Cabbage Island has been owned by many different families since it was first purchased by Ezekiel Holbrook in 1901. When Ruth Leavitt, and her husband Donald, purchased the island back in 1948, she had a dream of offering clambakes on the island. Cabbage Island became a household name with those clambakes.
The tradition of hosting clambakes twice a day during the summer months continued for twenty-three years. The Leavitts sold the island in 1983 and it, unfortunately, sat abandoned until 1986. At that time, Wayne Moore purchased Cabbage Island. The locals really missed the clambakes, as did the tourists who arrived to experience them every year. They begged Moore to start them up once again.
Wayne Moore asked Ruth Leavitt for help getting the clambakes back up and running. He had a lot of help from the Boothbay Harbor community as well. The clambake tradition is now alive once again and you can easily travel to this island twice a day for clambakes from the month of June through September.
What to Expect During a Cabbage Island Clambake
When you decide you want to experience a Cabbage Island clambake, you will begin your adventure by boarding the Bennie Alice Ferry. A scenic tour of Boothbay Harbor is an excellent way to relax before the feasting of the day begins.
You will smell the clams, and the rest of the food, as soon as you arrive at Cabbage Island. When you sit down, you will be served succulent clams and lobsters. Those two things are steamed in seaweed and covered with rocks until they are cooked all the way through.
You will also find yourself dining on corn on the cob and New England fish chowder. It is going to be difficult to find room for dessert, but make sure you leave room for at least a few bites of the blueberry cake that Ruth Leavitt has always been known for.
As soon as you are finished eating, you can explore the island. I recommend walking along the shoreline, but you can also play a game of horseshoes or volleyball.
I can’t wait to help your family experience this traditional adventure over on Cabbage Island. If you have never been to a traditional clambake, then you must make sure your very first is the best one in the world! Let me add this incredible experience to your Maine road trip for your next family vacation. I guarantee no one in your family will have time to complain about being on an island because they will be too busy eating fabulous food and making new friends!
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