Wanted: Caretaker for Cushing Island, Maine

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PORTLAND — A summer community in Casco Bay is looking for a year-round caretaker to watch over island homes.

Cushing Island, off the coast of South Portland and next to Peaks Island, has about 45 homes. The island is a part of Portland, but is privately owned.

Island Association President Fred Spencer said summer residents of the island try to keep a low profile, and many of the homes on the island have been in the same families for generations. The summer colony dates back to the mid to late 1800s, and was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and John Calvin Stevens.

“They are seasonal homes, much like Little Diamond Island, I believe,” Spencer said. Captain Hal Cushing, owner of nearby House Island, provides ferry services to Cushing in the summer season.

The island residents are looking for a new caretaker to replace Jack Turner, who died earlier this month. He and his wife had taken care of the island for the last five years.

“(Turner) was fabulous,” Spencer said.

The caretaker position is a live-in job, and Spencer said residents encourage couples to apply, to avoid having someone alone on the island in the event of an emergency.

In exchange for checking in on island homes in the off season, providing maintenance, repairing storm damage, pulling in and taking out docks and taking care of the grounds, the caretaker gets to live in a two-story brick home on the island, with utilities included. And yes, the island is equipped with electricity, phones and running water.

Besides having mechanical and trade skills, the caretaker must own a boat.

“It can be a challenging job,” Spencer said.

Since posting the job in local newspapers, the committee searching for a new caretaker has received “quite a few” resumes, he said, and is about to begin reviewing applicants. Resumes can be sent to cushingsislandmanagersearch@gmail.com.

Kate Bucklin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or kbucklin@theforecaster.net