About as far “downeast” as you can get in Maine, the coastal city of Eastport is right across the bay from New Brunswick, Canada, and situated on Moose Island, between Cobscook Bay and Passamaquoddy Bay. Eastport has the deepest port on the East Coast, and this region is notorious for its ripping tides and powerful currents. These features have given birth to a rare phenomenon—reversing falls in nearby Pembroke. The churning water kicks food to the surface, supporting rare forms of aquatic life and attracting seals and eagles at high tide – great for whale watching.
Between Eastport and Deer Island is another natural wonder—Old Sow in Passamaquoddy Bay, believed to be the biggest whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere.
In the late 1800s, Eastport, Maine had a bustling sardine canning industry, with more than a dozen canneries. The notable mansions and architecture of this era are found today throughout Eastport’s streets, with 29 buildings on the National Historic Registry in downtown alone. Home to the nationally recognized Tides Institute and Museum of Art, the Eastport Arts Center, summer Art Walks, a rip roaring Fourth of July Celebration as well as Salmon and Pirate Festivals in September, Eastport is a delightful place to visit or live.
In 1887, a year after a savage fire ripped through downtown Eastport on October 14, 1886, architect Henry Black began designing a downtown built with brick. One of the keystones of his work was the construction of side by side businesses, the Corthell and Gardner and E. S. Martin buildings. In the 150 years following construction the buildings have housed multiple businesses, restaurants and were even location headquarters for one of the first reality shows on television, Fox’s “Murder in Small Town X”. Sadly the new millennium ushered in decades of neglect and foreclosure. But the buildings were purchased in 2020 by a new and energetic owner, renovated stem to stern and have been reborn as The Phoenix on Water Street.
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