Around here, Shoalers is the name we use for people who love to hang out at the Isles of Shoals. I can now say that I am one of them. I am so excited to return for the summer of 2014! It is going to be one full of history, community, old friends, chirping birds, beautiful sunsets and sunrises, and oh yeah, maybe a bit of rain to help our veggies and flowers grow. The Vaughn Cottage Museum also has some exciting exhibits that I honestly cannot wait to share with you. Keep checking our blog for the riveting history news.
We have an exciting summer planned for this year, and I hope you can come join us! We’ll save you a seat on the porch.
We lovingly present to you a project we’ve been working on all summer. Our outstanding intern Caitlin Selby wrote the screenplay and we shot and edited this very short historical documentary for you all!
Dave Reynolds, one of our pie victims, the year of the pie-ing
I was hesitating on this one, because I had such a large role, I wasn’t sure I should write it up. I was the bellhop supervisor and my bellhops and I, Janis Zirlen, Nora Mattingly, and Isaac Fitzgerald wanted the bellhop pranks night to be epic. They definitely were. In an effort to not make a long post longer, I will omit some of the pranks pulled.
We’ll start with one part that we didn’t think would be a big deal that turned bigger and then we’ll move to the big deal that got huge…. John French was on night crew and lived on the 4th floor of Gosport. We thought it would be hilarious to tie all his clothes together and hang them out the window as if he were escaping. Well they were out all night and got wet and little did we know he takes his clothes very seriously, actually. So the next day all of our bed frames and mattresses disappeared, along with anyone’s beds who we might have been seeing. They ended up being found in the attic by the salt water tanks.
Part 2: we had the bakery make us three whipped cream pies. We decided to target the heads of engineering, the Island Engineer- Ben Fowler, the Facilities Manager- Dave Reynolds, and the Engineer Supervisor- Morgan Kennedy. Long story short, we called them all into the lobby and pied them in the face. They were shocked and awed. Also, an accidental prank sidebar is that our clothes and their clothes were all thoroughly covered in whipped cream, so we put them in the pel laundry bins downstairs. I guess we should have put a note on them or soaked them or something, because we left them too long, the milk must have curdled because our clothes smelled bad forever and the laundry staff was pissed. Whoops.
The engineers soon decided to retaliate. One by one the bellhops soon found themselves alone cornered and surrounded by 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.
Pelicans, (what we call Star Island staff), speak what seems to be “in code” sometimes. We don’t always know we’re doing it, and sometimes we have a hard time talking about Star Island in a way that mainland folks will understand. This is not new, but it is constantly changing. I decided to start work on a Pel lexicon to help break down some of the language barriers Continue reading →
This past summer we got a great box of donations that had belonged to Lenny Reed, a past cook on Star Island for many years, about whom there are many stories that maybe we’ll get on the blog at some point- (let me know if you have some of the stories and would like to share them!)
One of the photographs in the collection was this one of the Star Island staff in 1953: