The Mulholland Point light is very close to the FRD Memorial bridge on Campobello Island. It is not open to the public but the grounds around it are and there is a nice picnic area close by. From this area you have a nice view of the FDR Memorial Bridge, Lubec, Maine, the Channel Lighthouse, and the islands and waters of Johnson's Bay.
At the far northeastern end of Campobello you will find the star attraction of the island and the premier lighthouse of New Brunswick, East Quoddy Head Light - also known as the East Quoddy Lighthouse or the Head Harbour Lightstation.
Overlooking the Bay of Fundy, this dramatic lighthouse has a distinctive red cross on white. It is perched on a rocky point which becomes an island at high tide. If you are lucky, and the tide is low, you may be able to walk all the way out to the light, using a series of walkways, bridges and ladders. Just getting out to the lighthouse is quite an adventure in itself (see our tip under Warnings or Dangers). At high tide the now unmanned lighthouse is inaccessible, but even then it can still be viewed from a distance.
East Quoddy Head is said to be the most photographed lighthouse in the world. While I can't verify that claim, I do know that the lighthouse has a mezmerizing effect upon visitors and the many different viewpoints from which it may be seen offer countless opportunities for the photographer
Friends of Head Harbour Lightstation, Inc.
P.O. Box 406
Wilson's Beach, NB E5E 2Y1
This seasonal Welcome/Information Center is open from May - October, which is the time during which most tourists visit Campobello Island. If you come to the island by the only bridge that reaches it, from Lubec, Maine, you will see the Visitor Center on the right side of the highway shortly after passing through immigration and coustoms.
The people here are friendly and proud to share their island with you. There are free brochures, maps and other information available which will help you plan your trip and find your way around the island.
The Roosevelt Campobello International Park has a very interesting Visitor Reception centre with lots of photos of what life was like on the island during the days of the great Victorian-era tourist hotels. The grounds of the estate around the Cottage are immaculately kept and there are many trails across the countryside of the flatter ground at the southern end of the island. There is no entrance fee for the Cottage, so Russ and I stepped inside for a look around, where we were greeted by a mixed staff of young Canadian and American guides stationed in each of the main rooms or hallways. They explained what the various objects were for as well as the history of the Cottage's use.
With dimensions of 175 by 35 feet, this was no ordinary cottage. In order to accommodate the staff of servants, governess and a nurse who accompanied the Roosevelts and their five children, the 34 rooms included 18 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms! It was interesting to take a peek into the various rooms, each of which was equipped with a wall pushbutton that activated a display board in the kitchen to indicate that a servant was required in a particular room. Similar to my childhood summer days at an Uncle's cottage on Magaguadavic Lake in New Brunswick, heating was by seven fireplaces and a kitchen wood stove while lighting was by kerosene lamps. One of the rooms displays the chairs and flags of office that FDR used in his official capacity as Governor of NY and President of the USA.
Russ and I really enjoyed our little inside tour of the cottage.
Located on the southwestern tip of Campobello Island, the Mulholland Point Lighthouse overlooks the Narrows on the Bay of Fundy, which seperates New Brunswick, Canada from Maine in the United States. From the lighthouse one can easily see across into Lubec, Maine, with a good view of the Roosevelt Campobello International Bridge and islands beyond in Passamaquoddy Bay.
The interior of the lighthouse may not be toured by the public. However, visitors are free to walk around the structure and to enjoy the picnic site next to it. Harbor seals sometimes can be seen swimming just offshore in the Lubec Narrows.
The octagonal wooden lighthouse was built in 1885 and is now unmanned. It is operated as a part of the Roosevelt Campobello International Park. Mulholland Point is the only lighthouse which serves both the United States and Canada.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was to become the 32nd president of the United States, spent many idyllic summers at his family's vacation home on Campobello Island. The Roosevelt's impressive 34-room "cottage" is a mansion by any standard. It can be toured at the Roosevelt-Campobello International Park, preserved as a memorial and as a symbol of the close friendship between Canada and the United States.
Roosevelt, affectionally known as FDR, was the only president ever to be elected to three terms. He led the nation out of the Great Depression and through World War II, dying in office a short time before the end of the war.
The park is on Canadian soil, but is owned, funded, staffed, and administered by the peoples of both Canada and the United States. If offers a very interesting glimpse into the lifestyles of the the wealthy aristocratic class of a bygone era.
In addition to the Roosovelt residence there is a modern Visitor Center with many interesting exhibits. The park also has a 1,134-hectare (2,800-acre) Natural Area, Visitors are invited to explore walking trails, beaches, bogs, forest, and spectacular ocean headlands, or just enjoy a scenic picnic.
