Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Campobello Island

The plan was to drive to Calais, ME, stay at the Walmart, do some shopping and fuel up with cheap American diesel ($3.00/gal) before crossing the border into Canada the next morning. We saw that Campobello Island, New Brunswick with the summer home of the Roosevelt family was just a few extra miles out of the way and, after a call to see if there would be room to park the rig, we decided to go for it. This also gave us the chance to pass through Lubec, ME the Eastern most town in the US. Since going on the road we have now been to the four most distant corners of the contiguous states. Of course, we had to go through customs to get on to the island. For the first time in many border crossings over the years the authorities searched our vehicle from top to bottom. All this for a two hour visit to a ten mile long island with one bridge in and out. We even had an on board but less through inspection by American customs on the return. Go figure?? This little hassle was well worth it as the home and visitors center were very interesting.
This is the 34-room Roosevelt summer "cottage" that the family purchased in 1883 when Franklin was one year old. FDR spent ever summer here until 1921 when he was stricken with polio while there at the age of 39. After that he did not return for twelve years and then only for brief visits in 1933, 1936 and 1939.
The home did not have electricity or central heating, but was very modern for the times with indoor plumbing and hot and cold running water. The three bedrooms are a guest room, Roosevelt's master bedroom and one of the children's rooms. Bottom is the sitting room that looked out to the bay, the laundry room with the coal stove designed to hold and heat the irons and the kitchen with a Presidential model coal cooking stove.
The visitor center has an excellent timeline of Roosevelt's life from his early years here through the Great Depression and WWII. You can listen to short excerpts of his speeches and fireside chats on the old radio. I listened to "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" and thought that the statement still applies today.
This is looking from Campobello Island across the water at the Eastern most town in the US, Lubec, ME. There are other cottages that can be toured and many more things to do on the island. We missed the lighthouse, the many eagles that nest here and did not get to see any whales that inhabit the nearby waters. Once again, this is a place that we could return to when we are not on a mission.
We stopped at the marker showing the 45 parallel which is half way between the Equator and the North Pole. I wonder how much colder it is going to get as we get closer to the North Pole on our way to Newfoundland?

1 comment:

johnanannx2 said...

hi jim and nancy, we spent 10 days in lubec,me. it was one of our favorite places, scenery, whales anf everything about it! hope you guys enjoy new foundland and surrounding points, you always do. take care. PRETTY DAMN NICE.