Elizabeth O'Connell and Stephen Harding capture the magic of Eagle Island through years of research, interviews, and the collection of photographs and visual images by the Friends of Peary's Eagle Island (FOPEI).
Eagle Island, located off the coast of Harpswell, Maine, is far enough into Casco Bay to offer isolation but close enough to capture the fascination of a young man. Its rocky spine meets the open Atlantic in rugged cliffs with the strength to transform the momentum of ocean swells into plumes of brilliant spray. The interior, covered with a diversity of flora, presents a gentle welcoming to seabirds and the occasional fauna. Robert E. Peary, a Bowdoin College graduate, bought the island and, using local craftsmen, built a cottage for his family to use as their summer home. After his discovery of the North Pole in 1909 with its celebration and controversy, Eagle Island became the family retreat, a refuge from the public scrutiny attendant an international hero. This is the story of three generations of the Peary family and their Eagle Island home. Peary's "Promised Land," now a State of Maine Historic Site and museum, has become a magical place for countless visitors, resulting in its designation as a National Historic Landmark in 2014.