Hermit Island Campground

6 Hermit Island Road
Phippsburg, ME 04562

207-443-2101

History

Back about 1684, it is recorded that Francis Small, for whom Small Point is named, had a trading house at the mouth of the harbor. Probably this was on the mainland just east of the so-called "Guzzle" of Hermit Island. Apparently our first settler lived a long and successful life, narrowly escaping death at the hands of attacking Indians.

By 1717 a sufficient number of new colonists had become residents of Small Point Harbor to hold the first town meeting of their newly organized Augusta. A stone fort was built "by the ingenious Dr. Belcher Noyes, at his own charge," who also "undertook a Fishery, sufficient to employ twenty vessels at a time.

This fishing venture was subsidized by bounty paid by the King of England and Bounty Cove Beach on Hermit Island thus acquired its name. It was on these steep rocky shores that the so-called Bounty Catchers landed from their wide swinging booms to collect their legal rewards from the King's agent.

Hermit Island never failed these hardy colonists but the Fort did. No water supply was provided within its walls and when a few years later Indians attacked with fire arrows, the defenders found themselves helpless.

The "Hermit" of Hermit Island was a real one. Sheep, "a nice flock," and a few cattle were his livelihood. He heartily disliked having people around and barred the door of his house against all comers -- even the town butcher, "who had to hide in the bushes, jump his man, and all but hold him down by force before buying his wool, mutton and beef.

The colonists and the Hermit are long gone, but the past remains linked to the Island. Inspiration, strength, peace and contentment gained at such hazards by these early settlers are now yours for the asking, on this great natural breakwater of the North Atlantic, this unspoiled beauty spot of the Gulf of Maine.

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