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Explore Malaga Island Preserve

An historic Maine settlement

June 24, 2017 - 10:00 am-1:00 pm

Departing from (or event address): Sebasco Harbor Resort pier, 29 Kenyon Road, Sebasco Estates

Link to Google Map

Cost: $15 MCHT Donors // $30 General Public, Lunch is included

This trip is full

If you'd like to be added to the waiting list, please contact us at events@mcht.org or call (207) 729-7366.

Beautiful and wild today, Malaga Island was the backdrop for one of the more regrettable events in Maine’s history over a century ago. UMaine professor and historian Allison Hepler will join MCHT regional steward Caitlin Gerber to take us on a guided tour of this historically significant and beautiful island preserve, just a 10-minute boat ride off Phippsburg, at the mouth of the New Meadows River in Casco Bay.

The 42-acre island was once home to a community of black, white, and mixed-race fishermen and their families who occupied the north end of the island from the mid-1860s until 1912. Giving in to pressure for recreational development on the coast and increasingly hostile views towards non-whites and the poor, the state of Maine forcibly evicted the roughly 40 residents, institutionalizing nine of them and leaving several others homeless.

During this tour, we’ll explore the subtle remnants of this community and talk about the broader social, economic, and political context in which this tragedy occurred.

Now managed as a public preserve, Malaga Island offers visitors the opportunity to explore this beautiful near-shore island with sweeping views of eastern Casco Bay, in addition to learning about this site of great historical importance. Included on the Maine Freedom Trail, the island is also used by local lobstermen, some of whom are descended from the original inhabitants, for winter trap storage.

We’ll meet at the Sebasco Harbor Resort dock in Phippsburg for a short boat ride to the island. After a guided tour of the remains of the settlement on the north end of the island, we will provide a picnic lunch and some time to explore the island on your own.

What to Expect:

Come prepared for the elements and conditions being out on the water for the day. It is colder on the water – extra layers are strongly recommended. At the island, we’ll be shuttling ashore in a dinghy. Participants must be agile enough to climb from the boat into the dinghy, and from the dinghy onto the beach as there is no dock. Please wear footwear that can get wet getting on and off the boat (boots, watershoes, Teva-style sandals, etc.).

Note: though greatly diminished in recent years due to intense management efforts, poison ivy is still present on the island. If you wear sandals like Tevas or Chacos, be prepared to stay close to the trail!

Questions?

Please contact us at events@mcht.org or call (207) 729-7366

Learn more about this MCHT preserve.

Cancellation policy and weather

We want you to have the best possible experience on this trip!

  • If we have to cancel due to weather, you will be contacted by email and issued a full refund.
  • If your plans change, you must cancel at least 48 hours before departure time to qualify for a refund, and to make room for others.
  • Last minute cancellations and no-shows will not be issued a refund.