If ever there was a setting for a mystery, House Island would be it. It's the stuff that fuels childhood fantasies.
Thought to be the site of the earliest European house built in Casco Bay, it was referred to as "the island with the old house on it," or House Island. But the island has seen more than just a house. In 1808, the US government built a sprawling fort named Fort Scammel. Later, they constructed a quarantine station for immigrants on the other side of the island.
Neither the fort nor the quarantine station saw much action. That is, they didn't see the action they were intended for. Roberta Sheaf remembers living on the island with just her mother, father and sister in the 1910s and early 20s. And, Hal Cushing lived every little boys dream: his family owns House Island and he spent summers as a boy exploring the fort and the shoreline.
Still, it's a lonely island. Never heavily populated, only a handful of people have lived there for the last century. Not quite deserted, but not quite a home, House Island continues to evoke a sense of mystery. There's just something about a sparsely populated, thirty-acre island in the middle of a busy harbor that inspires curiosity.
History Courtesty of WMPG
Walk through history with our knowledgable guides in an authentic Civil War Fort.
We offer these tours every Tuesday & Thursday, 9:30-11:30am & 1-3:00pm.
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