Wanna go on a two hour drive with us today, over to Campobello Island? What's there, you ask? The beautiful home of the late U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife and Eleanor. The island is famous for its beauty. Roosevelt's summer home has been preserved with almost all original furnishings and artifacts and is an international park jointly run by Canada and the U.S. It's located on the Bay of Fundy. The island is a wonderful place of forests, coastline, beaches, whales, porpoises, salt marshes and bogs and it's FREE! But you have to have your passport. We passed easily from the U.S. to Canada and back without any problems. You can't have purchased anything major, there's a dollar amount of which we are not sure of (400.00?) where you have to declare and show what you've purchased if you are over that. Fresh food items like fruits and vegetables are NOT allowed from Canada coming back into the U.S. They also ask if you have any tobacco or firearms. We didn't so we passed on through. It feels like a test when you are going through! There are lots of horror stories out there what it's like to go through the border in a motorhome. So in the car was a lot easier, apparently, although some guy on a motorcycle had to throw away a BUNCH of stuff when he went through coming back into the U.S.
It's a bit of a drive from Bar Harbor. The literature says 2 hours, but it's a little more than that. Well worth it, in our opinion..it's the Schoodic Scenic Byway, highway 1, all the way to the northernmost point of the U.S. After crossing the border, the international park is very near. We pulled into the parking lot and saw the beautiful grounds and the cottage and were so impressed!
After we wandered around the visitor's center, we headed out the back door to walk down the path to the cottage. A couple was coming our way, and the woman said, "Sparky and Eldo! You must be Sparky and Eldo of Where's Eldo?" Why, yes, that's right! We were SHOCKED that somebody recognized us! The couple started talking to us, and we found out they have been following our blog ever since we started! How about that?! Mike and Susan Wilhoit, of Melbourne, FL, nice to have met you! It was great chatting with them about traveling, where they had been lately, where they were going, and had they seen any moose? Yes, they had, but mostly in Canada. Sparky is now planning a trip to Canada. Maybe we will head back through Canada on our way to Michigan! (Maybe....says E. Not sure yet....) We were just totally shocked and so pleased that somebody recognized us and said hello. That's the first time it has ever happened to us, and it was fun to meet them! Great people, they were.
On to the "cottage", er, mansion. It was built in 1897. They call it a cottage, but it has 18 bedrooms, 7 fireplaces, and 6 bathrooms! Roosevelt and his family spent summers in the cottage from 1909-1921.
Inside the cottage, there was no electricity or phone. They used kerosene lamps and candles for light. A lot of work went into polishing lamps every day, filling the lanterns, trimming the wicks. They also had several servants to help run the cottage along with several island residents hired to help with daily chores. Every summer, the Roosevelts brought along a nurse and teacher to tutor the children. Sparky loved the little classroom on the second floor.
Running water for cooking, bathing, and cleaning was gravity fed through the cottage from storage tanks on the third floor. A single cylinder gas engine pumped water from the well to the holding tank on the tower. Gravity carried the water from the tower to inside storage tanks. Heat was provided by the seven fireplaces and the kitchen stove as well. It was interesting to see the old, large white enamel coal and wood burning stove. It's a coincidence that the model name of the big enamel stove is the "PRESIDENT".
We really enjoyed hearing and learning about F.D.R.'s life and presidency. There are many photos, artifacts, and a short video there at the beautiful visitor's center in front of the Roosevelt's summer home. He was a remarkable president and accomplished many great things for our country, despite being stricken with polio at the age of 39. His wife, Eleanor was an amazing woman ahead of her time and was a model for future First Wives. She was quite a woman in her own right as well. F.D.R. died of a massive cerebral stroke at the age of 63.
There is a beautiful park across the street from the visitor's center. We did not visit the gardens there, but decided to go further into the island to see the beautiful lighthouse at Head Harbor, the very northern tip of the island. The entire island is about 10 miles long, so it doesn't take time to explore. There are lots of picnic areas and observation points along the way.
The East Quoddy Lighthouse Lighthouse at Head Harbor is one of the prettiest lighthouses we have seen. It's being refurbished with new viewing decks, a fresh coat of paint. It's quite the climb down STEEP ladders, across slippery, algae, seaweed covered rocks on a very narrow path, across boulders and up another steep ladder to get to the lighthouse, three steep ladders in all. It's 10.00 a person to take the lighthouse tour and climb to the light tower. We didn't do that. We just enjoyed walking around the grounds and talking to a couple who were watching whales WA-A-A-Y out with a set of binoculars. They did see two, but we couldn't see them.
