Damariscotta Lake, the link between the towns of Jefferson, Newcastle, and Nobleboro, has always had a unique allure. Each spring, thousands of alewives return from the Atlantic Ocean to struggle up the fish ladder at Damariscotta Mills and reach their traditional spawning grounds. Many early settlers made a living through shipbuilding, milling, farming, and harvesting ice, wood, and alewives. In the 20th century, the establishment of children's camps, fishing lodges, cottages, and homes relied on the lake's draw for recreation. The area has been a destination for notables such as Arthur Godfrey and Thomas Watson, writers Henry Beston and Elizabeth Coatsworth, and Pulitzer Prize winners Robert Lowell and Jean Stafford.