If you have to be dead, this is the place to be. The cemetery on Vinalhaven next to the Historical Society was the most beautiful cemetery I've ever seen. We went there to search for some family names. This may sound a bit morbid, but visiting the cemetery is a must. It is so beautiful and peaceful, and you'll see stones dating back to the 1700's.
People were laid to rest on a hill sloping down to the inlet, so the dead could have a nice view of the sea. Now, that's what I call paying respects to the dead.
- Historical Travel
Taken for Granite
One thing you won't see on Vinalhaven are sandy beaches. That is because they are all granite rocks. In fact, Vinalhaven is just one big huge granite bump in the sea. Aside from lobstering, its largest industry historically was granite quarrying and cutting.
The first granite was quarried in the 1820's and found to be a very high quality. Large quarries were then dug and active throughout the rest of the 1800's. At their height, the Vinalhaven quarries employed 600 people, which is about half the population of Vinalhaven today! The quarries were active until about 1919, at which time they met their demise due to unionization of the workers, higher union wages, and fixed price contracts.
Vinalhaven granite was used to build the Boston Court House, the Congressional Library in Washington, D.C., paving stones for New York City streets, the New Harlem Bridge, the General Hancock statue, columns for the Church of St. Ignatius in NYC, Metropolitan Bank Building in NYC, Senate Office Building, Chicago and Western Railroad terminal and many famous landmarks. Today the old granite quarries have filled up with water and serve as the island's public swimming holes.
- Historical Travel
Church for all
What do you do if you are a small island off the coast of Maine with a small population and you have only only two churches? You have one church that is run by a man and caters to only one faith, and then you have another that is inter-denominational, open to all religions and you put a woman in charge. The Union Church of Vinalhaven has been open for a long, long time, holds both a Catholic mass and an inter-denominational service, and the pastor is a woman. Almost makes me want to go to church. But not quite.
- Religious Travel
In an area where everyone either is in the lobster business or is related to someone who is, what do 4th graders on Vinalhaven write about when they are given a creative writing assignment? Being a lobster, of course! I found the cutest link to stories written by 4th graders at Vinalhaven School: Island Institute
My favorite was written by Hilary who ended her story like this:
"We’re getting put in to a cattle. Are you hot? Yeah I am. Are you? Yeah I am. I think we’re in a hot tub. No silly we’re being chock. Aaahhh!! Good bye. Crunch!
- Food and Dining