Monhegan Island Maine is located in Lincoln County. Prior to the settlement of the Plymouth County, Monhegan Island Maine served as a British fishing camp which was established by Captain John Smith. The British would harvest the codfish from the Gulf of Maine. They would then dry the fish before shipping them off to Europe. Today, fishing still plays an integral part in the economy of Monhegan Island Maine. In fact, Monhegan Maine is home to the only lobster conservation area in the entire state.
In 1858, the first artist arrived in Monhegan Maine. His name was Aaron Draper Shattuck. In a letter dated June 13, 1858, he described the island:
“Monhegan Island has some wonderful things about it, lots of beautiful coves and grand cliffs rising high out of the sea. The surf was dashing terribly on the Eastern shore and throwing its spray like rain upon the rocks.”
Over the next 30 years, Monhegan Maine would become a major artist’s colony. Artists such as Milton J. Burns, William Edward Norton, and Otis S. Weber came to visit, so that they could capture the beauty of Monhegan, Maine on their canvases. In the late 1880s, the first boarding house opened, which attracted even more talented artists. Eventually, many prominent figures in the art world such as Andrew Wyeth, Rockwell Kent, Edward Hopper, N.C. Wyeth and Jamie Wyeth became permanent residents of Monhegan Maine. In 1914, a major art exhibition was held on the island. Today, the tradition continues. For the past 15 years, there has been an artist’s residency program on the island, sponsored by the Carina House.
Most of the rentals on Monhegan are in beautiful, cottage-type dwellings. The majority of these rentals on Monhegan offer breathtaking views of the lighthouse, the ocean, or the famous flowered meadows of Monhegan. The bed and breakfast rentals on Monhegan Island provide short term lodging in private homes. In general, they have six rooms or less. The inns bear similarity to hotels, but they are smaller in capacity. They usually have more than six rooms, but typically less than 20.
If you want to explore Monhegan’s early history as a fishing village, pay a friendly visit to the lobster cove. The lobster cove is one of the more popular bird watching destinations in Maine. Many people come to the lobster cove to see the wreck of the D.T Sheridan. Warning! Locals warn visitors to avoid swimming in the lobster cove! The surf is very rough, and you can be pulled out to sea!