It was 7;15 am and i was heading to Gardner to meet the Goldwing club for a day ride to deer Isle. I was excited because I had never been to deer Isle and in was looking forward to making new friends in the Goldwing Club. I was first one there but i saw a new red trike at Dunkin Donuts and suspected it was one of the wingers. Soon to arrive was Ed & Barb and then Carol and ed from Freeport. Also Rita was soon to arrive and then it was 9 o clock and KSU (kick stands up). We left Gardner and headed across the bridge to RT 27 to Augusta and then down Rt 3 towards Belfast. We were meeting Sandy and Dennis and head for Deer Isle. Once we hit Rt 1 we were heading north. It had been a long time since i had been up Rt one. As we came into Bucksport and it brought back memories of a legend that I was told many years before. check my next post for the story. As we crossed the Penobscot River, it was the first time i had crossed the new bridge. If you ever get a chance to stop and go to the top of bridge, take it. it is 420 feet high and you can see forever. We picked up Rt 175 and headed towards Deer Isle. It was a beautiful ride and we stopped about 25 minutes out at a rest area or scenic overlook.
KSU and we were on our way to restaurant. As we rolled into Stonington, you could see it was a picturesque fishing village. We pulled into the Fisherman’s Friend Restaurant. www.fishermansfriendrestaurant.com . After getting seated for lunch and on the back of the menu was some very interesting info about Deer Isle. I am going to share the info with you:
Deer Isle is a beautiful island community of 24,000 acres and 112 miles of shoreline, and outlying islands. It ia a group of small communities with 2,400 residents that make up the year round population. Lobstering is the current mainstay of the island.
The first people to live on Deer Isle 6,100 years ago were Native Americans. Native Americans were living in various locations among the islands when the first European settlers arrived in 1755. The settlers became boat builders, seafarers and fisherman. Deer Isle was established in 1789, the fourth town in Hancock county. The population grew, and in 1786 Nathaniel Scott started a ferry service to the mainland across the Eggemoggin Reach. This ferry ran until the opening of the present day suspension bridge on June 19, 1939. In 1895, the strong and able reputation of Deer Isle seaman was recognized throughout the world when American yacht ” Defender”, designed by the famed Nathanael Herreshoff and manned entirely by residents of Deer Isle, won the first America’s Cup. Four years later, the yacht “Columbia” and its crew, once again entirely from the Island , defended the Cup and brought home victory.
The late 1800s also was marked by the founding of the first granite quarries. From 1869 to 1969, granite from Deer Isle and Stonington was shipped away to be put into such structures as the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institute, and the Kennedy Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery. Today, The New England Stone Company still harvests granite blocks from Crotch Island located off of Stonington.
Though quarrying was present, it was by the 19th century the harvest of the sea that would, and continues to be, predominant provider. Island fisherman supplied a local canning industry and fish markets around the world. Their yield was manily cod, haddock, and mackerel as well as gathered shell fish. Lobsters were not considered the luxury food item they are in today’s society, and at the time were two cents each, regardless of size.
Stonington, previously known as Green,s Landing, was incorporated in 1897, and and was named for its granite quarrying. First, a fifteen year boom in the quantity and the price of lobsters has enriched the local fisherman and increased the size of the lobster fleet. Second, a continuing influx of prosperous newcomers has driven up real estate values and led to a new cultural and artistic attractions.
We ordered our lunch and i had Baked Scallops and they were very good, but the Cole Slaw was lousy. After we ate lunch we were KSU and heading back towards Augusta. It was a great day for a ride., but we had one more stop to make on RT 3. Yes we needed dessert. Ice cream was on the menu. I think the name of the place was Arthur’s on rt 3. After that we all said our good-byes and all went our separate way home. Rode about 250 miles and the weather was great. What a great day.