From Lubec, ME To Campobello Canada
Lubec, ME is located on a peninsula overlooking an excellent ice-free harbor, the town was first settled about 1775. Fun fact – in 1897 Reverend Prescott Jernegan and Charles Fisher from Martha’s Vineyard claimed to have developed a method of using “accumulators” to get gold from sea water. The scheme attracted investors who funneled money into the company after being promised astronomical returns. In the summer of 1898, work was suspended and Jernegan and Smith vanished. Their great great grand-children invented “Bitcoin’s” – kidding.
High tide and low tide still mesmerize me. It’s so weird. Our campsite (Sunset Point) was on a bay, and the tide here is very evident. The unique costal topography creates a dramatic rise and fall of ocean water, and to think it happens twice a day, everyday. We also visited a lighthouse accessible only during low tide. The water will rise 23 feet, then retreat. None of the ten thousand lakes in Minnesota ever did that.
From our campsite we drove three miles to Roosevelt Campobello International Park, on Campobello Island. Crossing the bridge and entering Canada was a learning experience. Did you know pepper spray is considered a weapon? Our two options were confiscation with no return, or take it to our camper. We drove the three miles back and got rid of our weaponry.
Returning back to the U.S., a boarder guard questioned me about firewood. “So you do have firewood. Is there any problem opening the tail gate?” “Sure I can do that.” “Would you mind rolling back the tonneau cover?” “Sure I can do that.” Together we carefully read the firewood bundle label, “Yep, there it is, Kiln Dried.” He needed to confirm I wasn’t smuggling a $5.00 bundle of contraband across the border. Just doin’ his job.
I Like Eleanor, I Like Eleanor A Lot
I had never been to a tea party. Twice a day at the Roosevelt Campobello International Park there is an opportunity to attend, “Tea with Eleanor.” Anna, our hostess, told of Eleanor’s childhood and how her mother told Eleanor she was homely, and that she better learn how to cook. That’s the only way you will ever get married. Eleanor was never encouraged. When sent off to boarding school a letter accompanied Eleanor stating, “My child is shy, does not participate, she is not out going, she is very quiet, and she has no friends.” The lady at the boarding school took Eleanor under her wing. The letter made no mention of how smart Eleanor was. The one-hour tea was a fascinating chapter in history. For instance Eleanor logged 45,000 miles traveling about getting the true pulse of America, and then reporting back to Franklyn Delano.
Of the many Eleanor stories told, this was my favorite. A friend had told Eleanor of the double standard being subjected upon the newly formed all black military pilots being trained near Tuskegee, Alabama. Eleanor wanted to see for herself what this was all about. The base commander had an experienced nice looking white pilot for flying the First Lady in a fighter plane. The Tuskegee pilots were told they would not be taking Eleanor up in a plane. As Eleanor did her parade inspection of the pilots she suddenly stopped, and asked an African American pilot if he would fly her about. The president’s wife gets what she wants. Upon landing she simply said, “You fly really well. Thank you.”
My second favorite Eleanor story is when she visited another military setting and upon arrival she was met by a general who basically said, “I have no time to take care of a woman, I don’t care who she is. I have men dying all around me.” During her visit, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt visited with the young men, took down their names and address’s of loved ones back home. Once back at home, maybe even from the summer retreat cabin Deb and I visited, she personally wrote letters of encouragement to the men’s families, “I held your sons hand during my visit, and he told me how much he misses home.” Upon departure from the military compound the General gave Eleanor a huge hug and stated, “She did more for morale than he ever could have.”
Tea With Eleanor
After Tea with Eleanor we toured the Roosevelt summerhouse and the Hubbard Cottage. Campobello Island was developed by a group of American businessmen. They purchased the island and built four large luxurious hotels in 1881. James and Sara Roosevelt, Franklin’s parents enjoyed their time so much so they purchased land in 1883, on which to build a summerhouse. Mr. Hubbard was a very successful real estate developer from Chicago and his cottage was the envy of many. He liked keeping things modern, and was always upgrading the cottage. The oval window in the main room was imported from France. Eleanor didn’t want electricity installed in their summerhouse. This being so; kerosene lanterns provided the only light at night. Franklin didn’t like the idea of people walking around at night carrying lamps, so he had commodes installed in each of the bedrooms.