Herring Cove Provincial Park, covering 425 hectares on the eastern side of Campobello Island, is a very well developed park complete with campgrounds, hiking trails a mile-long beach, golf course, pro shop and restaurant.
The Herring Cove Beach, with dark sand and pebbles, was a popular summer haunt of the rich and famous who made this island their summer playground a century ago. Karen and I visited the crescent-shaped beach late in the day in early September, and were quickly driven away by biting flies. I do not know if the flies are a problem at other times of day or earlier in the season.
OK, I will have to admit that biking out to Head Harbour lighthouse was the highlight of the trip for me (I had been to the FDR cottage once before, in 1989)! Wow, on a beautiful sunny and warm day such as we had, it just could not get much more scenic than this!
Built in 1829, this lighthouse was the second to be erected in New Brunswick and was also the second to be erected along this part of the coastline, following the stone West Quoddy Head lighthouse erected in Lubec, Maine in 1808 (one of the reasons why this one is also known as East Quoddy Head light). The red cross painted on the light tower is meant to represent the Cross of St. George, the ever stalwart symbol of England (after all, Canada did not become a country until 1867).
The second photo shows a close-up of the 51-foot tower itself, after we had made two crossings of shallow land (only exposed during times of low tide) in order to reach the small island on which the lighthouse is situated. After clambering around for a bit, we continued past the lighthouse onto the rocky promontory that justs out into the Bay of Fundy and had a backward look at the scene. That photo shows the associated buildings of this now automated (since 1986) site, including the Keeper's housing, a Fog Horn building and a workshed. A small boathouse that housed a vessel winched up and in on steel rails can be seen in my Intro photo (information courtesy of "www.lighthousedepot.com").
Access to the grounds only is free and requires the use of a couple of sets of steel stairs and crossing of two tidal water sections of land between the small islands that separate the lighthouse from the mainland.
The Owen clan ruled Campobello Island for 114 years before the last of the male 'descendents' died, prompting his widow to sell their land in 1881 to a group of wealthy American businessmen from Boston and New York. The tourist industry on the island had been picking up since the mid-1850s as wealthy families in both the northeastern US and central Canada sought refuge on the coast to escape hot and humid summers in the pre-air conditioner days. The new American owners of much of the southern half of Campobello immediately set about building large hotels to attract these vacationers from New York, Boston, Montreal and Ottawa.
It was two years later, in 1883, that Mr. and Mrs. James Roosevelt arrived from New York, along with 1-year old Franklin, for their first look at the island. They were so enamoured of its delights that they decided to buy a small piece of property along the shores of Friar's Bay so they could have their own private 'cottage' built. This was the start of Franklin Roosevelt's long association with the island, spending summers here in his formative years from 1883 to 1921, before he became Governor of New York State and then President of the USA.
To commemorate the life of F.D. Roosevelt as well as the on-going cooperation between the Canadian and American governments, the land used by the Roosevelt's and other wealthy visitors was turned into the Roosevelt Campobello International Park in 1964. The prime attraction is the Roosevelt Cottage, a summer home that was bought by Franklin's mother in 1909 and later deeded to him when she died. Because he spent so many of his boyhood years in this cottage, it held special memories for him. The wood-frame cottage was actually built in 1897 for a wealthy Boston family who became friends with the Roosevelt's during their holidays on the island. Today, it is immaculately kept both inside and out, with displays of the furniture and personal belongings used by Franklin and his family.
Not having to be at any particular place at any particular time makes a bicycle trip that much more pleasurable! The north end of Campobello Island is heavily forested, with several modest hills to negotiate and steep cliffs along the coastline. It was great biking through this terrain on our way to Head Harbour Lighthouse, at the northern tip of the island. This scene of a derelict fishing boat was taken near the entrance to the inlet of Harbour de Loutre, when we were about halfway to the lighthouse and almost coming into the village of Wilson's Beach. As we continued on out the narrow northern peninsula, we spotted some distant Atlantic Salmon pens (for the farmed fish being raised here) at the entrance of Head Harbour and only a few kilometres from the lighthouse.
Franklin Roosevelt began visiting Campobello Island with his parents in 1883 at the age of 1. He continued to spend summers here until he was struck with polio in 1921. He was on the island at the time he first became ill with the disease. The home where his young family spent many summers and where his third child was born is very well preserved. A tour through the home is a step back in time to the early 1900's. The grounds are nice and there is an easy walk to a beach.
Campobello, the Roosevelt summer home in the early 1900's, is on Canadian soil but of great importance to Americans. It is jointly operated by Canada and the U S. It is very well kept and is presented to the public in an interesting way. I came away knowing much more about Franklin Roosevelt and his family. Be sure and visit the Visitor Center as a start to your stay.