Where was CRC in Maine?

Click here for pictures from the camp in Maine

Bailey Island, MaineSturbridge historian Bob Briere believes that he has found the site of the original Camp Robinson Crusoe in Maine. It's now believed to have been on Bailey Island, in Casco Bay just south of Brunswick, Maine. Bob writes:

"Dear Campers, after a four month search and help from Harpswell Maine residents, we may have found the site of the first camp called Robinson Crusoe. The place where the property was located seemed to be a mystery other than that it was located on Casco Bay.

Our fortune changed on July 31, 2012, when a chance meeting in the Publick House Bake Shoppe with Carol and Simon Ottenberg of Seattle took place. In a conversation about youth camps she said Simon had gone to Camp Robinson Crusoe - in Maine! He said it was on Bailey Island (shown to the left). Now we had a location.

Through several e-mails, and Simon and Carol's visit to Maine after they left the Publick House, we were onto something. Orrs Island Librarian Joanne Rogers, resident Melinda Richter, and former Sturbridge campers Susie and Dan Levine started to search for information on camps on Bailey Island. They were looking for a camp at the end of a long peninsula that has a small island at the end of it. There were two possible locations, one on Orrs and one on Bailey. The one site on Bailey looked the best.

Saturday, November 3, I went to Maine and looked at the site, talked at length with Joanne and the Levines came down from Brunswick to join us. We all agreed this was it.

The little island was perfect from a description Josh had given, in that it could be walked to at low tide, needed a boat at high tide, and had snails, crabs and other shellfish around it, and cedar trees. It had a small beach and a field for games.

Approaching the bridge from the north, look left past Water Cove and the little island is there adjacent to Cedar Beach (the area is circled in red above). The road is called Cedar Beach Road. See below for two photos of the island taken Saturday at low tide. There is a place called Robinhood Inn near the site today. It has a description of the site we believe is the camp.

Is this all important? To you former campers I hope so. It was all part of Joshua Lieberman's plan to establish a unique effort into camping for boys and girls. Wouldn't they be surprised, 83 years later, to see their former campers still care and love what Camp Robinson Crusoe has meant to them and their lives."

- Bob Briere

Click here for a Google map, in a separate window; close that window when done.
You can use it to zoom in for more detail, or zoom out to see where you are.
Point "A" marks Cedar Beach Road;
it appears the camp was at that road's northern end.

Here are Bob's pictures of the small island off Bailey Island, and the sandbar, covered at high tide. Bob writes, "The camp site area by the water is at the end of Cedar Beach Road, and the small beach at water's edge is today's Cedar Beach."

The CRC sandbar

The CRC hut site

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This page was last updated December 11, 2012