Richardson explores North Haven at library

Aug 10, 2012
Eleanor Motley Richardson

Belfast — Belfast Free Library’s lecture series in conjunction with Penobscot Marine Museum’s summer exhibit “Summer Folk: the Tourists of Penobscot Bay” will conclude Tuesday, Aug. 21 with an illustrated talk by Eleanor Motley Richardson at 6:30 p.m. in the Abbott Room of the library, 106 High St.

Richardson’s talk, free and open to the public, is titled Summers in North Haven. Richardson is the author of three books about “Maine: Hurricane Island: The Town that Disappeared” (1989), “North Haven Summers” (1992) and “Mechanic Street: Uncovering the History of a Maine Neighborhood” (2008). A retired organist and organ builder, she and her husband Peter moved to Rockland in 2002 where they run Red Barn Publishing.

North Haven was "discovered" as a summer destination by real estate speculator J. Murray Howe in 1884, along with friends Frank Chandler and Tucker Daland. Together with the island innkeeper Nelson Mullin, they began inviting people up from Boston. Bar Harbor was already a successful summer resort; North Haven offered a simpler and less pretentious setup.

The Thoroughfare proved perfect for sailing. The recent decline in fishing had brought hard times, and summer visitors brought welcome income. Once known for their prime wool, the island's farms soon were being subdivided or sold. The interweaving of year-round and summer communities has fostered both joys and tensions over the past 128 years, but the lines have faded as some summer folks became year-round and intermarriage is common. The talk will be illustrated with photos taken from 100-year-old photo albums from many summer families.

Also on display through August in the library’s Kramer Gallery the exhibit "Greetings From Vacationland: The Postcard View", selections from the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Co. Collection, Penobscot Marine Museum, with captions researched and written by Liz Fitzsimmons. This exhibit, a companion to the “Postcard View” exhibit at the Penobscot Marine Museum, portrays images of how the summer folk of the past enjoyed the many things to do in Waldo County. The exhibit at the Penobscot Marine Museum includes images of all of Penobscot Bay.

For more information, call the library at 338-3884, ext. 10.

Courier Publications' A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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