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Deer Isle, Maine
"Welcome To Our Beautiful Island"
Little Deer Isle
North Deer Isle
South Deer Isle
|• Total||123.67 sq mi (320.30 km2)|
|• Land||29.72 sq mi (76.97 km2)|
|• Water||93.95 sq mi (243.33 km2)|
|Elevation||0 ft (0 m)|
|• Density||74/sq mi (28.5/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0582437|
Deer Isle is a town in Hancock County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,194 at the 2020 census. Notable landmarks in Deer Isle are the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Stonington Opera House, and the town's many art galleries.
The town was incorporated in 1789, at which time it included the islands of Little Deer Isle, Deer Isle, and Isle au Haut. Deer were abundant on these islands, hence the name. In 1868 Isle au Haut became a separate town. In 1897, the southern third of Deer Isle incorporated as the town of Stonington.
In the 19th century, the granite industry flourished on Deer Isle where its quarries supplied granite for structures such as the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Smithsonian Institution, the US Naval Academy, the Manhattan Bridge and at President John F. Kennedy's tomb at Arlington National Cemetery.
In John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley, Deer Isle was a stopping point for the author after the insistence of his literary agent that he visit the cottage of Eleanor Brace, at Dunham's Point. Steinbeck wrote, "One doesn't have to be sensitive to feel the strangeness of Deer Isle".
It was Deer Isle that musician Dan Fogelberg and his wife Jean chose for their final home, and where he died in 2007. This isle was the home town of the dock that was the inspiration for the painter Fairfield Porter. Many small private islands can be found in the waters surrounding Deer Isle. Cabot Lyford, a Maine sculptor, used seven tons of Deer Isle granite to carve one of his best known pieces, "Life Force." "Life Force," which depicts dolphins jumping from the water, stands outside the Regency Hotel in Portland, Maine.
The town of Deer Isle is one of two communities on the island of Deer Isle, the other being Stonington. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 123.67 square miles (320.30 km2), of which 29.72 square miles (76.97 km2) is land and 93.95 square miles (243.33 km2) is water.
Deer Isle is separated from the mainland by Eggemoggin Reach and may be reached by car via a narrow 1939 suspension bridge bearing the island's name.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,975 people, 929 households, and 533 families living in the town. The population density was 66.5 inhabitants per square mile (25.7/km2). There were 1,936 housing units at an average density of 65.1 per square mile (25.1/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.1% White, 0.2% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.2% Asian, and 1.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.5% of the population.
There were 929 households, of which 20.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.5% were married couples living together, 5.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.6% were non-families. 35.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 21.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.05 and the average family size was 2.61.
The median age in the town was 51.6 years. 16.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 18% were from 25 to 44; 30.8% were from 45 to 64; and 28.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 46.9% male and 53.1% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,876 people, 781 households, and 523 families living in the town. The population density was 63.2 inhabitants per square mile (24.4/km2). There were 1,575 housing units at an average density of 53.0 per square mile (20.5/km2), and the racial makeup of the town was 98.61% White; 0.16% African American; 0.11% Native American; 0.21% Asian; and 0.91% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.37% of the population.
There were 781 households, of which 29.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.0% were married couples living together, 5.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 28.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.82.
In the town, the population was spread out, with 22.5% of the population under the age of 18, 4.9% from 18 to 24, 23.6% from 25 to 44, 26.5% from 45 to 64, and 22.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.5 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $32,826, and the median income for a family was $40,714. Males had a median income of $27,008 versus $19,052 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,875. About 5.9% of families and 8.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.8% of those under age 18 and 11.8% of those age 65 or over.
- Gerald Warner Brace (1901–1978), writer, professor, sailor and boat builder
- Dan Fogelberg (1951–2007), singer and songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist
- Buckminster Fuller (1895–1983), architect and inventor
- Robert McCloskey (1914–2003), author and illustrator of children's books
- Francis Sumner Merritt (1913–2000), painter, co-founder and first director of Haystack Mountain School of Crafts
- Frederick Law Olmsted (1822–1903), early urban planner and landscape architect
- Ronald Hayes Pearson (1924–1996) was an American designer, jeweler, and metalsmith
- Thomas E. Ricks (born 1955), Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist and author who specializes in the military and national security issues
- Anica Mrose Rissi, author and writer brought up in Deer Isle
- Salome Sellers (1800–1909), last known and documented living person born in the 18th century
- Cynthia Voigt (born 1942), young adults book author
- John Steinbeck describes his visit to Deer Isle in the 1962 novel, Travels with Charley.
- Deer Isle is mentioned in Part II, Chapter 8, of Don DeLillo's 1977 novel entitled Players.
- Deer Isle also was used in Ken Burns' documentary The Civil War as a metaphorical microcosm of a typical Union township during the war. Its Confederate counterpart was the town of Clarksville, Tennessee. Throughout the series, the two towns are used to show both the similarities and the differences of everyday life during the years of civil war. The series mentions that fishing decreased during the war as men went off to fight in the war, while women saved lint and other strategic materials, and that soldiers' relatives were afraid to go to the local post office where casualty lists were posted.
- Deer Isle was used a filming location in the 1993 film The Man Without a Face as the fictional town of Cranesport, Maine.
- A fictional version of Deer Isle was created as a playable map modification for the zombie survival game DayZ.
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
- "Census - Geography Profile: Deer Isle town, Hancock County, Maine". Retrieved January 18, 2022.
- Coolidge, Austin J.; John B. Mansfield (1859). A History and Description of New England. Boston, Massachusetts: A.J. Coolidge. pp. 103–104.
coolidge mansfield history description new england 1859.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 102.
- Maine League of Historical Societies and Museums (1970). Doris A. Isaacson (ed.). Maine: A Guide 'Down East'. Rockland, Me: Courier-Gazette, Inc. pp. 347–349.
- Varney, George J. (1886), Gazetteer of the state of Maine. Deer Isle, Boston: Russell
- John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America, Part Two, 1962
- Keyes, Bob (January 23, 2016). "Maine sculptor Cabot Lyford dies at 90". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- "Snapshot: Deer Isle". Smithsonian Magazine. May 17, 2008. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
- "Ronald Hayes Pearson". Smithsonian American Art Museum. Archived from the original on September 29, 2017. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
- "A Girl's Best Friend" (PDF). Ellsworth American. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
- "Award-winning author Cynthia Voigt reflects on her career". The Ellsworth American. December 28, 2015. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
- Town of Deer Isle, Maine
- Chase Emerson Memorial Library
- Deer Isle – Stonington Chamber of Commerce
- Maine's Hidden Treasure, a photo-essay by Thomas R. & Deborah A. Fletcher
- The Island Ad-Vantages, a local newspaper
- Island Heritage Trust, a local land trust
- Aerial photograph of Deer Isle, ca. 1935, from the Maine Memory Network