This is Celia Thaxter’s parlor! In here, she would do a lot of her writing and painting. Can you find her writing desk? It seems almost hidden amongst all of the lavish decor. And what about the walls? Almost every inch is covered with photographs, paintings, and anything else Celia wanted to display–even works created by her elite New England friends! Can you imagine trying to focus and do work in a room with so much going on around you? I would definitely get distracted. However, it wasn’t just Celia who enjoyed a what we might call “cluttered” work space. In fact, Continue reading
The Pelican Garden on Star Island is beautiful, has an impressive yield and now has its own blog! You can check it out here, An Island Garden.
You may recognize the name of Celia Thaxter’s book about her own Isles of Shoals Garden, published the year of her death in 1894. You can purchase the volume online on Shops on Star, in our bookstore, or read it on island in the Vaughn Library. It describes her garden on Appledore in detail, how she dealt with pests, and is a charming memoir.
Don’t miss the About page for Pelican Garden history!
Did you miss the Vaughn Cottage library and museum in 2012? Each year it is set up differently and highlights various storylines in Isles of Shoals history.
Well here’s a quick virtual tour of the cottage for you if you missed it, or if you want to revisit it!
Vaughn Cottage 2012 Exhibits (the link again in case you didn’t click it above!)
More information is available on the Vaughn website– such as more photos and information regarding all of the Celia Thaxter pottery shown last year as well as more information on some of the Dreamboats photos.
As we ramp up for the 2013 season with exhibits that will be determined this spring, do you have any requests or things that you would like to see covered?
Have you heard? Did you see the new button in our sidebar? No, not the one of the dreamboat that you can use to link to us from your blog, (but feel free to do so!), the Rutledge Marine Lab has a new blog! And they have been blogging about some cool historical stuff! Way to go, Drew Bush and Matt Terenna for spearheading this!
They have already posted about historical flora and fauna, geology and more! Head on over there and check it out.
One of my all time favorite Isles of Shoals stories is the one about Celia Thaxter’s bear. Fred McGill tells it well. Click on the pages below to open them in a new window, then you can click on the image to enlarge it for easier reading.
We on Star Island have not forgotten the Smuttynose Murders, and there is also evidence that Louis Wagner may have been innocent! I have compiled some of the resources on the Vaughn Website under http://vaughncottage.omeka.net/freelouis
One of the other rumored suspects was Karl Thaxter, Celia Thaxter’s oldest son. She would have been especially motivated to become involved to make sure her son was safe. She wrote a letter about the murder available here, and also wrote A Memorable Murder on Smuttynose about the tragic event.
Just last night Ann Beattie presented Murder on Smuttynose Island at the Historic Star conference on island this week- the theme this year is Mystery & Mayhem! She presented a good case for Louis’ guilt, so perhaps it was him after all.
At the Discover Center there is currently on display the murder ax, shown above, on loan from the collection with a note that says there is definitive proof that Louis was indeed the murderer. There is more information available at Anatomy of an Ax Murder and other books and resources at http://vaughncottage.omeka.net/freelouis so you can decide for yourself!
Enjoy this unique insight into Celia Thaxter’s husband.
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.
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.
Happy Birthday Oscar Laighton!
Oscar Laighton, the elder of Celia Thaxter’s two younger brothers, was born on June 30, 1839. If he were alive today he would be 173 years old.
Oscar came out to White Island when he was only 3 months old with his parents Thomas and Eliza Laighton and his older sister Celia. He didn’t go back to the mainland until he was 16 years old, when he saw Portsmouth for the first time, a tall tree, the bustling of a mainland town. He was so startled and disoriented he went back to the Isles of Shoals and did not leave again for a long time. Continue reading
Happy Birthday Celia Thaxter!
Celia Thaxter was born on June 29, 1835.
If she were alive today she would be 177 years old. In honor of her birthday I bring to you scanned memoirs of her niece, Barbara Laighton Durant. Continue reading