Last chance for Under the Isles of Shoals exhibit at Discover Center in Portsmouth!

If you have not yet made it to the Discover Center in Portsmouth, I highly recommend going for the Under the Isles of Shoals exhibit!  I believe it is up until the end of August. It is a truly wonderful exhibit highlighting the exciting artifacts and discoveries they have uncovered at Smuttynose Island over the past five years, directed by Nathan Hamilton. Continue reading


White Island named for Capt. Joseph White who was brutally murdered in Salem, MA!

On my historical tour of Star Island I stop to talk about all nine islands at the summerhouse- you can see them all from that vantage point, and I mention a little bit about each.

At least once or twice when I mention that White Island was named for Captain Joseph White who was brutally murdered in Salem, MA in 1830 they ask how, and sometimes if it was in conjunction with witches.  (folks always think witches when they hear murder and Salem, MA).

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Baptisms at the Isles of Shoals

I recently received a research request to find out about baptisms at the Isles of Shoals.  The Star Gathering II Conference may be interested in doing a baptism while on Star this summer.  I compiled some information for them, and thought I should share it with all of you.

There is a video of a baptism in the chapel on Star Island, uploaded to YouTube August 18, 2009, presumably filmed August 9, 2009 by looking at the file name.  From the Star Gathering website comes the following testimonial:

My husband and I met in a 1993 Youth Conference. We were married in the chapel on Star Island in 2002 and had our son baptized there in 2009. As members of Star Gathering over the past 3 decades, we’ve made lifelong friends on island and look forward to continuing our annual spiritual vacation.     – Caroline Nigen

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14 fish drowned, one survived- all on the 110th anniversary of 14 waitresses drowning

At first I didn’t believe it.

I thought someone was playing a prank on me.  I had to see the dead fish to believe it, and see Arthur in the Marine Lab cleaning up the mess.

On the 110th anniversary of 14 waitresses drowning off Appledore Island, 14 fish in the main tank in the Rutledge Marine Lab drowned of not enough oxygen in the tank.  The salt water pump had malfunctioned, so the water was not being supplied enough movement and oxygen.  One of the fish survived (much like one of the waitresses was revived).

I was supposed to lead the historical tour of Appledore yesterday, and I was not sad that it had to be cancelled due to not enough folks signed up.  I did not feel like hopping in a boat- but I’m okay today! 🙂

110th Anniversary of the Tragedy of the Waitresses

Today, July 17, 2012, is the 110th anniversary of the terrible tragedy of the waitresses.

On July 17, 1902 14 Star Island waitrae staff drowned off of Appledore Island including the head waiter and assistant waiter.  The following are some of their photos:

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Love and Romance at the Isles of Shoals- in honor of Star Island’s Valentine’s Day today

First off, today is Valentine’s Day.  Staff on Star Island celebrate many of the year’s holidays condensed into the summer months.  I put together some historical romance of the Isles of Shoals to present to the staff here this afternoon and also wanted to share some of it with you. (it was a little too long to share as a post, so I’ve cut bits out)

Photograph of Nick on Star Island, NH. Taken from Jean Caldwell’s scrapbook, who was Pelican staff from 1949-1954. She was also a housekeeper and operated the bookstore in the ’80’s. Caption on back reads Nick- the man I love.

I came out to work on Star 10 years ago, never having been on island before.  I had friends who had worked out here, and friends who had visited.  I was gathering intel before I arrived to see what kind of place I was moving to.  One such friend told me some basic things about the island, but then he got really quiet and serious and made sure I was paying attention.  Like, listen.  EVERYONE falls in love out there.  EVEN the ADULTs.  He was really wide eyed and earnest.  As if adults don’t fall in love anywhere, but this place was magic and tricky, and you just fall in love accidentally as you’re walking down the front porch.  It is such a dreamy and romantic place, it is very easy to fall in love out here. Continue reading

5 Hubbards in Celia Thaxter’s garden on Appledore

This week we have 7 direct descendants of Celia Thaxter on island for the All Star II conference.  5 of them made it to Appledore Island for my historical tour yesterday.  It is great to have them here, and I wanted to share with you a picture of them in front of the foundation of Celia Thaxter’s cottage, in the recreation of Celia Thaxter’s garden.

Left to Right: Jonathan Hubbard, Nicholas Hubbard, Eliot Hubbard, Nathaniel Hubbard, Celia Hubbard. All direct descendants of Celia Thaxter.

Celia Thaxter first came to the islands in 1839.  She was 4 years old and was brought by her father Thomas Laighton who had accepted a position as the White Island Lighthouse keeper.  We went by White Island on the way to Appledore.  It was such a beautiful day.

White Island Light where Thomas Laighton came to be the lighthouse keeper in 1839 with his wife Eliza, daughter Celia (4 yrs) and son Oscar (3 months). Laighton would go on to build the Mid-Ocean House of Entertainment on Smuttnose Island and the Appledore House on Appledore Island.

Happy  Wednesday!