthy to migrate into the opposite direction. Summers in the south have always been scorching hot and with no automatic air condition kicking in to cool the houses, people had to suffer through the hot season. But a group of rich businessmen knew how to avoid the problem of being fried in their homes and offices. They started to travel north into cooler regions. And when a group of developers and investors discovered Campobello Island with a climate cooled by the frigid waters of the Bay of Fundy they decided to make it a summer resort for the wealthy.
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They built hotels, and sold building lots. And then they advertised in major newspapers in the US and Canada. And people came by the hundreds. And quite a few of them stayed for the entire summer. They became
“Reverse Snowbirds”. Among them were James and Sara Roosevelt.
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James Roosevelt                      Sara Roosevelt w. Son Franklin
After some time being hotel guests they bought a cottage in a prime location. It had a view across the Passamaquoddy Bay and only a mile away they were looking at the fishing town of Eastport,Maine.
Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor continued to “snowbird” to Campobello after his father had passed away in 1900.
DSC_0254                         Roosevelt Cottage built 1895 w. addition from 1915

They moved to a much bigger “cottage” with 34 rooms and Campobello became their “beloved island”.
The Roosevelt’s presence led to something much more. After Pres. Roosevelt passed away at Warm Springs, GA in 1945, Eleanor sold their summer residence.
In 1952 she even tore down the original Roosevelt cottage Sara and James used during their first years on the island. She simply refused to pay taxes for a house which wasn’t in use anymore. The large 34-room summer residence was sold to the Hammer Bros. from New York. The Hammers removed all furniture from the building, but never made a decision about what to do with the house. After they unsuccessfully tried to sell the building again they decided to donate it to the public. They even returned all furniture and memorabilia to the cottage. The federal governments of Canada and the US were contacted and it was decided to make it an International Park in Memoriam of a great President of the United States. In 1964 the new park was opened to the public. In order to ease access to the island both countries financed the F.D.R. International Bridge from Lubec,ME to Campobello Island. (see our header) Finally, the opening of the park brought another U.S. President to the Island. Together with his Canadian Counterpart Prime Minister Lester B Pearson, arrived U.S. President Lyndon B Johnson. 3 years later, on July 13 1967, the Roosevelt Park Visitor Centre was opened under the presence of
Queen Mother Elizabeth. From there on the Roosevelt Campobello International Park has been visited by millions of people from the whole world.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

They Are All Here And Ready For Summer

The summer residents have returned to Campobello. Like every year, they come from Florida, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Maine, New Hampshire, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, North-and South Carolina, Indiana, California. We don’t see license plates from the Midwest-States. Is it because they are all farmers and tied to their homes? Maybe.
1-DSC_0473-001   View of Eastport,ME after Sunset

They live on Campobello for up to 6 months before they close up their summer homes and move back to their home states.
Then life is falling back into this quiet mode where you never see your neighbours other than when they are out shoveling snow.

In a few days we have summer solstice and that makes me think of the many summer solstices we had in Norway, when it never got dark at night.  Unfortunately, many years it was foggy, wet and even raining at summer solstice. In Norway it is a custom to lit a solstice fire and gather around it. Rarely, we could do that where we lived in our coastal area. The Norwegian coastal mountain range is holding up all the dark clouds and some years it is raining for weeks without stopping. Much nicer out here in eastern Canada. No mountains here and much nicer weather.

Yesterday we spent another nice evening at Jocie’s Porch.
Again we were amazed what musical talents are around.
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The performer’s age range from 8 to 80 years and they can do just about anything. Great place to meet new and old friends as well.

