Oceanside Conservation Trust has ownership or Easement interests in open space properties on several of the islands in western Casco Bay. Once a year, a team from the Board of Directors monitors those interests. We traditionally do this in May before the island communities – or the Directors! - get too busy enjoying Summer. May 27 was the date for checking out the parcels on Peaks Island; Little Diamond, Long, College and Cliff Islands will fill out the rest of 2021’s OCT Monitoring Week.
The 2020 OCT Annual Meeting took place on October 15 on Little Diamond Island. The meeting celebrated the permanent preservation of two remarkable parcels of land on Little Diamond Island. Three hundred thousand dollars was raised – locally, and in a very short time period - and the land placed in OCT ownership and under its stewardship - a very effective collaboration.
This is testimony to just how highly one island’s residents value assuring public access to a uniquely beautiful piece both of Casco Bay and of the whole Maine Coast. As former OCT President Chris McDuffie was wont to declare: “Man’s monuments are erected... and then fall; preserved open space is forever.”
This photo of Bishop Healy’s Cottage (c. 1910) shows the buoy station (Rand's) in the foreground, with the Sisters' orphanage to the right. To the immediate left of the lighthouse in the center of the photo you can see the Bishop's cottage, with the roofs of other still-existing cottages behind it on the other side of the island. The perspective is a bit deceptive; they look like they're nearby but they're not.
Photo courtesy of Phil Lee, Little Diamond Island, text courtesy of Harry Pringle
From a presentation by Harry Pringle
The two lots recently preserved by OCT on Little Diamond Island are remarkable for their scenic beauty and conservation. But they are also notable for their history - a history which in many ways mirrors that of our country.