Squirrel Island, Maine
Squirrel Island, Maine is a summer resort colony off the coast of Boothbay Harbor. The origin of the name is not related to its squirrel population, since according to island chronicler Charles McLane "[s]quirrels do not inhabit the island (or if they do now, they did not in early times according to local pundits)," but, rather, refers to the shape of the island which, when seen from above, resembles a squirrel holding an acorn.
Farmers and sheep herders have resided on Squirrel Island since the American Revolutionary War. The summer colony was created with the formation of the Squirrel Island Association in 1871 as a village corporation within the town of Southport, the first of a handful of communities so governed in the state of Maine. The "village corporation" adds an additional layer of control within the town government to meet the island's unique needs that arise from the fact that most island residents are not year-round residents of the Town of Southport and therefore have no right to vote in local elections. Squirrel Island pays taxes to Southport and receives funds for necessary services (like roads) from that town; however an additional tax (the "Squirrel Island Special Tax") is levied that is completely locally controlled and spent.
Residents of Squirrel Island are subject to the Laws of the United States, State of Maine, Lincoln County, Southport Island, and Squirrel Island. Additionally, most land parcels are leased from the Squirrel Island Association, subjecting the leasee to land use rules similar to a restrictive covenant or homeowner's association. There are approximately 100 parcels, each with one one-family cottage. Most cottages were first built between the 1870s and 1920s; however, most have been remodeled and enlarged over the years.
Squirrel Island has no industry, and residents must vacate for the winter due to the above-ground plumbing which is drained to prevent freezing. Residents enjoy beaches, tennis, boating, a local restaurant, library, and chapel. The island receives telephone, electric and water utilities via undersea cables and pipes from the mainland. Residents are not allowed vehicles and must walk on a network of paved sidewalks. A ferry boat (the Novelty) runs regular trips from Boothbay Harbor. Being a summer colony, the island is popular among young adults in search of a summer job (working at venues such as the local restaurant or the historical society, among others).
- McLane, Charles (1994). Islands of the Mid-Maine Coast IV. Rockland, Maine: Island Institute. pp. 95–99. ISBN 0-88448-145-X.
- Federal Writers' Project (1937). Everett F. Greaton, ed. Maine: A Guide "Down East". Washington, D.C.: Works Progress Administration. pp. 396–97.
- Town of Southport, Maine
- "Squirrel Island". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 30 September 1980. Retrieved 2009-10-03.
- Balmy Days Cruises - Operator of the "Novelty" ferry to Squirrel Island