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Campobello Island

Coordinates: 44°53′N 66°56′W / 44.883°N 66.933°W / 44.883; -66.933
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Campobello Island
Île Campobello
Rural community
Head Harbour Lighthouse and station, Passamaquoddy Bay
Campobello Island is located in Canada
Campobello Island
Campobello Island
Location of Campobello Island in Canada
Campobello Island is located in New Brunswick
Campobello Island
Campobello Island
Campobello Island (New Brunswick)
Coordinates: 44°53′N 66°56′W / 44.883°N 66.933°W / 44.883; -66.933
ProvinceNew Brunswick
CountyCharlotte County
 • MayorHarvey Matthews
 • CouncillorAlex Carroll
 • CouncillorKyle Fletcher
 • CouncillorDianna Parker, And Elizabeth Butler
 • Land39.59 km2 (15.29 sq mi)
Highest elevation
90 m (300 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
 • Total949
 • Density24/km2 (60/sq mi)
 • Pop 2016-2021
Increase 8.8%
 • Pop 2016-2021 density24/km2 (60/sq mi)
 • Dwellings
Time zoneUTC-4 (AST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-3 (ADT)

Campobello Island (/ˌkæmpəˈbɛl/,[2][3] also US: /-pˈ-/)[4] is the largest and only inhabited island in Campobello, a geographic parish in southwestern New Brunswick, Canada,[5] near the border with Maine, United States.[6] The island's permanent population in 2021 was 949.[1] It is the site of the Roosevelt Campobello International Park, Head Harbour Lighthouse, and of Herring Cove Provincial Park.

It has been an incorporated rural community since 2010 and is a member of the Southwest New Brunswick Service Commission (SNBSC).[7] Despite the name, the rural community also includes all other islands in the parish.

The island is part of Charlotte County, which was formed in 1784 when New Brunswick was partitioned from Nova Scotia.[8]

Origin of name[edit]

In 1770, the entire island was granted to Capt. William Owen, who understated the size of the island to circumvent the size limit on land grants at the time.[citation needed] Owen renamed the island Campobello in punning honour of Lord William Campbell,[9] who was Governor of Nova Scotia at the time. Campobello Parish later took its name from the island.


Captain William Owen.

The island was originally settled by the Passamaquoddy Nation, who called it Ebaghuit.

The first Europeans were from the French expedition of Pierre Dugua de Mons and Samuel de Champlain, who founded the nearby Saint Croix Island settlement in 1604. France named the island Port aux Coquilles ("Seashell Harbour").

Following the War of the Spanish Succession, under terms of the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), the island became part of the British colony of Nova Scotia.

Campobello fisherman in 1973

The population was increased by United Empire Loyalists after the American Revolutionary War. Smuggling was a major part of the island's prosperity around this time. During the War of 1812 the Royal Navy seized coastal lands of Maine as far south as the Penobscot River but returned them following the war, except for offshore islands. In 1817, the United States relinquished its claim to Campobello, Deer, and Grand Manan islands, in exchange for islands in Cobscook Bay. The provincial government of New Brunswick funded the construction of Head Harbour Lighthouse, or East Quoddy Head Light, in 1829; this light station would be a counterpart to West Quoddy Head Light which the United States built in the previous decades.

In 1866, a band of more than 700 members of the Fenian Brotherhood arrived at the Maine shore opposite the island with the intention of seizing Campobello[10] but were dispersed by British warships from Halifax.[11]

Franklin D. Roosevelt on Campobello, 1933

British naval officer John James Robinson became owner of the island in 1857. In 1881, it was sold to a group of American businessmen, including James Roosevelt. In the 1880s, the island was developed as a resort summer colony for wealthy Canadians and Americans, as was nearby St. Andrews, New Brunswick and Bar Harbor, Maine. A luxurious resort hotel and many grand estates were built.[12] From 1883, the Roosevelt family made Campobello Island their summer home.

By the mid-1800s, Campobello Island had a population in excess of 1,000, which grew to 1,230 by 1910.