On June 26 the 4th International Marathon is held between Lubec and Campobello. 800 runners from many countries have registered. Accommodations are booked out in the entire region. And next month we are celebrating Canada Day on July 1, Independence Day on July 4, and FOG FEST from July 27- July 31. Lots of activities to organize for a smallest and youngest  community in Canada.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Weather Gods Had No Mercy, But We Had A Great Time

Planning an outside event is always a risky thing. Especially if you live at the coast where winds can pick up and/or blow out of the wrong direction. Instead of 20C (68F) we got only around 15C (59F) and the wind was blowing like crazy.  So plan B was set into action. Our round glass table from the porch was hauled through the entry door and placed in a corner of our dining room.  Several attempts later to find the best arrangement, we had a solution for accommodating 12 chairs.
And yes, we had to haul 2 extra chairs down the stairs, including a folding chair to seat everyone. We filled our dining room to the brim.  Bea had prepared delicious party snacks and then the cake was rolled in. It was all very yummy and I dare say that we had a great time together.
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Lots of laughter and storytelling around the table.
I was floored when one of guests had written a birthday greeting in Norwegian. (Thank you, Google) It was past supper time when the first guests started leaving.  An hour later everything was back to normal. Settling for a quiet evening Bea and I were still nibbling on the leftovers.
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

64 Years Ago It Was Sunday

Mom was trying to get that first-born boy out and when it was finally done, she was quite exhausted. Especially because the doctor who was called to the house thought that the timing was bad as he intended to go see a movie at the theater. So he gave mom a delaying injection and went to the movies. When he came back it was June 15 and Sunday.

That’s the story mom told me about my birth. Well, I don’t rightly know whether it is true that children born on a Sunday are more happy or have more luck in life. I would have to thank the Doc for delaying my birth….

Looking back at the time I have been walking around on earth, I have to admit that I have been pretty darn lucky most of the time. Sure, there have been backlashes, but what the heck, I always found my way back to the road. I have lived in a couple of places which could be classified as the most beautiful on earth . Born at the sea, moved to the glaciers of the north, then off to the prairies and back to the sea. Escaped certain death a couple of times. (farming and forestry is dangerous)  Of course, that scared the hell out of my family, but like I said, at the end of the day I pulled through. Now let’s not dwell with those dark thoughts.
10 people are coming today and hopefully the weather warms up a tad so we can all be seated outside, cause we don’t have 12 chairs around our dining table. Next year I have to think of some outlying areas to party in. After all, I do hope by that time my pension has gone through . Or maybe I do like many Norwegians do, posting an ad in the newspaper:


Monday, June 13, 2016

Misty Days

It was a misty Sunday and it seems to be the same today. Clouds are moving overhead of us and I walk Molly along our quiet road. 1-DSC_0460-001June is the month of Lupines and Campobello has millions of Lupines. They adorn the wayside and the beach-side  meadows. Water droplets make our lilac hang with its beautiful flowers. After one week of full bloom they are about to go. I still smell their scent when passing by. Circle of nature it is. And it is the same for all living organisms. Whether plants, animals or us humans. One day the evening of life has come and we wave farewell to the world.
I just met an old friend on Facebook. We met in Norway and it must have been in 1980 or around there. Anne Brit and her husband Atle bought a huge old timber house in a small village. They are both artists, they paint and create and they have transformed their old house into a heavenly paradise.
This is sooo long ago, it seems like a distant dream now, yet the pictures are vivid in my mind.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Belleville’s,IL Bistro Boulangerie



This is Don Harwerth, a distant American relative who I have visited a couple of times in Belleville, IL. Don is a man of many talents and he knows how to put them to work. Next time you are in the area drop in with Don and check out his bakery and bistro.

If you live in the Belleville area chances are you’ve enjoyed a cake from 10th Street Baking Company at one or many of the events you’ve held or attended. But you might not know that 10th Street Baking Co. is much more than a supplier of delicious cakes.

The story of 10th Street Baking Co. and its owner, Don Harwerth, is a story of reinvention and evolution and about the wonderful places that life can take you when you have both a willingness to follow a plan and a need to take chances and pursue adventure.

Owner, Don Harwerth, was the man behind the Blue Igloo, a West Main Street bar from the years 1990 to 1996. Harwerth and his brother Bob were the men behind the Blue Igloo and after the bar closed Harwerth felt the need to reinvent himself. “I moved to Napa Valley, St. Helena, more specifically, and started working as a bartender at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. Employee’s got complimentary tuition to the Culinary Institute which I took advantage of.” He spent the next 2 years focusing on bread baking, taking on the role of the Baker for the restaurant called Greystone.

