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McGee Island is located off the coast of Maine in the Township of St. George. It actually consists of two islands, McGee Island and Barter Island. McGee Island is the larger of the two islands measuring about 90 acres / 41 hectares while Barter Island is about 60 acres / 27 hectares. McGee and Barter Islands lay in close proximity to each other, are interconnected at low tide, and form a natural harbor on the west side of both islands.

The islands were inhabited for an unknown period of time, but likely for several hundreds of years, by the local Native Americans. Walter Meloney is thought to be the first settler of European descent to have resided on McGee possibly as early as 1760. The islands’ subsequent inhabitants principally were farmers who also raised sheep and cows although they likely also fished during the off-season.

Although it is unknown how McGee and Barter Islands were so named, McGee may have been named after Peter McGee, a Revolutionary War veteran who fought with Thomas Meloney, Walter’s son.

Portions of the islands were purchased, willed, and / or sold to several families over the years, but were consolidated by Ada Chadwick and Orrin Hupper around the early 1900s and then sold in 1912 to Arioch Wentworth Erickson, an ancestor of the Erickson Clan.

Arioch designed several of the buildings on McGee including the Main House, the Big Boat House, and the Little Boat House. The construction took place over three years and finally was completed around 1915 or 1916. Arioch, his wife, and three sons lived on McGee during the summer months during which time large gardens would be planted and the harvest preserved and taken to their home in Massachusetts to be enjoyed during the winter months.

The islands were closed around 1934 when Arioch and his wife moved to Nassau as a result of Arioch’s declining health. He subsequently died in 1939. The islands remained closed until around 1966 when two of Arioch’s sons retired and began spending time on McGee restoring the buildings and updating them with modern conveniences such as running water and electricity.

McGee and Barter Islands now serve a key role in keeping Arioch’s descendants connected. In addition to families using McGee as a vacation destination, the Erickson Clan comes together on McGee for an annual family gathering where multiple generations play games, tell stories, engage in shared activities, and form bonds that keep the Clan close.