Growing Up on Long Island—No, Not That Long Island…

The island communities of Casco Bay keep us going strong year-round, and inspire us with their resilience in the face of things like biting winter cold and the challenges isolation that can sometimes come from living on an island.

Those who live on Long Island are no exception. This little island, home to 200 people year-round, has become one of the most vibrant island communities in Casco Bay—complete with a school, a thriving community center, and beautiful beaches.

Over a cold local brew with our friend Jenna (who just so happened to have grown up on Long Island) we chatted about her favorite places, and what she loved most about growing up on the island’s shores.  Here’s the scoop:

What was it like growing up on Long Island?

I spent most of my childhood playing outside, building forts all over the island—woods, rocks, beaches, backyards, very rarely my own backyard, usually the neighbors. No one had cable, antenna only. The only reason I got a cell phone was to be able to call a cab after field hockey [on the mainland]. Summers were spent on the beach with my Grammie or my baby sitter, and usually with cousins.

What was (or still is) your favorite thing about the island?

My favorite thing about the island would be that feeling of returning on the ferry and knowing that, upon my arrival, I get to see my friends and family. No matter how much we grow up and lead different lives, it’s like we didn’t miss a beat when we get back together.

For someone who has never been to Long Island, what’s the first thing you’d recommend I do?

I always recommend people walk over to South Beach. It’s one of the most beautiful beaches in Maine—great for a picnic lunch!

Do you have a favorite place on the island?

My favorite place on the island is called Wreck Cove. It makes the best sea glass because of all of the rocks. I could tell you how to get there, but you’d never find it.

What do you miss most since moving off-island?

I miss summers on the island the most. If my work schedule was conducive, I would commute in the summer. For now, I’ll continue to appreciate the weekends I do get to spend there.

How often do you get back?

I go back once a month, even if it’s just for the day or a couple of hours. Sometimes I go to see family and friends; sometimes I just need to be alone in the salt air. It’s hard to see the island change over the years, being a creature of habit. Understanding that change is a part of life can be even harder, but it makes the memories that much more special.

You mentioned taking the ferry. It seems like Casco Bay Lines must have played a pretty big role in your life.

Casco Bay Lines has always been in my life as it’s the main form of transportation [to the islands]. I’ve really gotten to know many of the deckhands and captains over the years, and I’m very thankful for what they do.

Well, there you have it folks. We’re going to pick a weekend soon for a picnic on South Beach and an expedition to find Wreck Cove. Check out our ferry schedule and plan your trip to Long Island!