On the drive back from the lighthouse, just a mile down the road, we saw buoys for sale, 10 bucks a piece! Sounds like a bargain, but we didn't buy any to hang on the motorhome....(whew! says E. Just another thing we don't need!) But they sure are cool!
It was a beautiful day once again....Loved the lighthouse, LOVED meeting some of our readers, and loved the drive on Highway 1, the Schoodic Scenic Byway all the way to the end of Maine. We've been to both ends of highway 1, the most southern point in the Florida Keys, and the most northern point in Maine. And Sparky got to see just a tiny bit of Canada, something she has always wanted to do, with her mom being born and raised in Winnipeg. A great day full of memories...wouldn't trade this lifestyle for a house in a suburb anywhere.....at least not for a long time.....(Glad to hear that, says E. :-) Bye for now......
|Mulholland Lighthouse, just over the border bridge in Canada|
If you haven't been to the Roosevelt home in Hyde Park, NY I would urge you to see it. I was impressed that it didn't look like a mansion in the Vanderbilt sense of the word. The Roosevelts lived comfortably in their home and it looked so livable to me even now. I've always admired the Roosevelts, but now I have a glimpse of how admirable they really were. I'd like to see Campobello the next time I'm in the northeast.ReplyDelete
OK wait. You were on Campobello Island, and you didn't swing around to see Peter and Beatrix?ReplyDelete
We are not familiar with their blog. Sorry we missed them, but we will definitely check out their blog. Thanks for the link.Delete
That cottage was so beautiful it looked more like a beautiful painting. I don't know if your photography has gotten better after your class or you're just in such beautiful places. Gorgeous pictures.ReplyDelete
Photography isn't getting any better...just was an exceptional day with the lighting, blue skies and bright colors, but thanks! I did change my little point and shoot from a Pansonic Lumix DS8, which somehow has a lens scratch or flaw on it that I can't seem to get rid of, to a Nikon Cool Pix S9100 point and shoot. I like it a lot better!Delete
This looks like such a wonderful place to visit and like Bob said too bad you did not visit with Peter and Beatrix, (http://american-traveler.blogspot.ca/ ) fellow Bloggers that live on the Island. We met them in southern California. If you travel thru Canada to Michigan you just might run into us in Southern Ontario. It is a small world you know.ReplyDelete
Travel safe and enjoy!
Oh you are bringing back memories, that is such a beautiful place. We were there in 2003, great pictures.ReplyDelete
ooooo. . .that is a beautiful place. . .love, love, love the lighthouse.ReplyDelete
If you have time to research the Bay of Fundy. . .it is a phenomenal natural wonder. . .especially as you get up into Nova Scotia. . .I would love to take the RV back up there. . .loving your trip!
There you are in another place I really wanted to see. Love the Blueberry hut. I too think your pictures are even better. The composition is really nice. Sure wish I could have been there to take advantage of those free photography classes. Do they do that every year?? Ahhhhhh summer in Maine and Nova Scotia. Sounds SO nice.ReplyDelete
The photography class is a ranger led class, and I think they do it every year. It's offered every Friday. Bob Thayer, the author, was a real treat to walk around with...the class was mostly about composition and "telling a story" with your photos. Not technical at all, and people of all ages with all kinds of cameras were there.Delete
Thanks for a beautiful tour of Campobello Island and a nice look inside the Roosevelt family "cottage"!!ReplyDelete
Glad you were able to get in and out of Canada without any problems. Crossing the border back and forth, despite the mostly rare hassles, is usually uneventful - like you say, just a few questions. Coming into Canada the big one is always guns! Never, ever try to bring one in, you'll be caught and could end up in jail.
No worries on that one. I'm more worried about my fruits and vegetables and BOOZE if we try to come through in the motorhome. Guess you have to throw all that stuff out? Even if it's in the fridge?Delete
WOW, This is fun following you two around by word and photos !!!!!! What a trip you are having ....... You sure gained a lot of steam after your summer grandchildren and new baby tasks were completed !!!!! Keepon keep'in on.....
thank you for the kind words. We sure did gain steam after a little R & R after the grandkids. Thanks for reading.Delete