An island in Casco Bay that was once owned by Arctic explorer Robert Peary is on the verge of being sold for nearly $1 million.

It took just under one month for a buyer to step forward with the promise of paying the $950,000 that the owners of Crab Island in Freeport were asking for the 1-acre island that is just a 10-minute boat ride from the South Freeport boatyard.

LandVest, which listed the island property last month, promoted it as having potential for development as an island getaway with panoramic views of Casco Bay.

“The property is under agreement, but has not sold/closed yet,” Karen N. Reiche, a real estate broker for Landvest, said in an email that Tuesday.

Crab Island went on the market for the first time in 65 years on Aug. 17. It was placed under agreement on Sept. 14. Reiche said the potential buyers do not want to be identified yet.

Freeport tax records list the current owners of Crab Island as Virginia and Alden Waterhouse of Thornton, New Hampshire. According to Reiche, the Waterhouse family has owned the island for the past 65 years, passing it down through multiple generations.


The family wanted to sell the island because of a “change in lifestyle,” Reiche told the Press Herald.

If the sale goes through, the new owners will inherit an island with two sand beaches, walking paths and a 1950s-era camp with two bedrooms, one bath, a large stone fireplace, septic system and two wells.

The island though does have a couple of drawbacks. There is no electricity and no dock. Boats must use the beaches to access the island, but there is potential for a deep-water dock.

Crab Island’s ownership can be traced back to Adm. Peary, the world-famous explorer and Bowdoin College graduate who led an expedition to the North Pole in 1909. It was among a string of islands off Freeport that Peary purchased and became known as Peary’s Freeport Archipelago.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: