Of Maine’s thousands of coastal islands, fifteen still have year-round populations—fifteen “unbridged” islands, that is, which rely on ferries, private vessels, or airplanes for transportation to the mainland.
The islands were originally settled because of their proximity to fishing grounds. Motorized boats have lessened that advantage, and island populations have declined over the past century. Fishing—primarily lobster fishing—is still the primary occupation for island residents.
Children attend small one-room schoolhouses on all but the most populated islands, and must usually leave their islands to attend high school.
The Maine Seacoast Mission serves the ten unbridged, inhabited islands east of Boothbay Harbor: Frenchboro, Swan’s Island, Isle au Haut, Great Cranberry, Islesford, Monhegan, Matinicus, Islesboro, Vinalhaven, and North Haven.
We operate land-based telemedicine facilities on Swan’s Island and Islesboro. We support outreach programs operated through churches on Vinalhaven, North Haven, Swan’s Island, and Islesboro. In addition to The Sunbeam makes regular biweekly telemedicine visits to Frenchboro, Isle au Haut, and Matinicus.
Read more about Island Services
See the Sunbeam’s schedule