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Fogo Island: “Maine on volume 11” – 60 Minutes

This week on 60 Minutes, correspondent Jon Wertheim takes viewers to Fogo Island, a remote island off the northeast coast of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada. About 90 square miles of scattered fishing villages, the island is only slightly larger than Des Moines, Iowa. But its charm evokes another comparison.

“It’s like Maine in Book 11, almost indescribably picturesque and beautiful,” Wertheim said.

The people of Fogo Island are largely descended from British and Irish migrants. The lingering influence of the Emerald Isle is evident, heard both in the tone of the locals and in the music they play at shed parties, lively gatherings complete with crabbing, beer and dancing.

Although the sights and sounds of the island are reminiscent of an earlier era, Fogo is now trying to reinvent itself, as Wertheim reports. For years, the island’s economy revolved around cod fishing. Today, there is a luxury inn that acts as an economic engine and has also begun to change the character of the island.

To experience Fogo Island up close, visitors must be willing to work for it. The trip for Wertheim and his 60 Minutes crew required several flights and a long drive, including a stop in Gander, the town featured in the Broadway musical “Come From Away.”

“Statistically, I can tell you that most viewers will never have been there,” Wertheim said. “And at the same time, there are a lot of stories that I think will sound familiar to a lot of people in a lot of different communities.”

The video above was originally posted on December 12, 2021 and was produced by Will Croxton, Keith Zubrow and Brit McCandless Farmer. It was edited by Will Croxton.

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