Resources for The Island
The Island introduces readers to life along the Maine coast in the 1850’s.
Author and educator David Jones has gathered the following teaching resources to help readers learn more about Maine, Matinicus Island, and seafaring. We try to keep this information up to date, so please let us know if anything is amiss.
The Penobscot Nation
There are many rich resources on the history of the Penobscot Nation, including the tribe’s Official Website and the Penobscot National Museum. To find out more about the Penobscot’s initial encounters with Europeans, check out The Wabanakis of Maine and the Maritimes, compiled and published by the American Friends Service Committee.
Matinicus Island and Matinicus Rock
- The Wikipedia entry on Matinicus Island also has a separate section on Matinicus Rock.
- The official site for Matinicus Isle Plantation has links to the well-organized governmental, departmental, and committee structures that manage the island, along with a section on background information about modern-day Matinicus.
- The website matinicusexcursions.com, run by passenger boat captain George Tarkleson (who also serves in several leadership roles on the island) contains links to a variety of useful sites including accommodations and weather. This site is updated frequently.
Eva Murray's Books about Life on Matinicus
You can do no better than reading any of Eva Murray’s books to get a true flavor of life on Matinicus. Three of her works stand out, all published by Tilbury House, Publishers, Thomaston, Maine.
- Well Out to Sea (2010), a collection of her essays published in various Maine newspapers and magazines between 2001 and 2010, all having to do with year-round island life in that decade.
- Island Schoolhouse—One Room for All (2012), describing Maine’s many one-room schools as of 2012, most of which were on islands. There is a good deal about Matinicus, where Ms. Murray herself taught.
- Island Birthday (2015), is a children’s book written by Murray and illustrated by Jamie Hogan of Peak’s Island. The text focuses on the reality of island logistics, bad weather, and how when life gets stressful, it is always helpful to have friends. This book won the Maine Library Association’s Lupine Award for excellence.
Additional Reading about Matinicus
Supporting Sustainable Living on the Islands
- Learn about The Maine Seacoast Mission, a 115+ year old organization dedicated to supporting individuals and communities on Maine’s unbridged islands and throughout the isolated sections of the state’s eastern coast. The Mission offers healthcare, education, basic necessities and spiritual support through a variety of methods.
- Based in Rockland, The Island Institute works to build sustainability in Maine’s island and coastal communities, through support of Maine’s marine livelihood and small businesses.
Cruising and Birding in Maine
- A Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast: Penobscot Bay is the go-to source for all things nautical when sailing or pleasure cruising in the region of Matinicus Island.
- For a wonderful description of the many residential and migratory birds that can be seen on Matinicus, check out Liz and Jan Pierson’s very detailed Birder’s Guide to Matinicus Island.