About Drakes Island

Thomas Drake, a trader and a voyager lived on a small island in Casco Bay. He sailed the Maine Coast from Yarmouth to Wells, establishing trading posts with the Indians. In 1645, history mentions Drake Island as named after this Thomas Drake. It does not state that he ever lived there, but the name "Drake" Island has been on the maps for over 350 years. Mention is made in several texts of Thomas Drake being on the Island in 1652.

Drakes Island Improvement Association

The Drakes Island Improvement Association, or DIIA, is a recreational & enrichment program for the Drakes Island community. The DIIA will celebrate its 107th year in 2018. DIIA programs and events are open to all DIIA members - and membership is open to all homeowners and renters on the island. The Day Camp Programs (Little Kids Day Camp for ages 4-7 and Big Kids Camp for ages 8 & up) run from the end of June through the end of August. In addition, events like craft nights, movie nights and off-island trips are planned throughout the summer. The DIIA also has tennis lessons, tennis tournaments (for both kids and adults). Whether you've spent every summer on the island or you're spending your first week here, we encourage you to join in on all the DIIA has to offer.

Discover Drakes Island

After many dedicated years of maintaining and protecting our treasured "Book(s) of Homes and history of Drakes Island, Ellie Carberry passed the torch to Karen Kalec. Ellie passed away in 2008, but I'm sure we can all agree, that she would be proud and honored that her efforts to share "her love of Drakes Island" will continue well into the future. Discover Drakes Island Day is held every summer at the Community House. The "Book of Homes" will be available to browse through and enjoy. If your home has had a change in ownership, an addition added, or any other notable update for our books, please let Karen Kalec know. She wants to make sure the books stay current with information.

We also invite everyone to share stories and memories relating to special events or homes on Drakes Island, in what will be a new addition to our collection for future generations to enjoy. We'll welcome old photographs, postcards, or any memorabilia (and if you don't want to part with originals, no problem ~ we welcome copies! Our main goal is to preserve the history and charm of this very special place by the sea and we look forward to spending time with friends and neighbors learning and recording the old (and new) times that make Drakes Island a wonderful place to live!

Remember the books are always available to check out and enjoy at your leisure. The "Book of Homes" is a wonderful look into the past and present homes of Drakes Island. Karen Kalec, the Drakes Island historian now works to develop and preserve this book and runs the Discover Drakes Island History day. All 250 homes are pictured and described. As each year passes, these book become more nostalgic as well as informative.

A History of Drakes Island: Drakes Island from 1630 to 1950

A History of Drakes Island

This document was originally published in the Driftwood from 1949 -1951. It was compiled by Mabel W. Kelley, edited by Mr. Paul R. Dunn and preserved by Mrs. Frank C. Mildram. In 2008, Richard Brinley re-typed and reformatted the original texts for e-preservation and your reading pleasure.


"I wish to acknowledge the following sources for the accuracy of these records; Bourne’s History; “Pioneers of Maine Rivers,” by Spencer; The record of my relatives, the late H.C. Durrell, President of the New England Historical Society, for whom I collected some data. Our ancestor Phillip Durrell having settled that part of Wells later called Kennebunk about 1670, many facts were handed down in the family; The historical papers prepared by my father, Charles W. Kelley and also my Mother’s Diary records. Counter checked at Kennebunk Library; the McArthur Library of Biddeford and Portland Libraries..." if you would like to read more, download the PDF by clicking on the image to the left.