photo courtesy of Jon Emerson
Winter on Southern Harbor
North Haven, one of Maine's fourteen unbridged island communities, lies in Penobscot Bay approximately twelve miles from the midcoast city of Rockland. It is served by a Maine Department of Transportation ferry making three round trips a day from Rockland. The island's ferry link is of course dependent on the whims of wind and tide.
Its year-round population of 355 (2010 Census) swells in July and August with the return of families who own or rent seasonal homes on the Island. In 2014, North Haven celebrates the 167th anniversary of its name day (and its 168th year of independence from Vinalhaven).
North Haven is an island town proud of its traditions, its independence, its treasured natural beauty and its unique community of twelfth generation natives, fourth (as well as first) generation seasonal residents, retired and pre-retired baby boomers, maverick spirits, new arrivals, young year-round families, old bachelors, reconstructed hippies, young farmers, not-so-young Grangers, artists, straights and gays, sailors, artisans, fishermen, ne'er-do-wells, boat-builders, babies, politicians (of past, present and future renown), actors, makers-of-many-things, brides, romantics and curmudgeons. There is overlap among these categories.
North Haven supports an accredited K-12 community school, that is housed in a building completed in 2008, beautiful enough to inspire a generation of scholars, community spirits and re-dedicated island eccentrics. Perhaps the most unusual public school in America, the North Haven Community School was paid for by $6.2MM in private donations and $1.9MM in municipal bonds.
Every baby on North Haven has a name, of course. What is less usual is that everyone who lives on North Haven knows the names of those babies and salutes them, our future. We celebrate our Maggies, Odins, Sigrids, Remys, Oscars, Kovins, Addisons, Lilies, Carlins, Byrons, Lenas, Gildas, Argyles, Loises, Forrests, Penroses and Freyas..
The Town maintains its own water and sewer systems. The former is a state of the art slow sand filtration plant and the latter is a primary treatment facility.
The Town operates the North Haven Medical Clinic as a department of the Town. It is staffed by two family nurse practitioners in rotation with one another with occasional supplementary coverage provided by physicians, other nurse practitioners and physician's assistants. It is overseen by a consulting physician.
Volunteers staff emergency medical and fire services. No town is better served.
Law enforcement is provided by a Knox County
Deputy Sheriff, proving that there is indeed law east of the Breakwater.
North Haven is governed by a Board of Selectmen, who are elected at an annual Town Meeting. On a day to day basis the Town is managed by an appointed Town Administrator.