Serenity describes this park that’s tucked away in Penobscot Bay where visitors use their own boat to access the island. The park is designed for the boating public, and there is no public ferry transportation to the island. No phones are available on the island ensuring a Robinson Crusoe-esque experience. Campers choose from one of the 10 campsites or the two Adirondack shelters for accommodations. A trip to Warren Island is guaranteed to create memories that will last all winter long!
History of the Area
Old British Admiralty charts indicate that a single dwelling believed to be owned by a Nathaniel Pendleton, existed near the center of the island in pre American Revolutionary War days.
At least a half dozen families lived on Warren Island during the nineteenth century. The longest recorded residence of nearly sixty years was that of George Warren (married to Lydia Hatch). The Warrens resided in a sturdy farmhouse near center island which was surrounded by several acres of cleared farm land. George Warren’s son (Capt. J.W. Warren) lived on the northwest shore opposite Seven Hundred Acre Island. A.J. Williams owned land on the northeast end of the island. This land believed lived on by a David Williams.George Warren sold the island to Mansfield Clark of Islesboro for $600.00 in 1861. One acre was reserved by George Warren, and owned by David Williams. David Williams was married to Mrs. Samuel Haskell (widowed) and lived about halfway along the northeast shore. Foundation rock of their former residence may be found on what is now Picnic Site #1. Three other families (those of Joseph F. McKinney, Elijah Dyer and Jeremiah Warren) were known to have lived on the island during the late 1800’s.
A gravestone marked, “Mrs. Zilica, wife of Isaac Thomas; died June 9, 1841… age 22 years.” is located off the southeast section of trail leading from mid-island to camping site #7. It has not been determined whether the Thomas family actually lived on Warren Island, or if they lived on Seven Hundred Acre Island and were buried on Warren Island.
Warren Island was sold to Wm. H. Folwell in 1899. He then built what is thought to be the most expensive log cabin in New England on the island. The island remained in the possession of the Folwell family until it was acquired by the town of Islesboro in lieu of taxes. The town sold it to the State of Maine for $1.00 in 1958 with the stipulation that it was to be used for recreational purposes.
The Island was officially dedicated as a State Park on June 30, 1967. Gov. Kenneth Curtis, and 40 state and local officials took part in the ceremony at approximately 4 P.M. A dinner of Lobster, Clams, Pie, and Coffee was enjoyed by all after the ceremony despite the threat of impending rain.
Mr. Malcolm Graf was the first Park Manager from 1968 to 1983 before being lost at sea. “Mac” established a tradition of Thoughtful Management. The SAFE ENJOYMENT of all visitors and campers while on the island was of prime concern to him. State Park rules were judiciously upheld; always tempered by “Mac’s” innate awareness of Human Frailty. It is the intent of the present management to continue in the tradition established by him.
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