Back home, in Belleville, an empty building owned by Harwerth was on his mind. “I wanted to do something with it and I had an idea.” He opened the 10th Street Baking Co. in 2000 to sell wholesale bread and from there he got into many other facets of bakery business. Soon his delicious and beautiful wedding cakes and specialty cakes were in demand. His reputation grew. “Slowly it changed and grew into what it is today. But I always wanted to have a bar and bakery together,” says Harwerth. “We were doing over 100 cakes per week. It brought with it a lot of pressure and it was very labor intensive. My crew began graduating and moving on to other things and I started offering wedding display cakes.”

Harwerth’s selection of beautiful wedding display cakes were an ingenious and very cost-effective way to offer wedding parties the experience of a gorgeous wedding cake at a fraction of the price. A beautifully decorated display cake is delivered and set up as a centerpiece of the wedding reception, photos of the bride and groom are taken beside it and then it is removed to the backroom where the actual sheet cake is cut and plated for guests to enjoy.

Fast-forward to 2016. 10th Street Baking Co. continues to evolve into perhaps its most exciting incarnation yet. “We’re the home to what we are calling Bakery After Hours,” Harwerth explains. As a natural offshoot of the bread baking business Harwerth began offering deli sandwiches and cheeses as catering trays along with reasonably-priced wines. “We finally settled on the evening hours that we have now and when we received our liquor license we shifted primarily to what we call Bakery After Hours.”

Wednesdays through Saturdays patrons fill the funky and eclectic bakery to enjoy daily specials and favorites over cocktails and a wide selection of interesting beers, wines and craft Martinis. And, of course, there’s more… Don’s Donuts is yet another path that Don explored along the way. “We’re a little different that your conventional donut shop.

We don’t open until 4:30, but that works too. Who says donuts have to be just enjoyed at breakfast?”

Several times in the course of the evening Don spins the big wheel to see who’s going to win free donuts. A fun and unique way to celebrate an evening!

A Truly Neighborhood Bakery… and More

In 1991 Harwerth purchased the building at 1021 West Main Street that had been home to St Clair Music Store. The area between 6th and 17th streets, recently branded as Mid Towne Belleville, had fallen on difficult times. Many of the businesses along this stretch of West Main Street were struggling at best or closing. The renaissance that had begun on East Main Street which included a multi-million dollar streetscape renovation was spreading westward but slowly.

Then, with the transfer of the abandoned Belleville West campus to Lindenwood University the neighborhood began experiencing an upswing. “This is the most optimistic I have felt about the neighborhood since buying the building,” Harwerth explains. “Now there is a multimillion dollar state of the art police station moving in a couple blocks away. The streetscape is slated to extend down to 17th street. People used to drive through and not see this neighborhood because there wasn’t much happening. Lindenwood is expanding and now you see athletes on the sidewalks running by at all hours. A new life has been breathed into the neighborhood and I’m really happy to be a part of it.”

Harwerth not only runs a business from Belleville’s Mid Towne Neighborhood, he also lives above the bakery. “These old buildings are great,” he says. “They were designed to live above and operate your business on the ground floor.”

“The good influence of all of these factors is slowly taking over the neighborhood,” says Harwerth. “Businesses are popping up and staying. Miscellanea House coffee shop on the next block has become a destination gathering place attracting a regular following. Forgotten Treasures, right across the street, began as an antique and curiosity shop for items that had been left behind at storage facilities. Rain Tree Salon and Spa Demi are located beside 10th Street Baking Co. “These are established businesses offering great services to a very loyal and supportive clientele. And the neighborhood is really strengthened by their choice to locate here. We support each other and each adds special flavor to the area. Simply Sindy Smith offers children’s books, greeting cards and unique gifts. It’s another truly one-of-a-kind shop in Mid Towne Belleville.

“My role at 10th Street Baking Co. and Bakery After Hours is both truly challenging and rewarding. I want to put out a unique product that draws people into the neighborhood – a place they might not otherwise have on their radar. Along with things the other merchants are doing, the things Lindenwood University is doing and the things the city is doing like the new street renovation slated for the near future I really believe that in 5 years you won’t recognize this part of Belleville.

Don Harwerth 10th Street Baking Co.

Business Profile

– Website-

– Facebook –

– Hours: Bakery After Hours- 4:30pm-1am-Wed thru Sat