Cushing Island is a small privately owned island that lies across the channel from Peaks Island. Best known for Old Whitehead which is a one hundred and fifty foot granite cliff.
A rock formation which appears to be the silhouette of a lady can be found in the cliffs and is visible from passing boats.
There are many stories about the settlers hardships, but none so unfortunate as that of George Felt who took some men to Peaks to round up some sheep left there by fleeing residents only to be massacred by indians who let them land with a false sense of security.
Today the island is privately owned and approximately 45 families live there seasonally. Initially Ezekiel Cushing owned the island in the 1700s and sold it to Joshua Bangs in 1760. The island was then known as 'Bangs Island' until Lemuel Cushing bought it in 1859. Lemuel planned to turn the island into a summer resort and built the Ottawa House hotel.
Lemuel's son Francis Cushing formed the Cushing's Island Company in 1883 and hired Frederick Law Olmstead the same year to develop the island as a planned 'summer colony'. Olmstead designed the landscape of the island, along with landscape architect Charles Eliot. The first Ottawa House was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1888. The second Ottawa House burned down in 1917 and was not rebuilt.
The US Army began acquiring land on the island in the 1890s to build Fort Levett, named for Capt. Christopher Levett, the English explorer and first settler of what is now Portland, which eventually grew to 200 acres. The island was initially known as Levett's Island, after the first English settler of Maine.
The fort was last used during World War II for coastal defense. That land was purchased by island residents in 1970.
Just what is considered a shoreland in Maine is important you are thinking about long-term options for your property.
All land within 250 feet of the highwater line of any pond over 10 acres, any river that drains at least 25 square miles and all tidal water and saltwater marshes
All land with 250 feet of a freshwater wetland over 10 acres.
All land within 75 feet of streams that are outlet of great ponds or streams below the confluence of 2 perennial streams.
Real Estate Values Although not true in all cases, real estate prices tend to be less expensive the farther up the Maine coastline you go and the farther inland you travel.
Maine has long been a destination for second homes either along the coast or one of our beautiful lakes or rivers.
Following several years of depressed pricing, the market is improving and it appears to be a good time to make a purchase.
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