Summer Outside 2015!

Explore Swan Island: A Historical Tour

Friday & Sunday, September 11 & 13, 9:15 AM - 1:00 PM
State Ferry Landing North of the Richmond Public Boat Launch

Original Island biologist Steve Powell [on right] and helpers with trapped goose.
Photo: Friends of Swan Island/MDIF&W

This event is open to the public. Pre-registration and $8.00 access fee are required. Attendance is limited. To register, please contact trip leader Jay Robbins at 737-2239.

Step back in time with Friends of Merrymeeting Bay (FOMB) on their ever-popular historical tour of Swan Island; given twice this year:  Friday, September 11th and Sunday, September 13th from 9:15 am- 1:00 pm. FOMB member and Friends of Swan Island president, Jay Robbins, will lead the tour to this unique, island nature reserve managed by Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Few are more qualified as guide than Jay who also is president of the Arnold Expedition Historical Society, Stewardship Committee Member and Docent for Pownalborough Court House and tales-teller extraordinaire. The group will reach the island by ferry from Richmond for a truck and walking tour lasting several hours. There will be plenty of opportunities to get out of the truck, so be sure to wear good walking shoes and bring some drinking water.

Located in the Kennebec River between Richmond and Dresden, four mile Swan Island is a part of the Steve Powell Wildlife Management Area and included on the National Register of Historic Places. The island's name itself is derived from “Swango,” the Abenaki name for “Island of Eagles.” In the late 1800s, a small settlement on the island survived by farming, fishing, lumbering, shipbuilding, brick manufacturing, and ice making. The island was also reportedly visited by American historical figures Aaron Burr, Benedict Arnold and Colonel Henry Dearborn. On the tour, you’ll come to know the history of the abandoned community, once known as Perkins Township - and get an intimate look at several historic houses in varying stages of preservation from eighty years ago when last inhabited. The island is also known for its abundant bald eagles, white-tailed deer and wild turkey. There are also eight Adirondack style lean-tos on the island available for overnight camping and several trails to hike on.

The FOMB Summer Outside! Series is the warm weather counterpart to FOMB’s popular Winter Speaker Series. Events are usually free and are open to the public. To receive more information about FOMB’s programs call Ed Friedman, Friends of Merrymeeting Bay, at 666-3372 or visit the FOMB web site.

Watch the web in the near future for FOMB’s upcoming 19th annual Winter Speaker Series schedule beginning in October.

Watercolors by
Sarah Stapler