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.

Nature

Hermit Island offers a rare opportunity to get acquainted with diverse sea life that thrives in Maine’s waters.  There are pocket beaches to explore, interspersed with a rugged rocky shoreline.  A significant tide rises and falls each day revealing and renewing the hiding places of animals.  Tide pool exploration is a rich experience for campers.  Sea stars, urchin, crabs, snails and anemones can be found. A mink or seal may be seen swimming along the shoreline. For those interested in fishing, bring your poles, and you may catch a striper or bluefish for cooking over an open fire. 

Our trails lead to the habitats of deer, porcupine, raccoon, fox and even skunks!  Bring your camera and have it ready to record their antics as we share the woodlands.  Those who camp near the fresh water Lily Pond or Cattail marsh may enjoy the nighttime chorus of frogs.  A beaver has built a lodge at one side of the pond, while muskrats scrounge for food.  Toads and salamanders use the pond to assure their survival, as do many insects. 

In season, there are wild Gooseberries, Blueberries, Blackberries and Raspberries to add to your dinner menus.  We discourage picking of flowers, but the wild Beach Peas, Roses, Asters and woodland flowers color the scene.  Butterflies and moths dart from flower to flower, and leave caterpillars to chew our leaves.  You may encounter snakes, but no poisonous snakes reside here.  Each animal has a niche – chattering squirrels may try to give you a message to keep your food locked up for safe keeping. A sandy and somewhat muddy tidal flat gives campers a chance to dig for clams or worms.  This campground provides an unusual chance to explore the shoreline environment in all its diversity and beauty. 

In peace, Ronnie :-)

 

Ronnie's home page: http://home.gwi.net/~allwet1/

http://www.mainebirding.net/

Ian Turner's Hermit Island Bird List

Mike Fahay's Hermit Island Bird List

 

Office: 42 Front St. Bath, ME 04530....... (207)443-2101......Mon. - Fri. 9 AM - 2 PM