Yesterday we travelled from Saint Andrews to Fredericton in New Brunswick by a rather circuitous route. It is only 130km by the most direct route but we decided to go via 2 islands and another country and arrived 9 hours after leaving Saint Andrews. But what a fun trip we had.
A short drive to Back Bay to catch the ferry to Deer Island. There are literally dozens of islands in every bay so you are never far from land. It was a beautiful day to be out on the water.
An identical ferry passed us making the trip in the opposite direction.
We drove the length of Deer Island (about 15 km) to reach out next ferry which would take us to Campobello Island. This little vessel holds about 20 vehicles and is powered by a tugboat which is attached to the side of the barge – a most interesting concept. I probably would not have realised how it worked except that I was speaking to an elderly local man while we were waiting in the queue and he alerted me to it.
Here is the view as we started to move away from the dock.
Then the tug swings out at right angles on the pivot arm.
And finally, it tucks in at the other end of the barge as we move forwards toward Campobello Island. The deckhand lashes the tug to the capstan on the barge to keep it in place during the journey. Fascinating!
The lure of Campobello Island was that although it is part of Canada, the southern end of the island is Roosevelt Campobello International Park which preserves the house and surrounding landscape of the family summer retreat of Franklin D. Roosevelt and his family. This area is jointly managed by the US and Canadian Governments.
The visitor centre houses a small theatre where you can view a short film on the life of Franklin D Roosevelt and the influence of his childhood summers on the island.
Then is was off to visit the summer house of Franklin and Eleanor. There are guides located at intervals throughout the house to complete the story and answer any questions.
The expansive parkland surrounds contain numerous information boards about Campobello Island as a summer destination during the latter part of the 1800’s until about 1930.
There are also several other houses preserved in the park, including this one which is known as the Hubbard House. They were neighbours and became friends with the Roosevelt family.
Whilst the exterior of the house does not look particularly special, the interior is architecturally stunning.
The rooms are perfectly proportioned and finished. It is impossible to describe the oval picture window. The photo does not do it justice but it is like nothing I have ever seen before.
By comparison, the Roosevelt home looks barn-like from the outside and despite the 18 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms the interior is relatively utilitarian.
As an added bonus, there is no admission cost at all.
It was then a short hop across the bridge to the USA border at Lubec and a 10km drive to the West Quoddy Lighthouse. This lighthouse marks the easternmost point of the mainland USA.
Even as we arrived in the early afternoon the fog was rolling in and the foghorn began to sound. It is not difficult to imagine the challenges of mariners in years gone by.
We completed the loop by heading north to the international border where we crossed back into Canada and on to Fredericton for the next couple of nights.