Ghosts at the Isles of Shoals- Happy Halloween!

Caswell Cemetery on Star Island

As it’s Halloween, I thought you all might want to hear a little about the ghosts at the Isles of Shoals.  I was prompted to write about it as I saw this article in Gossiportsmouth‘s twitter feed.  At the very bottom they mention Isles of Shoals ghosts:

Since the 1800s the nine islands ten miles off of Portsmouth have been haunted. Hawthorne even wrote about “Old Bab,” a ghost who lived between the hotel and the sea. At the Oceanic Hotel on Star Island people have heard sounds as if someone is rummaging through drawers and moving furniture on the fourth floor – only there’s nothing but Continue reading

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

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:

Continue reading

Secret Society on Star Island- the Dawn Birds & Lyman V. Rutledge

I recently received a research request to get a copy of a symbol.  As it was described I believe it is the symbol of the Dawn Birds, a secret society on Star Island, drawn by Lyman V. Rutledge.

A description of the Dawn Birds from Frederick T. McGill’s book Something Like a Star p.45- 46:

          [Lyman] it was, beyond all others, who opened our eyes to the beauties of the islands.  In fact, he opened our eyes quite literally when he lured us from our beds, led us out to East Rock before sunrise, and let us watch with him the birth of a new day….. Continue reading

Rev. John Tucke – general history and his son’s career

Yesterday I had some museum visitors who were interested in Rev. John Tucke, who is buried on Star Island under the huge obelisk built for him in 1914 to replace his earlier, smaller gravestone.  He was a minister, judge, educator and physician on Star Island for 42 years-  from 1731 until his death in 1773. He was well-respected by the villagers. The Shoalers paid him in dried cod, Isles of Shoals ‘dunfish’ which made him one of the best paid ministers in New England.  The visitors are members of a church in Epsom, NH that was founded by his son and wanted to learn more about Rev. Tucke.

Here is some of the information I found and promised to scan and send to them.  (Which I am sending now). Continue reading