Welcome to Matinicus Island, Maine’s Most Remote Inhabited Village
One of Maine's finer characteristics is its remoteness. Even if you live in a populated area like Portland or Bangor, it's only a short drive to find peace, quiet, and serenity. Heck, I live 25 minutes from Portland and it seems like a different world. I wouldn't want it any other way.
Now imagine living somewhere where it takes a two-hour ferry ride to get there. That's what residents do, who live on the most remote year-round inhabited island on the East Coast. Welcome to Matinicus Island, Maine.
The remote island lies 22 miles off the coast of Maine. The only way in and out is by a two-hour ferry ride, private boat, or even by plane. The island does boast a small airstrip. The water is known for being relatively rough, so it's usually a "fun" ride out.
Matinicus Island is inhabited by just 53 year-round residents. It's a 23% drop from the 2010 Census. The majority of the residents are fishermen and lobstermen, which is easy to understand because, well, it's an island 20 miles off the coast.
Like any small island community, the residents are known to be very tight-knit. It's not like you are going to be a stranger on a small island of 50 people.
Being that remote means the residents have a hand in just about everything. This includes being first responders. Matinicus Islanders have rescued distressed sailors numerous times. However, an event in 2011 gave the island serious attention.
A small plane went down close to the island. Fortunately, another pilot spotted the wreckage in the water. He called 911 and the fishermen Calvary headed out to rescue the befallen. There was tremendous teamwork between the pilot spotting and the fishermen heading to the rescue, and all four occupants were saved.
This isn't the only time Matinicus has been in the news lately. There was also a more notorious story involving two lobstermen in 2009. Sadly, one lobsterman shot another in the neck, in what the police essentially called a turf war. The aftershock of the incident was written up by Yankee Magazine.
Summer does bring short-timers to the island, making it like any other coastal town. However, the small island footprint (700 acres) and its long distance from the mainland keeps the number relatively small.
Matinicus Island is a true Maine gem. The beauty of Maine's coastal and island living mixed with its unique history puts Matinicus Island in a class by itself. I must say, I would love to visit...maybe even set up a radio station there. Who knows?