• Saint Croix Island in middle of river

    Saint Croix Island

    International Historic Site Maine

Activities Planned for 405th Anniversary of Saint Croix Island Settlement

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Date: June 21, 2009
Contact: Meg Scheid, 207-454-3871

This Saturday, June 27, from 5:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., join National Park Service rangers at Saint Croix Island International Historic Site in Red Beach for a day of activities commemorating 405 years since Pierre Dugua Sieur de Mons founded a French settlement on Saint Croix Island. Informative talks, basket weaving demonstrations and children’s activities will be offered to help visitors and community members learn about the significance of the short-lived settlement and the important relationship that developed between the French and Passamaquoddy.

June 27 events will be held at the site’s mainland interpretive trail near the parking lot, eight miles south of Calais on US 1. “Visitors and community members are all welcome to join the fun,” said Meg Scheid, park ranger and lead interpreter at the historic site.

The opening ceremony will begin at 5:30 a.m. (all activities are in Eastern Time), conducted by members of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, including Brenda Lozada and Elders Blanche Sockabasin and Joan Dana.

Throughout the day, starting at 9 a.m., a Passamaquoddy national park ranger will be conducting basket-weaving demonstrations at the interpretive shelter overlooking the river, to highlight the living culture of today’s Passamaquoddy people.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. children of all ages accompanied by a parent can participate in the site’s new Junior Ranger program. “This is a wonderful program that teaches children about the history of Saint Croix Island, and the important role national park’s play in protecting America’s special places and resources,” said Scheid.

To become a National Park Service Junior Ranger and earn an official Junior Ranger patch, first pick up a copy of the free Junior Ranger activity booklet at the Ranger Station in the big yellow house. The booklet is filled with fun activities that must be completed in the park. Once the child finishes the required number of activities for his or her age, a park ranger on site will check over the completed activities with the child and parent. The child then repeats the Junior Ranger pledge, and is awarded his/her very own Junior Ranger patch!

10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. is story time for adults, and children accompanied by an adult. This one hour, hands-on program takes you on a stroll through time, and through the park. This is a relaxing and fun way to discover the history and significance of the Saint Croix Island settlement.

The site’s bookstore, located in the Ranger Station, will also be open. Operated by Eastern National, a non-profit, cooperating association of the National Park Service, sales items include: Champlain’s Island by W. F. Ganong, Heritage Sites of the Saint John Valley by Louise Martin and the Maine Acadian Heritage Council, as well as post cards, bilingual Passamaquoddy children’s books, a bilingual map of Champlain’s journeys, a Passamaquoddy music CD, books about Acadia National Park and more.

The mainland interpretive trail is wheelchair-accessible. The park is open until dusk. Questions can be directed to Meg Scheid at 207-454-3871.

Did You Know?

Statue on Saint Croix interpretive trail.

Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons, and Samuel Champlain continued to be friends through the years after their attempt at settling Saint Croix Island. De Mons' name even appears as a witness on Champlain's marriage contract in 1611. The island is protected today as part of Saint Croix Island IHS.