Library

   Moosabec history and culture is different from other coastal Maine communities in some respects and commands interest far beyond the local area. Local residents and scholars outside Maine have shown interest in the following themes which will have permanent exhibits and dedicated library resources at the Center. The library will include books and video tapes, as well as house oral history collections as they develop for the region. The Center will initially be open throughout the summer, and for events and by appointment in the Winter. The primary Moosabec Center library themes are:

Tall Barney Beal lived on Beals Island from his birth in 1835 to his death in 1899. This Downeast fisherman, according to legend, stood approximately seven feet tall and possessed enormous strength. The tales of Tall Barney's exploits are celebrated in innumerable books and magazine and newspaper articles. Richard Dorson of Indiana University, in his book Buying the Wind: Regional Folklore in the United States, likens Tall Barney to Beowulf, Hercules and Samson. These folktales from Downeast are a part of the folklore curriculum in colleges and universities across the country. Tall Barney is buried in the Beals Cemetery next door to the land donated by the Town of Beals for construction of the Center. Perhaps 50 percent of the residents of Beals and Jonesport are descended from Tall Barney. A statue of Tall Barney will ultimately be placed in the middle of the Moosabec Center courtyard. Local resident and author, Velton Peabody, has published a book on Tall Barney folklore and has donated its publishing rights to the Beals Historical Society. The book will be on sale at the Center to support its development.

Basketball, many would say, put Beals Island on the map. In the 1950s, Beals High School, with a total enrollment averaging 30 students, won three state small school basketball championships. The teams took boats over from the island to the mainland to play games. It is believed that the success of the Beals basketball teams at tournaments in Augusta and Bangor shed light on the need for a bridge to the mainland. It is not surprising that soon after the teamsí successes, in 1958, a bridge was built. While the bridge has improved access, it has also changed the community and has hastened the shift away from fishing and traditional industries. Since consolidation in 1969, Jonesport-Beals High School basketball teams have continued their winning ways.

Boat-building has a long tradition in the Moosabec area, dating from the earliest settlement in the late 1700s. The design of the Beals Island-model or Jonesport-model lobster boat originated here and its impact on today's Maine lobster fleet is recognized the length of the coast.