We have an intern! Meet Caitlin.

Hello! My name is Caitlin, and I am the 2013 summer intern for Vaughn Cottage Library and Museum Archives. I have joined the wonderful Star Island community for a summer of fun and intrigue. I recently graduated from Marian University in Indianapolis, Indiana with a degree in history. I have a special love for art history, which is perfect, because Celia Thaxter who lived on the island in the 1800s, was an artist. I can’t wait to learn more about her and all of the other interesting people who lived on this island.


I will be assisting the museum curator by leading some historical tours, facilitating children’s groups, acting as museum docent, and helping with Continue reading

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

Grace Colley, the woman who lived on Duck Island

The Jessie Donahue Collection in the Vaughn Cottage archives closet has some real gems hidden in its boxes and folders.  One of those gems is Grace Colley.  Click on any of the images or pages to make them larger.