The Story Behind the Incredible Heart-Shaped Island in Maine
Even for those born and raised in Maine, it may come as a surprise that the Pine Tree State is home to a heart-shaped island. That's probably because for the better part of the last century, the island was privately owned and kept a secret amongst locals. But over the last 15 years, the story of the heart-shaped island has had some twists and turns, and some questions about what its future holds.
It's Called Harbor Island Off the Coast of Brooksville, Maine
Tucked away in Buck's Harbor right off the coast of Brooksville, Maine, is the heart-shaped island known as Harbor Island. According to Best of Maine Guide, the island was purchased by a man named Franklin Kurt back in 1927. Kurt was an environmentalist, and wanted to save the island's trees from being farmed for pulp. For the next 85 years, Kurt and his family held onto private ownership of Harbor Island.
A Trust Takes Ownership of the Island
When the family decided to sell the island in 2012 to the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, it did so with the understanding that the trust would preserve the beautiful wilderness of the island. At the time Maine Coast Heritage Trust purchased Harbor Island for a little over $2 million, there was only one building on the island.
A Terrible Fire and Another Sale
The history of the heart-shaped island took a turn in 2013. Just a few months after the island was sold, the only building on the island was struck by lightning, caught fire, then burned to the ground. Fire crews from surrounding towns tried to save the building, but it ended up being a total loss. The Maine Coast Heritage Trust decide to list the island for sale in 2014, with a new owner being secured not long thereafter. The sale came with protections that will keep the island from being developed.
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Gallery Credit: Sarah Jones