Tag => island

a few links

Posted: August 18, 2010, 07:08:56 am by jim

Eva Murray's Personal website

Matinicus Historical Society

Tagged in: island

Rail Coming to Brunswick

Posted: July 13, 2010, 15:07:43 pm by jim

Psyched to see that the Amtrak Downeaster is expanding to Brunswick.

Boston-Maine rail line grant work approved

Maine was awarded $35 million in federal stimulus money in January to the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, which manages the Downeaster. The train runs from Portland to Boston, with stops in New Hampshire.

Tagged in: island

Photos of our cottage, and of the island.

Posted: June 8, 2008, 20:06:29 pm by Jen


Tagged in: island

Summer Dreamin'

Posted: May 27, 2008, 19:05:57 pm by jim

Tagged in: island

The 2008 Island Wish List - Draft #1

Posted: May 19, 2008, 21:05:31 pm by Jen

Stuff we need on Matinicus this time around...

Tagged in: island

Edna St. Vincent Millay's Celebrated Matinicus Sonnet

Posted: May 17, 2008, 11:05:55 am by Jen

I love this...


Hearing your words, and not a word among them
Tuned to my liking, on a salty day
When inland woods were pushed by winds that flung them
Hissing to leeward like a ton of spray,
I thought how off Matinicus the tide
Came pounding in, came running through the Gut
While from the Rock the warning whistle cried,
And children whimpered, and the doors blew shut;
There in the autumn when the men go forth,
With slapping skirts the island women stand
In gardens stripped and scattered, peering north,
With dahlia tubers dripping from the hand:
The wind of their endurance, driving south,
Flattened your words against your speaking mouth.

Support Independent Bookstores! Purchase Fatal Interview here!

In 1931 Millay published Fatal Interview (1931), a volume of 52 sonnets in celebration of a recent love affair. Edmund Wilson claimed the book contained some of the greatest poems of the 20th century.

Tagged in: island

Post Office, Store and Residence Destroyed by Fire

Posted: May 16, 2008, 18:05:11 pm by jim

For those of you who know me personally, know that I care a great deal about the island and the people that live there year-round. This news hit me like a punch in the gut...

Post Office and store building burned to the ground on Monday as island firefighters struggled to keep flames from spreading to nearby buildings and oil tanks on the waterfront.

Post Office and Centenial Building from a 1900 postcard.

Jen and I own a home on this island but we don't live there. We get to use our cottage and enjoy the island when the conditions are perfect: summer, mild weather, less fog, fewer nor'easters, less unflyable weather, fewer rough seas, and definitely no snow nor freezing weather. We have no need to acquire heating fuel in a place where, weather pending, a fuel truck may arrive on the docks once a month. It's then up to you, or the decency of your neighbors, to get that fuel into a drum and into your house.

A friend who lives there year-round sumned up the mood:

"The fire which took out the newly renovated post office, one man's apartment and everything he owned, the almost-ready new store, and a historical collection was the big kahuna, but it was actually only the largest of a long list of reasons to be anxious, to be tired, to be a little bit gun-shy. We're walking around sort of...ready to duck."
-- Eva Murray writing in Down East Magazine

That Jen and I just visit the island and our cottage in the perfect, easy times gives me pangs of guilt (can't explain why, it just is).

Post Office and residence before the fire, June 2004.

Losing this Post Office is a big deal. For one, it's one of the primary gathering places on the island. It was a historic building, too. It had just been renovated, at some expense, but its new owner (a private resident, the USPS just leases the space from him) had just nearly put the finishing touches on the Post Office. The newly constructed island store had not even opened for business was also destroyed.

I have every reason to think that the US Postal Service will continue service to the island. Still, I shudder at the thought of losing service. While residents have internet, satellite tv, and electricity -- they do not have a store of any kind. Residents rely on the fax-ordered grocery services from the Shaw's in Rockland for their daily/weekly needs. The groceries are often flown out out on the mail plane. That steady contract with the USPS, I would imagine (I'm just guessing now), helps keep the very small regional airline Penobscot Island Air in business, or at least helps keep shipping and passenger fares affordable.

I shouldn't mention it last here, but a family has also lost their home and most of their possessions.

I don't know if there is an official way to contribute to those impacted by this fire, but if I find out, I will post information here.

Image courtesy of Jasmine Ames, by way of Village Soup

Tagged in: island

Useful Information for visitors to Matinicus Island

Posted: June 12, 2008, 11:06:44 am by jim

Passing this information from a friend along to our island visitors this summer...

Summer 2007

If you need help with a MEDICAL EMERGENCY, there are three Emergency Medical Technicians living on the island. They are usually (but not always) available. Call Clayton Philbrook 366-3980, Eva Murray 366-3695, or Robin Tarkleson 691-6568. If you cannot reach them, you might try Ann Mitchell, RN, at 366-3161. In an EMERGENCY if you cannot reach anybody by telephone, call 911 to reach a dispatcher who will contact the EMTs by pager. EMTs may be out lobstering or otherwise working away from a telephone. (We will respond as quickly as possible but there is nobody sitting in a station waiting for that call!) Please do not call 911 for minor first aid help...we’re glad to help with non-emergencies, but please use local telephone.

There is NO doctor, clinic, ambulance, or advanced medical care available on Matinicus at any time. Occasionally, weather makes any transport to the mainland dangerous or impossible. Please consider going to the mainland if you think your condition may worsen over time, especially if weather is getting worse or it’s getting close to dark. This is an isolated community do not wait until the last minute to decide you need medical help!

FIRE is a big concern on Matinicus. Do NOT burn trash, brush, etc. without permission of property owner (and, at some times of year, local fire warden.) Do NOT burn anything if the wind is blowing, if you cannot stay with the fire and attend it, if you don’t have help, or if the weather has been very dry. Forest fire is a serious issue as much of our forest is over-mature and falling down. Do NOT toss cigarette butts on trails, smoke in the woods, or have large campfires above the high-tide line. If you see a fire, call EVERYBODY YOU CAN REACH ON MATINICUS right away.

CELL PHONES often do not work well on Matinicus. Your best chance of signal is at the airstrip or on the west side of the island. In the harbor area, signal is very poor. There are two pay telephones on the island, one near the Post Office, the other at the “Pirate’s Galley.” You will need phone cards for long distance calling...no coins.

GROCERIES may be ordered from the Shaw’s Supermarket in Rockland. They prefer orders sent by FAX, before 10AM on weekdays. Delivery is often (but not guaranteed) same day. Pay attention to the weather forecast. You must be able to pick up your order at the airstrip when delivered, and you must have access to a telephone so the air service can let you know when the groceries will arrive on the island. Air freight is currently $8.00 per large carton for grocery orders. Shaw's Fax# is 226-4007.

There are CHURCH services on most Sundays through the summer. These are held at 7PM, are informal and everybody is welcome. No particular denomination is represented; we have a variety of volunteer ministers through the season. The church is located just north of the central intersection, and occasionally hosts musical events, community suppers, or other social events. Watch for signs announcing these events.

Do not walk, jog, or drive on the AIRSTRIP. Do not allow your dog to run loose at the airport at any time when flying is possible. Parking spaces are tight...park considerately and do not take up more space than you must. Please make other parking arrangements if you must leave your vehicle for an extended period of time.

Tagged in: island


Get In


nourse genealogy
marginal musings
cat blogging
Reverdy and Grace