Campobello Parish[edit]

In 1803, Campobello Island "with its appurtenances" was separated from West Isles Parish to establish Campo-Bello Parish.[13] The boundary description was clarified in 1877 as "[b]eing the Island so named, and other Islands to the south and east of Head Harbour passage, but west of Grand Manan."[14]

The name appeared in government acts as Campo Bello in 1850,[15] 1854,[16] 1877,[14] and 1896,[17] finally appearing as Campobello in 1903.[18]

The local service district of the parish of Campobello was established in 1969 to assess for community services,[19] in this case to contract with an independent agency in Lubec, Maine, to provide ambulance conveyance from Campobello to St. Stephen Hospital.[20] Fire protection was added later in 1969[21] first aid & ambulance services in 1984,[22] and recreational facilities in 1998.[23]

The entire parish was incorporated as the Rural Community of Campobello Island in November 2010[24] and the LSD dissolved.[25] The geographic parish continues to exist.[26]


The island is at the entrance to Passamaquoddy Bay, adjacent to the entrance to Cobscook Bay, and within the Bay of Fundy. The island is one of the Fundy Islands. The island has no road connection to the rest of Canada; it is connected by the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Bridge to nearby Lubec, Maine. Reaching mainland Canada by car without crossing an international border is possible only during the summer season and requires two separate ferry trips, first to nearby Deer Island, then to L'Etete.[27]

The ferry to Deer Island was stopped in 2017 after the boat sank, leaving the island without a direct connection to the rest of Canada.[28] Service was restored and became year-round due to the COVID pandemic.[29]

The jurisdiction of the eponymous rural community and of the census division include Head Harbour Island.

Measuring 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) long and about five kilometres (3.1 mi) wide, it has an area of 39.6 square kilometres (15.3 sq mi). On the north is a high bluff headland, East Quoddy Point.[30] On the west are Charley Point and the Mulholland Point navigation light.[30]


The island has several good harbours,[31] and the majority of residents are employed in the fishing, aquaculture or tourism industries.

The two major tourist attractions on the island are Herring Cove Provincial Park and Roosevelt Campobello International Park. The latter was created in 1964 and was officially opened by U.S. President Lyndon Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson in 1966.


The island's only highway, Route 774, is connected by the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Bridge to Lubec, Maine – the easternmost town in the continental United States. The only transportation link with the rest of Canada is a seasonal ferry service to Deer Island Point, New Brunswick, on Deer Island.[32]

Mail delivered to the community goes through the United States. The United States Customs and Border Protection service began searching packages to and from the island in 2019, prompting outcry from residents, and debates in the House of Commons of Canada, due to privacy and sovereignty concerns.[33][34][35]

In late 2020, residents renewed their demands for the Canadian government to build a bridge to the New Brunswick mainland given the current ferry cannot operate in winter (three other New Brunswick islands do benefit from year-round ferry services). Driving to mainland Canada requires travel into Maine via the bridge, which proved difficult during the restrictions imposed on both sides of the border during the COVID-19 pandemic in North America. The border closure meant driving to and from the island was prohibited, except for essential purposes.[36]

The government agreed to pay for an extension of the ferry service until 10 January 2021, however, winter weather after this date would make sailing the small ferry too dangerous. Islanders interviewed by the Toronto Star said that the restrictions were also causing serious problems for services attempting to reach the island, but insisted that the need for a bridge, or year-round ferry service, was long-standing and not just relevant during the pandemic. In an interview, a Member of Parliament for the region, John Williamson, made no promises but offered a glimmer of hope: "I think we’re in a position that some infrastructure dollars could be made available once the province has a plan and proposal ready to submit".[37][35]


The island has one school, Campobello Island Consolidated School, for all school grades, in the Anglophone South School District.


Communities within the rural community.[38][39][40]

Bodies of water[edit]

Bodies of water[a] at least partly within the rural community.[38][39][40]

  • Friars Bay
  • Lake Glensevern
  • Harbour de Lute
  • Head Harbour
  • Head Harbour Passage
  • Lubec Channel
  • Lubec Narrows
  • Mill Cove Creek
  • Mill Stream
  • Quoddy Narrows
  • Passamaquoddy Bay

Other islands[edit]

Other named islands within the rural community.[38][39][40]

  • Duck Islands
  • Duck Rock
  • Head Harbour Island
  • Little Island
  • Sugar Loaf Rock

Conservation areas[edit]

Conservation areas at least partly within the rural community.[38][39][40]


In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Campobello Island had a population of 949 living in 423 of its 612 total private dwellings, a change of 8.8% from its 2016 population of 872. With a land area of 39.59 km2 (15.29 sq mi), it had a population density of 24.0/km2 (62.1/sq mi) in 2021.[42]

Canada census – Campobello Island community profile
Population949 (+8.8% from 2016)872 (-5.7% from 2011)925 (-12.4% from 2006)
Land area39.59 km2 (15.29 sq mi)39.67 km2 (15.32 sq mi)39.67 km2 (15.32 sq mi)
Population density24/km2 (62/sq mi)22.0/km2 (57/sq mi)23.3/km2 (60/sq mi)
Median age50.8 (M: 48.0, F: 52.0)48.4 (M: 48.2, F: 48.4)46.0 (M: 46.1, F: 45.9)
Private dwellings612 (total)  423 (occupied)616 (total)  641 (total) 
Median household income$66,000$52,139
References: 2021[43] 2016[44] 2011[45] earlier[46][47]
Historical Census Data
Campobello Parish, NB
1991 1,317—    
1996 1,305−0.9%
2001 1,195−8.4%
2006 1,056−11.6%
2011 925−12.4%
2016 872−5.7%
2021 949+8.8%


