Friday, January 15, 2010

Islands of Casco Bay: Peaks Island "Shore Dinners"

Peaks has been enjoyed summer destination island for quite some time. Peaks was once a rendezvous point for Indians who went there for summer excursions and clambakes.

By 1850 William Jones had begun to turn Peaks Island into a tourist destination for day visitors from Portland. He turned his boarding house into a restaurant that served shore dinners. Guest enjoyed fresh lobsters, steamers and corn at Jones' Restaurant.

The arrival of the steam ferry to the area in the late 1800s brought a great tourist boom to Peaks. During this time Peaks boasted an extensive boardwalk, roller coasters, vaudeville acts, roller skating rinks and fireworks every evening.

The en vogue activity was to take the steam ferry from Portland to Peaks and take in a show. Ferry and show ticket cost all of twenty five cents.

Though today the boardwalk, roller coasters, roller skating rinks and daily fireworks no longer exists, elements of Jones' vision still do. Peaks still is a popular day trip destination from Portland.

These days every Sunday a great crowds coalesce upon Peaks to take in reggae at Jones' Landing, round trip ferry $4.10, buckets of beer $10. I've never seen a vaudeville act at Sunday reggae, but I sure have seen some interesting ones....

CHART metalwork's exhibit the "Islands of Casco Bay" is on display through the end of January at Hilltop Coffee Shop, 90 Congress St., Portland, ME. "Shore Dinners" features a medium silver pendant on sterling silver choker featuring Little John Island and a large silver pendant on choker featuring Peaks. The jewelry can be purchased separately or as a collection with frame and story...

...or, you can always customize your own special piece.

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