Kingsmouth Town Edit
When the first European settlers scattered across the coastline of Maine and Massachusetts in the beginning of the 17th century, the area that is present-day Solomon Island proved ideal for settlement. There was an abundant wood supply, the bay offered a sheltered, natural harbour, and there was plenty of fish and game.
The early years were tough on the settlers. Plagued by illness and malnutrition, they were in constant conflict with the natives and each other. Many people, natives and colonists, died.
By the early 1660s English settlers had successfully claimed a foothold in the area, constructing a small church, a tavern and a few homesteads. In 1667 Kingsmouth Town was founded as a permanent settlement, quickly expanding in size and stature and reaching a population of just under a thousand people. The town has remained small and rural to this day, with no significant growth in population.
The first governor was Solomon Priest, a young solicitor who came to the New World from England. He was appointed to the position and founded Kingsmouth Town, named so in honour of King Charles II of England. Solomon Priest remained governor until his early death in 1682. His friend and business partner, Isaac Fletcher, inherited the position as well as the Priest house.
Kingsmouth is by all measure of things a township founded on tradition, fraternal societies and a great will to come together in unity. A few - but important - institutions have upheld their strong place in the small community.
Following a fire in 1712 that burned down most of the town, a great deal of money was invested in its reconstruction - all donated by powerful individuals and groups with interests in Kingsmouth. One of the first structures to be rebuilt was the Kingsmouth Congregational Church in 1713. Although renovated and modernised since, today's church looks much like it did three hundred years ago.
The most prominent and important institution in Kingsmouth is Innsmouth Academy. Built in 1798, the academy enrolls the children of the rich and influential. Behind its public image as an exclusive boarding school, Innsmouth is also one of the main assets of the Illuminati in North America.
The large, though otherwise anonymous, house next to the church is commonly called the Priest House. It was once the home of Kingsmouth founder Solomon Priest. The curtains are always drawn, denying passers-by any glimpse of the inside. This has, over the years, led to wild speculation and humorous suggestion as to what really goes on behind its doors.
During the 19th century, many a wife of the Kingsmouth elite suspected the Priest House to be some sort of gentlemen's club and private brothel. There was even an attempt to burn the house down in the 1830s, but the enraged wives were stopped by their husbands. While these rumours are unfounded, the house does have its secrets, among them an entry to a network of tunnels under Kingsmouth. The tunnels were built by the Illuminati to accommodate their vast archive of secret documents and used to move between locations or escape quickly if needed.
A fishing town since the beginning, the prominence of commercial fishing and hulking trawlers has come to dominate small industry in places like Kingsmouth. The local economy and the harbour facilities have suffered the most as a result. But there is still hope, especially during summer, when restaurants like the Lobster Trap pack with tourists and fishermen top up their income by offering chartered whale watching trips.
For such a small town, Kingsmouth has a strong entrepreneurial spirit. The many shops and dining places serve the locals and people in Solomon County, but also thrive in the summer months when urban tourists travel up the coast to experience the true coastal atmosphere of New England.
The only drugstore in Kingsmouth, Flagg's Pharmacy, was established in 1884 by a young snake oil peddler who decided to settle down after too many encounters with the law and a near-lynching in Colorado. Phileas Flagg made a great deal of money from his new, legitimate business. In 1902 he sold the pharmacy and moved back west.
The Raven's Knock sells "magic" knick-knacks and New Age charms. It is run by Madame Roget, a self-proclaimed medium and clairvoyant. The eccentric little shop has proved a reasonable success, even in a small town like Kingsmouth.
A mining museum opened in 1998 to some fanfare, being the only museum in Kingsmouth. Funded in full by the Franklin Foundation, it offers information about mining in New England, and in particular about the Blue Ridge Mine. The museum has tried to angle its showcases positively, and avoids the troubled history of the mine as much as it can.
The classic road-side diner down by the Kingsmouth harbour - Susie's - was built in the 1920s. Since then it's been an important gathering place for everyone in the small town community, from procrastinating youth to bragging fishermen and weary housewives.
Red's Bait and Tackle opened in 1947, built by a Canadian man out of Quebec. The shop struggled in the beginning, mainly because the owner was someone from the outside, but eventually, his charm won the locals over. He hired staff from the local Wabanaki tribe, and the place was even bought by one of the employees when the owner retired. The business of selling sporting, fishing and hunting goods has survived well over the years.
Edgar Stone - a peculiar local - owns a scrapyard near the Kingsmouth Municipal Airport. Some would call Edgar the village idiot, although never to his face. Guarded by a couple of mean-spirited dogs, the scrapyard has often served as a safe haven in the thick of all kinds of terror.
Aside from the businesses in town, Kingsmouth has a number of interesting sights scattered around the island. Some are in plain view, such as the massive lighthouse in the south. The towering beacon has guided merchant ships, whalers and fishing vessels into the safe harbour of Kingsmouth since the late 1820s. Now automated, the lighthouse had been deserted the past few decades, but was recently rented out to famous author Sam Krieg, who sought solitude to work on his next novel.
In the forest between Red's Bait and Tackle and the Overlook Motel is a treehouse, the "lodge" of the League of Monster Slayers, a club started by a group of venturous boys in 1983.
All the way south on the island is Suicide Bluff, a viewpoint with coin-operated binoculars overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Despite the stunning scenery, the point is avoided by locals. Too many tragic stories are associated with the place; the scene of suicides, ghosts have been spotted lurking the cliffside and beaches below. Most people in Kingsmouth agree that there is evil about. During the small pox epidemics between 1500 and 1750, several hundred natives killed themselves by jumping off the cliff into the frigid arms of the sea.
Apart from the familiar and visible sights, those who go looking will find several worthwhile - even mystical - locales. Some are carved out by Mother Nature, like Frenchman Cove and Smuggler's Scar, while others hold hidden histories, like the secret nooks of the marsh, the warding stones, the tree circles, the crop circles, the lairs of mythical beasts - all part of the unique geography of Kingsmouth and Solomon Island.
One might think that life in a small town like this - with its sinking economy, its set ways and sense of isolation - would slowly drive people away. Not so in Kingsmouth. The people here are chips cut from a special part of the block. They like living in an unusual place - because they, too, are a little out of the ordinary.
Kingsmouth has been a supernatural place - a magical home for man and beast alike - since its beginning. The population knows its roots: they know about the Illuminati background, the dark history of the island, the monsters and murders, the occult and the downright freaky. But they choose to ignore it, to keep silent and look the other way. Secrets thrive in this idyllic little place and the locals have learned to live with them.
Perhaps it is their pragmatic attitude which carries the survivors through the recent crisis, without causing them to lose the final fragment of their sanity. Their town and their lives are irreversibly changed, yet those who are left display an unbroken will to protect what is theirs. It may not be much, it may be rank with dark history and terrible secrets, but it is theirs. And surely that is worth fighting for.