Vinalhaven Maine Photos
Vinalhaven, the largest of the main islands in Penobscot Bay, is located just 12 miles out of Rockland, Maine.
Vinalhaven Maine - the largest of the main islands in Penobscot Bay is located just 12 miles out of Rockland
Vinalhaven is a scenic island community that is located about 12 miles off the coast of Maine near Rockland, Maine. The town has a year-round population of over 1,300 inhabitants that swells to between 5,000 and 6,000 people during the summer months. Its main industry is lobster fishing and it holds the rights to the largest fishing area in Penobscot Bay. There are also ten major fishing grounds around the island that for centuries have been relied on by local fisherman to yield lobster, cod, cusk, haddock, and pollock. It has been a major supplier of seafood to Portland, Boston, and New York. Vinalhaven provides lobster not only to the United States but to other parts of the world as well.
Settlers from Massachusetts first arrived in 1765, led by Thaddeus Carver. He purchased 700 acres of property on South Island which later became known as Carver’s Harbor. Other families followed suit, like those of Arey, Calderwood, Carver, Coombs, Dyer, Ginn, Greem, Hopkins, Lane, Leadbetter, Norton, Philbrook, Pierce, Robert, Smith, Warren and Vinal. Vinalhaven was incorporated as a town on June 25, 1789.
In 1826, granite of high quality was discovered in Vinalhaven and it became a major granite quarrying center. The town supplied granite for numerous houses and buildings all over the country, like the Church of St. John the Devine and the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, the Washington Monument, the Pennsylvania Railroad Station, Philadelphia’s Masonic Temple, as well as streets, bridges, and dams in the United States. At present, the island has a lot of abandoned granite quarries that now serve as popular swimming and sunbathing areas for both residents and tourists. Two of these are Lawson's quarry on North Haven Road, and Booth's Quarry on Pequot Road. They do not have lifeguards on site and pets are not allowed.
Vinalhaven, Maine is also known for its summer colony. Wealthy people from Boston, New York, and Philadelphia populate the community. The island town is only accessible by an hour and fifteen-minute ferry ride from Rockland serviced by the Maine State Ferry Service daily or an air taxi from the Knox County Regional Airport in Owls Head provided by Penobscot Island Air. Tourists can enjoy numerous activities available on the island, such as exploring, hiking, fishing, canoeing, and sailing. Vinalhaven is still considerably remote and tourists will have to travel to nearby Rockland for shopping, fine dining, and art galleries.
Vinalhaven, Maine has two nature preserves, the Lane’s Island Preserve and the The Vinalhaven-North Haven Archipelago. Lane’s Island is a 43-acre protected area connected to the island town by a stone causeway while Big Garden, Big White, Sheep, Smith, Brimstone and Little Brimstone are the six islands that comprise the Vinalhaven-North Haven Archipelago.
The town also has lovely parks that residents and tourists alike enjoy. Most of them are within walking distance from the ferry dock. Grimes Park is one of them, a nice place to have a picnic, watch the ferry activities, and the sunset. Armbrust Hill has short trails one can take especially with children because of the Owen Webster memorial playground found in the park. Other trails will lead to Trolley Cliff for good views of the harbor or to a natural amphitheater.
Photos by Matt Gallivan. We would like to thank Matt Gallivan for granting us permission to use his images of Vinalhaven. You can view more images of Vinalhaven and Maine by visitng Matt's Flickr page.