Photos and Story by Julie Pulieo, Big Eddy Site Assistant

Put together a wood-fired pizza oven, your favorite toppings, and fat salmon jumping in nearby rapids against the backdrop of a tangerine sunset, and you’ve got a Big Eddy Pizza Party.

Big Eddy’s pizza oven was built in 2011 by Steve Pert, a regular visitor before his passing in 2011. He made the oven from stone, bricks, and a unique assortment of rocks and fossils gathered from the river and land around Big Eddy Campground. Since then, it’s become a hotly anticipated tradition for Big Eddy Guests, some of whom are so inspired they returned home to build their own.

Besides being a master craftsman and lover of pizza, Pert was an avid fisherman. For decades, he fished the Big Eddy and West Branch of the Penobscot. Over the years, hundreds of guests and Chewonki campers have enjoyed his oven (as well as its output!).

So, if you’re thinking about stopping by Big Eddy next summer (it’s never too soon to carve out time on your calendar!), make sure to bring pizza fixings and join the tradition.