Laundry room Pranks

Story shared by William Thomas Harper: (fourth in our pranks series!)

In 2009 I was the Laundry super and had to deal with many temperamental washing machines, in particular the machine named Sir Tinkles (don’t know who named him, but he was never quite right).  I spent lots of time learning how to fix those washers and ended up on Maintenance the following season because of it.  One of my projects (besides getting the new industrial-size washing machines installed) was to get rid of the machines that didn’t quite cut the mustard.  Sir Tinkles was on top of my make-or-break list and I ended up dragging it over to the power house and gutting it for parts.

Once I realized that I essentially had an empty shell of a washer that I could fit inside of, I realized that there were endless possibilities for the new Sir Tinkles.  With the help of Sam Mansfield, I carried the washing machine to the laundry room- unbeknownst to Chamber.  I climbed inside and shut the lid and waited, while Sam lured the unsuspecting Chamber crew into the laundry room Continue reading

Woman in photograph identified! Hulda Marie Hanlon breathes life into archives

I love it when folks come into the Thaxter museum and recognize someone in a photograph.  I’m usually able to get some information about their connection, and learn a little more of the intimate island history.  It is especially precious when we didn’t know who the person in the photograph was, and we can help complete our knowledge of our archives.  That’s one reason I put up the Dreamboats exhibit this summer- so you all can help me identify these folks! (More on lady on the rocks in a future post!)

This past summer a woman in a photograph was identified by her lovely granddaughter, Sandra Smith.  Hulda Marie Hanlon is the woman standing in Star Island’s dining hall in the photograph below.  Hulda was in charge of the waitresses at the time of the picture.  She was also the head of housekeepers after WWII.  Her daughter Elsie Hanlon was also a pel, and Sandra Smith’s mom.

Waitresses back in the day, or, how we used to walk to shack in the snow uphill both ways

I can’t be sure how much of this is accurate, but some of it is corroborated by other historical accounts.  I know Pelicans of our day have it easy, and I have heard many former Pelicans talk of the hardships they endured and the badges of honor they won for their dedication and service on Star.  But some of this sounds just plain ridiculous.  Please let me know if you have more solid evidence of the truth in these pages.

Frederick T. McGill, who was an island legend in his own right, was the historian for a number of years.  He started a notebook.  In these pages I found the following story recorded July 7, 1998:

Today Allison Brayton gave a talk to the All Star 2 conferees on her experiences working on Star during the 1930s.  Allison worked as a waitress from 1933 until 1937, and had many stories about how things were so different then.  For example, there were no room assignments.  The girls would live in the Shack and the boys in Gosport.  Which room one Continue reading

1970s Prank – making Star Island more colorful

Frederick T. McGill, who was an island legend in his own right, was the historian for a number of years.  He started a notebook to record things that he and later Vaughn Curators heard over the years.  In these pages I found the following story recorded August 9, 1998:

Rosalee Ward visited Vaughn today, and had some great stories from when she was a Pelican during the 1970s.  The Pelicans decided to make Star a little more colorful by putting the baker’s Continue reading