Rambling man

Richmond Travel Blog

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Welcome to Richmond

Ed and I needed to get to Brunswick today so I could register with our local bank to sign FOMB checks, but he had a few errands to run and I gladly tagged along.  In fact, I brought my camera to offer a glimpse into some local towns in this neck of the woods.  FOMB maintains a post office box in Richmond, Maine, so our first stop was there to pick up the mail.


Richmond is a 'relatively' large community in this neck of the woods, despite having a population under 4,000 (I am guessing).  The town enjoys an idyllic setting, poised on the banks of the Kennebec River, one of the feeders of Merrymeeting Bay.  I am unaware of any particular notoriety Richmond possesses, but just offshore is Swan Island, which owns a compelling history.

One of the rare communities in these parts with a bona fide (if tiny) downtown.
  Fairly large for a river island (four miles long), Benedict Arnold stopped by during his ill-fated excursion to Canada during the American Revolution and a small town existed here for about eighty years.  The village was established around 1850 with fishing and ice harvesting the key industries, but there were also ships built on the island.  A bridge never connected Swan to Richmond, so with modernization the community was already lapsing by the time the Great Depression rolled around to deliver a knockout blow and Swan Island was utterly abandoned by 1940 or thereabouts.

Today Swan Island is a Wildlife Management Area owned by Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, who maintain ten Adirondack lodge shelters for overnight camping.  Back in the 90’s FOMB hosted an annual overnight visit which was a splendid event.  Swan Island is a wildlife nirvana (bald eagles, turkey, deer, etc.) and you can ramble down the single dirt ‘road’ past houses from the 1800’s, a cemetery and other traces of days gone by.  Back then a biologist with Inland Fisheries was the sole permanent resident and caretaker, with the memorable name of Rusty Dyke.  Rusty guaranteed a fabulous experience, but unfortunately we all get old and funding gets tight, so today Swan is uninhabited once again.  Inland Fisheries used to offer ferry service to the island, but I suspect that has gone bye-bye as well.  Regardless, it is a VERY short watercraft voyage to reach Swan Island shores from either side of the Kennebec and even if a day trip, I encourage all to consider this for an unusual and unique adventure.

Paulovic says:
Quite some historic town!
Posted on: Jan 04, 2018
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Welcome to Richmond
Welcome to Richmond
One of the rare communities in the…
One of the rare communities in th…
photo by: vances