As you leave Boothbay Center with its myriad of complicated forthcomings, on a walk, bike or drive, go west down Corey Lane. Take the first right onto Barters Island Road
and travel on.
Passing Dan's Auto on the left, the “Y” camp on your right, continue by the entrance to the Botanical Gardens, up the hill where the Knickerbocker Inn used to be on your left and Knickerbocker Road on your right.
Back River appears now as you descend by McLellans’ and many old pilings onto the new bridge that crosses Back River to Hodgdon Island and the Magic Kingdom. Destination: Knickercane Island and the old Wilson Francis lobster pound.
Much of this area was redone when the new bridge went in -- expanded parking, new boat launch, updated portable potty (in season). The tiny spit of land that is Knickercane Island park lies next to what, on first sight, I thought was a pond for miniature sailboat regattas.
In my mostly black and white photo days, when departing headquarters on Barters Island, “the Knick,” as I called it, was a must stop, first stop, particularly in winter. Something about the way weather filters through the pass between the headland where Knickerbocker Road breaks off and the first rise on Hodgdon Island created the most interesting stuff, to my eye.
My first hoarfrost experience was encountered at the little bridge onto Knickercane in a frosty fog illuminated by groggy sun destined for a crystalline blue sky morning. The fogs of “the Knick” are mystical.
Wilson Francis, a great movie star name, worked the pound back then almost always. I recall him floating about here and there, quite involved with the management of his stock. I remember the photo I made of a float with a heron on it in the fog with the weir-like pound gates in the distance, and nothing else.
And I thought my memory was failing!