Squirrel

Posted by on Sep 12, 2012 in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Recently, through several acts of serendipity, I found myself on Squirrel Island, Maine (just plain “Squirrel”, if you have a house there), for three days. I stayed in a cottage tucked away by itself on the edge of the island. It is owned by a dear friend whose grandfather was one of the first to call the island his summer “home”. Back then, (1870’s) those who summered on the island, summered in tents. And, according to the island’s historian (who can be found in a room at the back of the post office), the early vacationers came by train to Boothbay Harbor and then took a barge to the island.

For over 90 years Squirrel Island has played host to my friend, “Goldy” Eckels, for at least a couple of weeks every summer. Growing up, she spent entire summers there where she jumped off rope swings into the frigid Maine waters; participated in summer theatre; danced to live bands; played tennis; ate lots of lobster; and watched helplessly at least twice as fire whipped through the dry island pines and claimed the homes of many of her friends, while her father and the other neighbors tried in vain to save them with the island’s short water supply.

Thankfully, there’s not much to do on the island. There are world-class tennis courts; a sports field; a library; and a place to buy a grilled cheese sandwich on white bread and an Arnold Palmer (iced tea/lemonade combo). The island forces you to stop and take note of your surroundings and then delve into that book you’ve put off reading.

Arrival at Squirrel Island

Even though there are a few “streets” on the island, the only motorized vehicles are a few golf carts to deliver groceries and cargo to homes.

Loved the way the fog punctuated this vessel

A sampling of the 100 homes that dot the island. Some are squished together … almost like row houses; others are ordered like neighborhoods; and still others, like the one I stayed in, are completely off on their own.

Every house had a “squirrel” something. …. a weathervane; an ornament on a mailbox; a wind chime; or a lawn ornament. Apparently there are no real squirrels on Squirrel. The island is named because its aerial view looks like a squirrel with an acorn.

Looks like this may be a topiary-to-be

Clearly every resident is onboard with the imagery

Right when I got back from my trip I got the news that the Squirrel Island Post Office would no longer be operative

The back of the post office serves as an historical society complete with a timeline pasted to the wall. Highlights include the erecting of buildings and the fires that took them out.

The island’s library. Please note the erudite squirrel atop the weathervane.

My island “home” for three days.

The souvenirs I left with

3 Comments

  1. ellen mahony
    September 13, 2012

    fantastic! next tme try monhegan island

    Reply
  2. Lori
    September 14, 2012

    This makes me smile!

    Reply
  3. sue
    September 14, 2012

    I want to GO there! It looks so beautiful–as though time hasn’t passed there as it has here–loved seeing these pictures!

    Reply

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