I’ve been posting a lot about Eastport and nearby scenes but said little to date about the neighboring communities here in Way Downeast Maine.
So today I’ll turn the spotlight to a town to our south, one we easily see from the Breakwater and other points in Eastport. It also sits across the water to our west. Despite the proximity, driving between the two takes nearly an hour.
Here are a few additional facts.
- It’s pronounced “LOO-beck,” named for Lubeck, Germany.
- It has roughly the same (small) population as Eastport but is organized as a town rather than a city. That’s why it can claim to be the easternmost point in the continental U.S., while E’port struts about being the easternmost city. It’s a hairline difference.
- Lubec’s also the closest location in the continental U.S to Africa. Yes, way up here nearly on the 45th parallel, halfway to the North Pole, rather than say Virginia or tropical Florida.
- Set on a peninsula, the town has more water than land.
- With its Quoddy Head State Park and the iconic peppermint-pole lighthouse, Lubec can be seen as the gateway to the Bold Coast trailheads that provide access to spectacular shoreline and bluffs. It’s like Acadia National Park without the crowds.
- It also has a “sparkplug” lighthouse in the water south of downtown and faces the Mulholland lighthouse on the Canadian side of Quoddy Narrows.
- Speaking of Canada. Neighboring Campobello Island, New Brunswick, is home to the Franklin Roosevelt International Park, originally the family’s summer “cottage” and compound and then Eleanor’s favorite home. Today the historic site covers five square miles that include trails of shoreline and forest. To get there, you have to drive through Lubec.
- SummerKeys is a kind of music camp for adults, mixing skill levels from beginning amateur to skilled professionals into a lively and supportive environment. Free weekly concerts in the Congregational church are a highlight for the rest of us.
- While statics are unavailable, one friend tells of a summer when every day in Lubec was beset by heavy fog. She’s made it sound unbroken. I have been in town on several afternoons when the place was quickly socked in the dense gray invasion, and from Eastport I’ve often seen its thick steely blanket roll over the downtown at the fringe of our view before inching up the water toward us. Another friend tells of the common frequency of heavy winds. Either way sounds harsher than what I’ve encountered in nearby Eastport.
- The town no longer has a high school. When it did, athletic events between Lubec and Eastport were often followed by fights.