This floating castle appears to be from an enchanted fable, but in actuality it is Europe's best preserved Renaissance water castle.
Lamoine State Park, located along the shores of Frenchman Bay in the state of Maine, and the nearby town of Lamoine share a long history with their surrounding waters. The park was the site of a former coaling station, made useful during World War I but quickly abandoned by the U.S. Navy.
Built for $200,000 in 1902, Lamoine’s coaling station began seeing ships from the North Atlantic Naval Fleet to refuel the next year. The location was chosen for its relatively protected setting in the deep waters of the Frenchmen Bay. Crew would load fuel onto warships before they embarked East into the Atlantic.
Natural disaster and advancements in technology spelled the end for the Lamonie coaling station. Heavy winds in 1904 brought down one of the fuel-loading towers, resulting in repairs that cost half that of the original build. The advent of oil as a fuel source drew coal out of favor for the Navy, rendering the station all but useless by 1912. Much of the station was dismantled and left in scraps.
In an attempt to recoup their losses, the U.S. government sold the land back to Maine in 1949. The University of Maine had already made use of the abandoned station as biological laboratories back in the 1930’s, but with full rights over the property, Maine could reimagine the land to be more useful. Thus, just one year later, Lamoine State Park was born.
Today, Lamoine State Park offers campgrounds including 62 sites, fishing, picnic areas, and cross-country skiing. Managed by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, the Park covers 55 acres with views of the mountains on Mount Desert Island, parts of Frenchman Bay, and Lamoine’s working waterfront.
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