Canada Census Mother Tongue - Campobello Parish, New Brunswick[48]
Census Total
English & French
Year Responses Count Trend Pop % Count Trend Pop % Count Trend Pop % Count Trend Pop %
885 Decrease 10.2% 98.88% 5 Decrease 83.3% 0.56% 0 Steady 0.0% 0.00% 5 Decrease 75.0% 0.56%
985 Decrease 15.4% 95.17% 30 Increase n/a% 2.90% 0 Steady 0.0% 0.00% 20 Increase n/a% 1.93%
1,165 Decrease 9.0% 100.00% 0 Steady 0.0% 0.00% 0 Steady 0.0% 0.00% 0 Steady 0.0% 0.00%
1,280 n/a 100.00% 0 n/a 0.00% 0 n/a 0.00% 0 n/a 0.00%

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Not including brooks, ponds or coves.


  1. ^ a b c Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (9 February 2022). "Profile table, Census Profile, 2021 Census of Population - Campobello Island, Rural community (RCR) [Census subdivision], New Brunswick". www12.statcan.gc.ca.
  2. ^ "Campobello Island". Lexico UK English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 29 August 2022.
  3. ^ "Campobello". Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  4. ^ "Campobello". Collins English Dictionary. HarperCollins. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  5. ^ "New Brunswick Regulation 84-168 under the Municipalities Act (O.C. 84-582)". Government of New Brunswick. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  6. ^ Community Profile: Campobello Parish, Charlotte County, New Brunswick Archived 19 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine; Statistics Canada.
  7. ^ "Communities in each of the 12 Regional Service Commissions (RSC) / Les communautés dans chacune des 12 Commissions de services régionaux (CSR)" (PDF), Government of New Brunswick, July 2017, retrieved 1 February 2021
  8. ^ Slumkoski, Corey (2005). "The Partition of Nova Scotia". The Winslow Papers. Electronic text centre (UNB Libraries). Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  9. ^ Ganong, William F. (1896). A Monograph of the Place-Nomenclature of the Province of New Brunswick. Royal Society of Canada. p. 224. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  10. ^ Jennifer Crump (26 July 2010). Canada Under Attack. Dundurn. p. 133. ISBN 9781459704879.
  11. ^ Buescher, John. "What Happened to the Fenians After 1866?" Teachinghistory.org, accessed 8 October 2011
  12. ^ Erika J. Waters (2010). Kittery to Bar Harbor: Touring Coastal Maine. Arcadia Publishing. p. 119. ISBN 9780738572819.
  13. ^ "43 Geo. III c. 4 An Act, in addition to an Act, intitled 'an Act for the better ascertaining and confirming the Boundaries of the several Counties within this Province, and for subdividing them into Towns and Parishes.'". Acts of the General Assembly of His Majesty's Province of New-Brunswick. Passed in the Year 1803. Saint John, New Brunswick: Government of New Brunswick. 1803. p. 479. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  14. ^ a b "Chapter 2 The Division of the Province into Counties, Towns, and Parishes.". The Consolidated Statutes of New Brunswick. Fredericton: Government of New Brunswick. 1877. pp. 56–85. Available as a free ebook from Google Books.
  15. ^ "13 Vic. c. 51 An Act to consolidate all the Laws now in force for the division of the Province into Counties, Towns and Parishes.". Acts of the General Assembly of Her Mjaesty's Province of New Brunswick, Passed in the Year 1850. Fredericton: Government of New Brunswick. 1850. pp. 142–152, 145–149. Retrieved 27 March 2021. Book was poorly proofread, resulting in title typo and reuse of page numbers 145–152.
  16. ^ "Chapter 1.". The Revised Statutes of New Brunswick Volume 1. Fredericton: Government of New Brunswick. 1854. pp. 2–19. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  17. ^ "59 Vic. c. 8 An Act to Revise and Codify an Act to Provide for the Division of the Province into Counties, Towns and Parishes.". Acts of the General Assembly of Her Majesty's Province of New Brunswick. Passed in the Month of March, 1896. Fredericton: Government of New Brunswick. 1896. pp. 86–123. Available as a free ebook from Google Books.
  18. ^ "Chapter 2. Respecting the Division of the Province into Counties, Towns, and Parishes.". The Consolidated Statutes of New Brunswick, 1903. Vol. I. Fredericton: Government of New Brunswick. 1903. pp. 17–54.
  19. ^ "Regulation 69–17 under the Municipalities Act (O. C. 69–161)". The Royal Gazette. 127. Fredericton: 149. 12 March 1969.
  20. ^ "St. Stephen – Milltown Ambulance Brigade". The New Brunswick Municipal Monthly. 25 (3). Fredericton, NB: Department of Municipal Affairs: 5. March 1969.
