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Park History

The Island's charm has captivated its residents and visitors since the 1800's, throughout the Roosevelt years, and still today.

Summer cottage built by James and Sara Roosevelt

Summer Colony

Pictured: The Tyn-y-Coed hotel (left),
and The Tyn-y-Maes hotel (right)

During the 1880's, wealthy people had extensive leisure time and the means to enjoy it. They sought out seaside (and lakeside) resorts to escape the heat of pre-air conditioning cities. In 1881, most of the southern portion of Campobello Island was acquired by a consortium of Boston and New York businessmen who, intending to develop the area as a fashionable resort, constructed three luxurious hotels.

Hotel brochures touted the favorable climate, the clean, bracing, salt-tinged, balsam-scented air and the abundant scenic beauty. Brochures also espoused unequaled boating (sailboats, rowing, canoes with Passamaquoddy Indian guides), enjoyable excursions by land and sea, and relief from hay fever. The Canadian and American press promoted Campobello as a summer resort.

Families from New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Ottawa, and Montreal came to Campobello’s hotels by private yacht, steamship, and train for extended summer vacations. Several of the families, including Franklin Roosevelt’s parents, James and Sara Roosevelt, liked the area so much that they purchased land. They then either refurbished existing houses or built new, large “cottages”.

Five of those turn-of-the-century cottages remain, and today make up the historic core of the Roosevelt Campobello International Park. The FDR summer home is the Park’s centerpiece, and the Prince, Hubbard, Wells-Shober, and Johnston Cottages provide meeting space, dining facilities, and lodging for guests of the Commission’s conference program.

The Roosevelts on Campobello

FDR and his family spent summer vacations on Campobello Island over a period of fifty-six years. Here they sailed, canoed, golfed, hiked, and picnicked in a beautiful and rugged outdoor environment. His experiences on his "beloved island", and what he learned here, played a role in shaping a great leader of the United States and of the world. » LEARN MORE

"When FDR, in whose memory the Park was created, came to Campobello as a child, it was to pursue the orderly summer adventures available to a well-to-do Victorian family".


Former U.S. Secretary of State, Senator from Maine, Governor of Maine, and Park Commission member

Creation of the Park

The Park was opened on August 20, 1964, with Prime Minister Lester Pearson and President Lyndon Johnson in attendance. The Park is jointly owned and managed by both Canada and the United States, created by a treaty that honors the memory of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the legacy of friendship between the two countries. » LEARN MORE

About the Park's Logo

In 1980, the Roosevelt Campobello International Park Commission adopted a logo based on President Roosevelt's original design for his matchbook covers. The letters "FDR" form a sailboat, representative of his favorite pastime. The Commission added a star over the bow and a maple leaf over the stern. These additions signify participation by Canada and the United States in the joint operation of the Park.