Peninsulas, islands and the highest headlands join in an intricate design cast by the glaciers of the Ice Age to give Harpswell one of the most distinctive geographic profiles of any Maine-coast town. On the west is a single peninsula, Harpswell Neck, a thin finger of granite, pine and rolling meadows dotted with classic 19th-century homes, a scattering of working farms, white churches of architectural perfection and the no-nonsense front yards of the Neck's scores of working lobstermen. (FMI on businesses and visiting Harpswell, visit Harpswell Business Association.)
To the east, Harpswell's other half is really a string of three islands - Great, Orr's and Bailey. Each is joined by bridges, of which the Cribstone Bridge that links Orr's and Bailey is the only remaining engineering marvel of its kind left in the world.
Those who live on these islands are either part of the growing residential community, summer cottage owners or lobstermen and fishermen. Judging by the number of working boats moored in Mackerel Cove, Cundy's Harbor and each of the several other fine deep-water harbors that are Harpswell's greatest natural resource, the lobstermen and their fishing brethren are still a pivotal part of their community.