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Historical Materials: Maine Locales & Buildings

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Negro (Curtis) Island, Camden Harbor

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Curtis Island is located a short distance from Camden Harbor in Penobscot Bay. The island was known as Negro Island, from Revolutionary times to the 1930s, and in the early part of the nineteenth century as Mark Island. Abraham Ogier, in a deposition submitted in 1832, claimed that he had pastured hogs on the island and planted potatoes as early as 1773, and that he was driven off by the British in 1779. His grandson Lewis pastured sheep here for 40 years. The island was sold to the US government for a light station for $400 in 1835, and the Negro Island Light was established by an appropriation of $4500 in 1836. M.K.M. Bowers was the light keeper when Lane portrayed the island at dawn. The island was renamed Curtis Island in 1934 after Cyrus H.K. Curtis, publisher of the "Saturday Evening Post," a longtime summer resident and benefactor of Camden.

– Mark Honey


McLane, Charles B, and McLane, Carol Evarts, "Islands of the Mid-Maine Coast," Penobscot Bay, Volume 1, Revised Edition, Tilbury House, Publishers, Gardiner, Maine, and the Island Institute, Rockland, Maine, page 124.

Related tables: Camden, Maine – Negro (Curtis) Island Light »

photo (historical)
Curtis Island Light
N. L. Stebbins

From book "The Illustrated Coast Pilot with Sailing Directions. The Coast of New England from New York to Eastport, Maine including Bays and Harbors." Published by N.L. Stebbins, Boston, Mass. 1891

photo (historical)
The first Curtis Island Lighthouse
National Archives
Citation: "Maine Locales & Buildings." Fitz Henry Lane Online. Cape Ann Museum.§ion=Negro+%28Curtis%29+Island%2C+Camden+Harbor (accessed July 24, 2024).
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