It’s further than it looks. Wagner was then brought to Alfred, Maine, for trial. We are all guests here. [1] The story of the murders was told by Celia Thaxter in her account A Memorable Murder[2] and by Anita Shreve in her novel The Weight of Water, later made into a film of the same name, starring Sean Penn and Elizabeth Hurley. Maren, the only witness to the murders, identified a German-born fisherman, Louis Wagner, as the killer. Rather than land in the cove where the Clara Bella was usually moored, he rowed to the far side of the island and disembarked on the rocky shore. It is part of the town of Kittery, in York County. After scrambling over the big rock in the cove, the only natural cove on the Isles, walk between the Haley cottage (on your right) and Rozzie’s cottage (on your left) to find the first trail marker. The crusty snow glistened on shadowy Smuttynose as Louis approached in the dory. The winter months were bitter cold and the winter storms were devastating. The island can be reached only by rowboat or dingy, which can be tied up in the harbor. All rights reserved. Smuttynose Island (formerly "Smutty-nose") is one of the Isles of Shoals, located 6 miles (10 km) off the coast of New Hampshire, but actually in the state of Maine, in the United States. The island is best known for two murders that occurred there. Lunging Island is one of the four islands belonging to New Hampshire, but as we’ll soon find out, there are plenty of spirits on the Maine side as well. You can go there, if you have a boat. Just beyond the Haley family cemetery is the underwhelming memorial to the graves of the shipwrecked Spanish sailors. Your destination is the cairn at the tip of the island. Appledore, Smuttynose, Malaga, Duck and Cedar Islands belong to the state of Maine. Life on Smuttynose Island, in the Isles of Shoals, off the coast of New Hampshire, was hard in the 1870's. Be careful in the early summer not to step on gull nests that may be anywhere along the trail. It was named by fishermen, seeing the island at sea level and noticing how the profuse seaweed at one end looked like the "smutty nose" of some vast sea animal. This is not for the feint of heart. Star Island. And who would have thought a remote location like Smuttynose Island would be the home of a violent murder. After he was condemned to death, he broke out of jail and escaped to New Hampshire. He was recaptured and brought to the gallows at Thomaston State Prison. And yet one of the most beautiful treks in the Seacoast. All other buildings – including the site of the 1873 murder and the early 1800-s MidOcean House of Entertainment – are gone and only their cellar holes remain. 11 "Wolf In Sheep's Clothes", Disputed between the United States and Canada, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Smuttynose_Island&oldid=984261052, Articles needing additional references from June 2015, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 19 October 2020, at 03:55. Smuttynose Island is the source of the name of the Smuttynose Brewing Company of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Enjoy. Find the travel option that best suits you. Ask the steward on duty to point them out. The Smuttynose Stewards, in residence throughout the summer, can point visitors to a walking tour. This is where the real wilderness trail begins. Privately owned and lovingly maintained by volunteers, this is the Isles of Shoals as it has been for centuries, perhaps millennia. Privately owned and lovingly maintained by volunteers, this is the Isles of Shoals as it has been for … All rights reserved. He was quickly arrested in Boston and extradited back to Portsmouth. On 6 March 1873, two Norwegian women, Karen and Anethe Christensen, were strangled and one struck with a hatchet. Three quarters of mile through poison ivy, angry gulls, rocks and bracken. You must arrive during daylight hours during the summer and fall. A third woman, Maren Hontvet, escaped and hid on the island at a place now called "Maren's Rock". So if you can’t make it, here are a few photos, but they cannot capture the cool breeze and 360-degree view. Always carry a stick over your head to trick the gull into thinking you are very tall. There are no restroom or public facilities on the island and fires and alcohol are not permitted. The story was also part of the Strange and Unusual Podcast, ep. Have a picnic on the lawn, but no fires. The cheapest way to get from Smuttynose Island to White Mountain National Forest costs only $99, and the quickest way takes just 5 hours. Please don’t choke the tiny cove with anything larger than a rowboat. Smuttynose Island is an area in York County,Maine with a population of 1,866. Copyright ® 1996-2020 SeacoastNH.com. Learn how and when to remove this template message, The Strange and Unusual Podcast: ep. Gulls will attack the stick instead. All photos by J. Dennis Robinson. Clerk of York Country Court testified that Smuttynose Island is in the jurisdiction of Maine. & South Coast Maine. Wear good shoes, not sandals or sneakers. Stay away from the crashing waves and you’re not allowed on the breakwater to Cedar Island, which is also privately owned. Isles of Shoals Steamship Company. All photos by J. Dennis Robinson Copyright (c) SeacoastNH.com. Despite an airtight case, so vehement was his denial that people long believed he was innocent. Be sure not to disturb the natural environment, take no souvenirs and leave no evidence of your visit. – JDR. Never go barefoot. Seacoast New Hampshire And beware of attacking gulls that rightfully defend their nests with ferocity, at times. No camping. Coordinates: 42°58′57″N 70°36′25″W / 42.98250°N 70.60694°W / 42.98250; -70.60694. The most recent book is Mystery on the Isles of Shoals: Closing the Case on the Smuttynose Ax Murders of 1873, by J. Dennis Robinson. Wagner was tried, convicted and, although he maintained his innocence, hanged. Return on the same trail. Ten thousand angry townspeople waited for him at the train station and shadowed him all the way to the police station, chanting, "Lynch him, kill him."[3]. 11 "Wolf in Sheep's Clothes". Smuttynose Island Trail SCENIC SEACOAST. Like Gilligan’s Island, it’s primitive as can be, and enjoyable for that very reason. He watched the lone cottage for several hours after the light coming through the windows disappeared. Privacy Statement, SEE ALL SIGNED BOOKS by J. Dennis Robinson. All rights reserved. There is an old plaque and a cluster of stones, nothing more. Smuttynose Island (formerly "Smutty-nose") is one of the Isles of Shoals, located 6 miles (10 km) off the coast of New Hampshire, but actually in the state of Maine, in the United States.It is part of the town of Kittery, in York County.It was named by fishermen, seeing the island at sea level and noticing how the profuse seaweed at one end looked like the "smutty nose" of some vast sea animal. Rogue waves can appear at any time. Come visit. Six miles off the coast of New Hampshire, but actually belonging to the state of Maine, Smuttynose Island is one of the Isles of Shoals. FRESH STUFF DAILY Be sure to leave a generous contribution in the box at the cove to support the printed guides that are usually available. The Smuttynose Island murders, trial, jailbreak, and execution are featured in the book Return to Smuttynose Island by Emeric Spooner (.mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Lock-green.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg")right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit}ISBN 978-1441485878). 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