About Bayside, Maine
If you’re a regular visitor to Bayside then you might not need to read the rest of this page! But if you arrived at this website via search or some shared link, a little background about the place is called for.
Bayside is a small jewel of a community located in Maine’s mid-Coast region.
There are a number of hardy year-round residents, but much of the community is seasonal. I use the word “community” intentionally however, because many of the people you’ll encounter are either cottage owners or long-time repeat renters (for three decades I counted myself as one of the latter).
It’s not unusual to strike up a conversation with someone who will happily pop inside a cottage and emerge with a photo of himself or herself as an infant on that very same porch.
Many of the Bayside cottages do indeed feature porches which support a flourishing “porch culture.” In the evening a passerby is aware of soft conversation, laughter drifting out from under twinkling porch lights, and the fragrance of wood smoke.
Friendships made in the summer are often maintained over the off-season, and the following summers can feel like an extended celebration of friends reunited.
Bayside has a long and well documented history, starting from its early beginnings as the Wesleyan Campground. The welcome sign at the top of George Street informs the visitor that Bayside was “settled in 1849.” I won’t attempt to repeat what local historians, more proficient and more committed than I, have already accomplished. I refer the interested reader to the Bayside Maine and the Bayside Historic Preservation Society websites as starting points.
For me… I call Bayside “my heart’s home.” Planting an umbrella and settling in for the day on a white, sandy beach holds little appeal for me. I can, however, happily spend hours on Maine’s rugged, rocky beaches looking for the perfect gray beach stone with a white stripe, or a rare sand dollar, or admiring a boulder taller than me, frosted with a constellation of white barnacles.
Maine’s transitions, where land meets water, are abrupt, bleak, stark, and beautiful.
Emerging from a densely populated urban environment, I never tire of the exhilarating shock that comes from standing at the water’s edge in Bayside, with no obstruction between me and the horizon. I revel in experiencing the vastness and the delicious, unavoidable realization of my own smallness.
In contrast to the city’s continual sensory assault, I find it profoundly enjoyable and deeply refreshing to be in a place where sometimes, for a little while in the early morning, the lap of waves, the tinkle of rigging slapping masts, or a loon’s call is the loudest sound I’m aware of.