Sunday, October 11, 2015
With transportation at our beck and call we decided to visit Campobello Island in New Bruswick. The primary reason for going there was to see the cottage where the Roosevelts (FDR, Eleanor, and family) spent many of their summers. Cottage is a bit of a misnomer in that it is close to 10,000 ft2. I wonder what the Hyde Park residence was like.
We drove up US 1 to Lubec (Lu bec’), which is the most eastern town in the USA, and crossed over the bridge into New Brunswick. The Canadian border agent was quite thorough and even inspected the dog’s rabies records.
It was a very short drive to the ‘cottage’ and visitors center. The first thing we saw, that struck us as a bit odd, was the sign below. At first I thought Americans and Canadians could not get along first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon, and thus had to be kept separate. Of course parking lot fights would still be a possibility. Once I had had my laugh, I realized that New Brunswick, as well as other Maritime Provinces are on Atlantic Time, which is the next time zone east of the East Coast. Why the times were not labeled as such is a mystery I have yet to answer, and will probably remain in that state.
Tours of the cottage are given on the half-hour so we needed to wait until 2:00 ADT (1:00 EDT). The guides were fairly relaxed and allowed us to wonder the 2nd floor all by ourselves. It is here, in 1921, that FDR first showed symptoms of polio. However, reading up on it I think he contracted the disease in New York which experienced its worst polio outbreak since 1916 – almost 500 cases in 1921. It would seem that FRD was simply unlucky. While FDR was not and is not universally admired, Cathie and I could not help contrasting FDR to many of today’s politicians. The comparisons were not favorable.
The cottage is nice but at the time that the Roosevelts owned it there was no electricity or telephone. Gas lighting and heating were it. One of the guides told me that a windmill pumped water up to a 2nd floor storage tank and then gravity fed throughout the house. Below is a view from the outside and two inside.
After our tour we went on a 2.4 KM hike form the parking lot to Friar’s Head and back. Friar’s head is a rock formation that is best visited from a beach at low tide. Our timing was off. Nonetheless it was a nice walk. One interesting find was the number of apple trees in the forest. Clearly the growth has been changing over the last few decades. I guess someone planted apple trees and they have either survived all this time or spread, or some of both.
A bit farther on we came upon a sign in English and French pointing to our destination. Cap in French means cape or headland; still it was fun to get our Cap to pose.
Our last little bit of the hike brought us to the headland.
After returning to the US we stopped in Lubec for lunch. The panorama is looking back to Campobello Island and the Roosevelt International Bridge.