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  • MLCA

People of the Coast: Sonny Willey IV, Spruce Head

What do you Know about Criehaven? Criehaven is named after Robert Crie (1826–1901), an early landowner. He and his wife, Harriet Hall moved in 1849 to Ragged Island, where Crie prospered in farming and lumbering. Island chronicler Charles McLane wrote that within thirty years Crie owned the whole island. By 1896, all of his five children, with their spouses and children lived there, too. He incorporated Ragged Island as the plantation of Criehaven in that year, and for the next few decades it was a thriving island community. In addition to fishing, sheep raising, and farming, Crie kept a general store at Criehaven for many years. Criehaven plantation dissolved in 1925, eliminating the need for town meetings and taxation. The school continued to operate until 1941. After the school closed, year-round families also left, leading to the closure of the general store and post office. Ragged Island showed up on nautical charts in 1754, 1776, and 1819, when it was called “Ragged Arse Island.” McLane asserts that the name might have been an attempt to render “racketash,” Abnaki for “island rocks.” Charts in the mid-19th century began calling it Ragged Island.

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