Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, August 1, 2019
Walking tour brings Deer Isle’s history to life
The Chase Emerson Memorial Library is one of the stops on the new self-guided Deer Isle Village walking tour.
by Monique Labbe
Visitors to Deer Isle Village can now experience the historic buildings and locations on foot, thanks to a self-guided walking tour brochure that was developed by volunteers and various organizations.
The tour has 18 sites, including three gardens, according to Kate Caldwell, who was involved in the research and development of the walking tour map. Locations include The Pilgrim’s Inn, the Veteran Memorial Park by the Deer Isle Town Hall, Chase Emerson Memorial Library, the Leon C. Weed Memorial Park, and several others.
“We knew that we needed to establish some limits to the research, so a consensus was reached to focus on buildings and sites that have an active current business or public garden,” said Caldwell.
Research for the project began in 2018, involving conversations with local businesses and research at the Deer Isle-Stonington Historical Society, with help from the Deer Isle selectmen and town manager. During the winter months, drafts of each building’s history and current contact information were sent to each business owner for approval, and then in June final layout and photographs were incorporated, according to Caldwell.
The brochure includes photos of each stop on the tour, as well as a history of Deer Isle and what those buildings and locations meant to the cultural footprint of the town decades and centuries ago.
“We hope that this history of the very active commercial and civic life of Deer Isle Village will help inform visitors as well as local adults and youth,” said Caldwell.
The self-guided walking tour brochure was put together by Caldwell (writer and researcher), Maureen Farr (layout and graphic design), and Darwin K. Davidson (photography), and is available at each of the businesses in Deer Isle Village, at the Deer Isle Welcome Center, and at the Deer Isle-Stonington Historical Society. Online versions are currently being planned through the Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Deer Isle.