Islesboro is a Maine island community located three miles from the mainland in the magnificent upper Penobscot Bay. It is reached via the Maine State Ferry Service. The Margaret Chase Smith is a 34-car and passenger ferry, leaving from the Lincolnville Terminal on the mainland and cruising to Grindle Point Lighthouse Terminal on the island. There are nine round-trips daily from May until October and a slightly varied schedule the balance of the year. Ferry trips offer the opportunity to view the inspiring West Penobscot Bay with its many small islands and the Camden Mountains from its observation decks.
Our home, Barnegat, is located on a private road in the Dark Harbor area of the island. When coming to the house you will drive south on Pendleton Point Road, passing through the village of Dark Harbor. Continuing on, the road will become more of a country road with lush trees, stone outcroppings and east and west views of the bay, outer islands, and the Camden Hills.
Barnegat is located on Boardman Point on three acres of wooded land and is one of the most southerly homes on the island. A bonus with living on this part of the island is that almost every afternoon at 3:30 the wind changes with the prevailing wind bringing a fresh southwest breeze.
As you approach the house there is parking for four cars in the garage driveway. Walking the stone path you will find landscape greenery on your right and a lawn defined by woods and ferns on your left. The path will take you to the front door.
Entering the house you will be in the front room. Directly opposite the door there is a glass wall looking out to a stone patio, wicker furniture and the gardens. The front room serves as a greeting room and is furnished with comfortable furniture, a wood stove, television/DVD cabinet and a table for casual meals or tea.
To the right of the entry is the home office, WiFi is available to guests, from the office is a full bath with a shower and a laundry room. Outside the laundry room is a private outside shower, a treat for the senses.
To the left of the front entrance there are French doors leading to the kitchen. The kitchen is a good work space with granite counters, a double sink, and three skylights to provide extra light in the day hours and windows to the stars at night. Appliances include a double oven, a microwave, a gas range, and a refrigerator with an ice maker. Small appliances include a coffee maker, coffee grinder, toaster, waffle iron, ice cream maker and food processor. Equipment for cooking and baking, dishes, table service, table linens, two lobster pots and the lobster dinner tools are all provided. Basic kitchen pantry and cleaning products are also provided. These rooms are located in the original part of the house, which is based on a traditional Maine cape.
A second French doorway in the kitchen will lead you to the post and beam part of the house. This open, airy, bright, part of the house contains the balance of the living space. Going through the French doors you will find a large open living and dining area. The living room has comfortable conversation seating, a small library, a large desk and a gas fireplace. The dining room has a table that seats eight graciously. The entire room is surrounded with large windows. French doors in the living and dining areas lead to a stone patio. Being in these rooms is like being outside, close to nature.
A staircase from the living room leads to the upstairs hall. Off the open hall there is a full bath and three bedrooms. Two of the bedrooms have queen beds and the third bedroom has two three-quarter sized twin beds, which are wider than typical twin beds. The bedrooms are lovely, private and quiet. Ceiling fans keep the rooms comfortable for sleeping. All bath and bed linens are cotton.
Each room in the house is furnished with family heirlooms, some antiques, quality furniture and a lifetime of art and poster collections.
A large patio runs along the back side of the house and includes comfortable wicker seating, a 12-foot picnic table with umbrellas for outdoor dining and a charcoal grill. This area is surrounded by gardens, trees, and stone walls. The front yard has a rock wall and an open lawn surrounded by trees. After dark turn off all the house lights to create the perfect place to stretch out blankets on the lawn and do star gazing that will take your breath away.
A five-minute walk across the lawn through the woods will take you to a 12-acre nature site, Pendleton Point, owned by the town. It is known as the town beach, but is seldom busy. There are walking paths, ice age rock formations, beaches for swimming and excellent canoe, kayak and small boat launching areas. This is a place to observe sunrise, sunset and enjoy all the hours in between. The expansive beauty of the sky, the bay and other islands is an enrichment for the human spirit. Check on-line for the scheduled path of the International Space Station as it is often visible as it flashes across the night sky.
In the garage are beach chairs, towels, baskets for beach combing and those blankets needed for star gazing.
Three Bald Eagles live on Job Island, our next-door island. They come regularly to our part of the island to hunt and display their impressive being. Bird watching is a favorite pastime on a Maine island.
If you choose to leave our private, quiet home there are many activities offered on the island.
The Alice L. Pendleton Library has books, magazines, newspapers, videos, books on tape and 24-hour access to WiFi. And, yes, you can get a library card to use during your stay, just be certain that you know the name of your home owner. There is a remarkable book and bake sale on a mid-July weekend at the library.
Island organizations present numerous activities. The Island Trust has an extraordinary number of protected walking trails and educational programs.
The Islesboro Community Center is the home of the Blue Water Cafe, open each day in the summer for breakfast and lunch. Thursday evening is open-mike night and the food is pizza, traditional and GF. Friday evening is a set dinner menu. Blue Water serves wine and beer. The ICC has Dinner and a Little Music each Wednesday evening.
The Up Island Church hosts a concert series with a pot luck dinner before the performance. Just show up at 5:30 on concert evenings with a dish to share, your beverage and place setting and you will dine with interesting, welcoming people and enjoy great food. Each Sunday evening at the church, The Forum presents a different speaker addressing current topics.
Sailing lessons are available at Big Tree Boating located at Big Tree Beach on Seal Cove. Fishing is a popular activity at Big Tree. Also known as Mosely’s Dock, this is one of the town‘s public recreation areas and it is a lovely spot.
Riding and riding lessons are available at the Pripet Riding Club, one of the many non-profit organizations on the island. Even if you do not ride, be certain to visit this beautiful horse farm.
The Historical Society has a permanent museum display and a lecture series. Each week in July and August a different art show is held at the museum featuring island artists and some artists from away. There is a reception for each art exhibit on Friday evenings from 5-7 pm with wine, iced tea and goodies. Art work can be viewed at leisure and again there are welcoming people to meet. The exhibits continue until the following Wednesday.
A Farmers Market is held each Wednesday morning at the island school. There are two grocery markets on the island for other shopping. The Island Market has exceptional baked goods. Lobster can be ordered from the Island Market or from local lobstermen.
Everything from the annual rummage sale, to shopping in small stores and a constant round of activities will provide enough activities for everyone.
Places that you do not want to miss are the Dark Harbor Shop for ice cream. They also serve breakfast and have sandwiches and salads for lunch and dinner. Magpie Antiques, the Summer Shop and the Dark Harbor Gallery are next door. Artisan Books and Bindery, on Derby Road in the village is open by appointment and deals with rare books.
It is important to note that the island has a Health Center that is staffed by three physician’s assistants and provides regular office hours and 24-hour emergency health care.
Islesboro is an exceptional place and Barnegat is an exceptional house. I hope you’ll come for a visit.