Lyman V. Rutledge’s memorial service at Star’s memorial garden

On August 20, 2012 I attended the memorial service for Lyman V Rutledge in the memorial garden on Star Island.

Rev. Libby Smith, Life On a Star II’s minister of the week, speaking about Lyman

Lyman’s son Ed shared a number of stories, new to most in attendance.  He spoke about the Dawn birds written about in a previous post.  I’m not sure I had understood the amount of commitment that was required to participate.  They gathered on the east end of the porch around midnight, walked out to East Rock by flashlight, turned out their lights and waited in silence for four or five hours, in anticipation of the sunrise and the new day.  It was greatly symbolic and spiritual ritual that was very close to their hearts.

I also hadn’t known that the orientation of the Parsonage and the east bedroom window looks straight out to East rock and the sunrise, something that was not a coincidence, as Lyman was largely in charge of its construction.

Ed also spoke about his father’s role in the construction at the end of the pier, after so much of it had been demolished in a storm, and they had to quickly rebuild in order to open that season.  With the help of staff, including Bobby Wharem and a number of winches they took stones and rebuilt the pier- Lyman standing right in the gaping hole they were filling, dangerously directing where each massive stone should be placed.

Lyman’s memorial rock was appropriately placed by his son, Ed Rutledge, right at the East point of the compass rose, pointing to the sunrise he so loved.

Ed Rutledge Placing Lyman’s stone at the East point of the Compass

2012 Archaeology – uncovering this summer’s most exciting artifacts

As we saw in an earlier post, we had some archaeologists with us on Star this summer!  Dr. Nathan Hamilton and Lindsey Weeks were in charge of the digging and they set up an awesome display for us in Vaughn Cottage.  The display is being taken down for the summer, but you’ll still be able to see it- the Portsmouth Public Library is looking for a display, so they will have it there for a few months.


Borderware ca. AD 1490-1650, Star Island, TU-1/ 70-80 cm

Slipware- Sgraffito Type, ca. AD 1650-1740, Star Island, TU-1/ 70-80 cm

French Gun Flint, ca. 19th Century, Star Island, TU-1/ 60-70 cm

Rhenish Grey Stoneware Base- Westerwald Type, ca. AD 1575-1775, Star Island

Brass Ball Head Pin, Star Island, TU-2/ 20-30 cm

Star Island’s history is our compass

Portsmouth Patch ran an article this morning, the fifth and last in a series this week on Star Island, focusing on our history.

Star Island is full of fascinating history that, if you allow it, wraps you up and transports you.  Our past is still tangible, even while parts of our operations are being updated, much has remained the same.

Thank you, Robert Cook and Portsmouth Patch, for your attention to our magical retreat, and helping other folks start to unfold our history.

If you’re interested in other Portsmouth Patch articles about Star Island you can read them all here.

If you want to see more of our Vaughn Cottage library, museum and archives, see our website here.