Frye Island is a town in Cumberland County, Maine, United States. Located in Sebago Lake, the island is accessed via a public car ferry from Raymond Neck, or by private boat. All residents of the resort town are seasonal. The majority of property owners hail from New England area states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire) however there are many other states also represented on the island. Frye Island is vacant from November through April, and the ferry does not operate during that time due to the formation of thick ice during cold winter months. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine Metropolitan Statistical Area. The town had a population of five at the 2010 census.
It was included in the 1750 grant made by the Massachusetts General Court to Captain Moses Pearson, Captain Humphrey Hobbs and their respective companies of soldiers for services during the French and Indian Wars. Pearsontown Plantation was first settled in the 1750s, then incorporated as the town of Standish on November 30, 1785. Frye Island, named for Captain Joseph Frye, seceded to become a separate town on July 1, 1998.
A popular legend on Frye Island tells of Captain Frye and his escape from a tribe of Native Americans in Portland. While being chased, Captain Frye came upon a large rock, now known as Frye’s Leap, and had no way of going around it. Captain Frye made the decision to jump and swim across the channel to Frye Island. Today, many people go to Frye’s Leap to reenact the famous jump, though this is dangerous and illegal.
Frye Island is composed of approximately 1,000 mostly wooded acres interlaced with 22 miles (35 km) of dirt roads. The speed limit is 20 mph (32 km/h). Many of the homes are built on waterfront property overlooking Sebago Lake. Real estate on Frye Island has skyrocketed over the past decade or so, and many of the waterfront homes assess at extremely high values. On the island, there are two marinas, various athletic and recreational facilities, several public beaches, a convenience store, an ice cream stand, a restaurant with a bar, known as the Frye’s Leap Cafe, and a golf club with a lounge that is open to the public.
The island is accessed by twin 65-foot (20 m) single-deck car ferries that are owned and operated by the town. They run every half hour from early in the morning until late in the evening during July and August, reduced somewhat in off-season. The trip takes about 7 minutes. Walk-on passengers are permitted, but there is no passenger parking at the ferry landings.
Frye Island has no Republican caucus at this time.