  21. ^ "Regulation 69–100 under the Municipalities Act (O. C. 69–1046)". The Royal Gazette. 127. Fredericton: 635. 29 October 1969.
  22. ^ New Brunswick Regulation 84-99.
  23. ^ New Brunswick Regulation 98-46.
  24. ^ "Regulation 2010-138 under the Municipalities Act (O. C. 2010-462)" (PDF). The Royal Gazette. 168. Fredericton: 2264–2267. 22 September 2010. ISSN 1714-9428.
  25. ^ "Regulation 2010-139 under the Municipalities Act (O. C. 2010-463)" (PDF). The Royal Gazette. 168. Fredericton: 2268. 22 September 2010. ISSN 1714-9428.
  26. ^ "Chapter I-13 Interpretation Act". Province of New Brunswick. Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  27. ^ Paul Karr (18 March 2005). Frommer'sMaine Coast. John Wiley & Sons. p. 248. ISBN 9780764595974.
  28. ^ O'Connor, Joe (23 January 2018). "The island Canada forgot: On Campobello, citizens are left exiles in their own land". Financial Post. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  29. ^ Sutherland, Marie (16 December 2021). "Campobello ferry to run all winter amid worsening COVID situation". CBC News. Retrieved 19 August 2022.
  30. ^ a b U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (1879). Atlantic Local Coast Pilot: Sub-division 1: Passamaquoddy Bay to Schoodic. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 15.
  31. ^ Richardson Clover (1891). Sailing Directions for Nova Scotia, Bay of Fundy, and South Shore of Gulf of St. Lawrence. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 29.
  32. ^ David Goss (2002). St. George and Its Neighbours. Arcadia Publishing. p. 91. ISBN 9780738511498.
  33. ^ "Canadian islanders angry over US mail searches". BBC. December 2019. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  34. ^ "On quiet Campobello Island, Canadians angered by US inspection of their mail". Boston Globe. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  35. ^ a b "Cut off by geography and COVID-19, this Canadian island is calling out for a link to the rest of Canada — to no avail". Toronto Star. 3 January 2021. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  36. ^ "Canada extends restrictions on U.S. travellers until January 21". Toronto Star. 21 December 2020. Retrieved 3 January 2021. The historic border closure between Canada and the U.S. will extend into the new year.
  37. ^ "Campobello ferry service extended to January". CBC News. 11 December 2020. Retrieved 3 January 2021. The ferry, privately owned ... typically runs from late June to September. It connects Campobello Island to Deer Island, where people can take a year-round ferry to mainland New Brunswick.
  38. ^ a b c d "No. 166". Provincial Archives of New Brunswick. Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development. Retrieved 5 July 2021. Remainder of parish on maps 108, 117, 118, 129, and 130 at same site.
  39. ^ a b c d "501" (PDF). Transportation and Infrastructure. Government of New Brunswick. Retrieved 5 July 2021. Remainder of parish on mapbook 503 at same site.
  40. ^ a b c d "Search the Canadian Geographical Names Database (CGNDB)". Government of Canada. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  41. ^ "New Brunswick Regulation 2017-46 under the Parks Act (O.C. 2017-293)" (PDF). The Royal Gazette. 175. Fredericton: Queen's Printer: 1496–1497. 13 December 2017. ISSN 1714-9428. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  42. ^ "Population and dwelling counts: Canada, provinces and territories, census divisions and census subdivisions (municipalities), New Brunswick". Statistics Canada. 9 February 2022. Retrieved 21 February 2022.
  43. ^ "2021 Community Profiles". 2021 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. 4 February 2022. Retrieved 19 October 2023.
  44. ^ "2016 Community Profiles". 2016 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. 12 August 2021. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  45. ^ "2011 Community Profiles". 2011 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. 21 March 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  46. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". 2006 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. 20 August 2019.
  47. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". 2001 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. 18 July 2021.
  48. ^ a b Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 census
  49. ^ "Census Profile, 2016 Census: Campobello Island, Rural community [Census subdivision]". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 26 August 2019.

External links[edit]