Settlement Quarry April excerpt ‘Beads and String’

~Beads & String~
A Maine Island Pilgrimage
by Marnie Reed Crowell and Ann Flewelling

“Join natural history writer Marnie Reed Crowell and photographer Ann Flewelling as they take you through a year, month by month, visiting some gems of conserved lands encircling Deer Isle. It is a pilgrimage you’ll want to join as they introduce you to special places and special people. Marnie’s lively essays and poems and Ann’s luminous photographs show off land trust work at its best”
Ciona Ulbrich, Maine Coast Heritage Trust

Beads & String – Chapter II ~ April ~ Settlement Quarry

How Campbell’s Cove Became Gray’s Cove

By Bill Haviland, IHT Trustee.

One of the Island Heritage Trust’s more popular preserves is the Reach Beach at Gray’s Cove. But Gray’s Cove wasn’t always called that; originally it was Campbell’s Cove and the land to the south, now Oak Point, was called Campbell’s Neck.

The original name comes from John Campbell (1730-1820), a native of Arglyshire in Scotland who came to Deer Isle around 1780 and settled on the Reach. He was not the first to do so for as early as 1753, just before the start of the last of the French and Indian wars, William Greenlaw (also from Scotland) with his family moved onto 500 acres that stretched between what later would be called Torrey’s Mill Pond and Campbell’s Neck. Because the Greenlaws had Tory sympathies during the American Revolution, they found it expedient to flee to New Brunswick in Canada after the war. Not until some years later did some of William’s descendants return to the island, and then to Oceanville.

John Campbell acquired some of the Greenlaw lands and then some; large for the time, his holdings took in Campbell Island (on which IHT has an easement) all of what is now called Oak Point, and the lands north to beyond the junction of the Fish Creek and Reach roads, and west nearly to the junction of Fish Creek and Greenlaw District Roads.

In all, this amounted to something on the order of 460 acres. His homestead stood until nearly the end of the 20th Century at Poplar Point at the end of a private road now called Alberta Lane. By then, it had fallen into such disrepair that the Deer demolished it and the Deer Isle Fire Department used it as a means of practicing firefighting.

Campbells continued to occupy the old homestead well into the twentieth century, the last being John’s great grandson, Arthur. He is listed in the 1910 census as a farmer and lobster buyer. Arthur’s mother, Diana Campbell Hardy Campbell, was herself a granddaughter of John Campbell’s daughter Sarah. Diana’s husband, quite a bit older than she, was the son of her father’s mother’s brother. After Arthur’s death in 1951, what was left of the Campbell holdings, including the old homestead, passed to the Hutchinson descendants of Diana’s daughter May, who was fathered by her mother’s second husband, George Hatch (Hutchinson was May’s married name). Thus, the place continued to be occupied by John Campbell’s descendants until recently.

John Campbell’s daughter Sarah married Peter Hardy, Jr. (1770-1863), a master mariner who, over the course of his life, served several times as selectman and two terms in the state legislature. Although he already had a 100-acre farm – the fourth one north of Campbell’s – John deeded to his new son-in-law a 100-acre parcel running from the northwest shore of Campbell’s Cove westward along the north shore of Fish Creek. Peter and Sarah never lived there, however. Instead, they traded this parcel for the farm of Benjamin Weed (on the south end of Little Deer ) from Weed’s Point (east to the end of Weed Point Rd.). Peter and Sarah’s homestead stood where the McWilliams house now stands.

Eventually, Josiah Gray of Brooksville, who had married a daughter of Benjamin Weed, acquired the farm that his father-in-law had gotten from Peter Hardy. Together, the Grays raised thirteen children, one of whom married Silas Hardy Gray. He was the

son of Isaac Gray who settled on Little Deer Isle some time after 1800. Among Isaac’s neighbors were Peter Hardy and Jonathan Hardy, whose farm was where the bridge now lands on Little Deer. Both Jonathan and Peter had sons named Silas so obviously a close time must have existed between these Hardys and Grays.

After Josiah’s death, Silas lived in his father-in-law’s homestead until his own death in 1882. The house still stands not far from the cove; it is the first one on right-hand side of Oak Point Rd., south of the intersection of Fish Creek Rd. Either Silas’ wife’s mother and father are said to be buried behind the house. With Josiah and then Silas in residence there, the cove lost the original name and became Gray’s Cove as we know it today.

Scott’s Landing Preserve Officially Open

A large crowd turned out for the Scott’s Landing Grand Opening August 5 three years after the campaign began to purchase one of the last unspoiled shore land parcels on Deer Isle. Ciona Ulbrich of Maine Coast Heritage Trust and IHT President Bill Haviland untied the symbolic ribbon with over 50 people in attendance including young and old, new and long-time islanders. The 22-acre parcel was sold by Nathan and Ellen Pitts to the MCHT in early 2006 after a collaborative campaign between the two organizations. MCHT then deeded the property to IHT. In anticipation of long term stewardship costs, MCHT, the statewide land conservation organization, sold a two-acre parcel to fund endowment and ongoing stewardship costs. Teamed up with the four-acre parcel purchased separately by IHT in 2004, the Preserve now encompasses 24 acres of shoreline, beaches, nature trails, historic sites, and wildlife habitat.

IHT published a Scott’s Landing brochure and a Scott’s Landing History brochure that are available at the brand-new kiosk at the Preserve entrance opposite Causeway Beach. The kiosk was designed by Don Reiman and constructed by Ann and Roger Hooke, Joe Dorr, Jim White, Steve Whitney, and Steve Rowan.

Hundreds of donors and supporters contributed almost a million dollars to purchase the land with an anonymous donor closing the gap at the last minute through MCHT to complete the sale.

The Preserve is open to the public during day time hours for picnicking, trail hiking, and swimming. There are unusual plants that are listed on the back of the kiosk. Sandy and rocky beaches offer visitors a chance to explore the shore. The trails are marked with signs showing the location of the original ferry boat buildings and the Scott family barn and other historic features.

There was an archaeological dig in June directed by archaeologist Steve Cox with a team of amateur archaeologists and community members who signed up to participate in the five day dig. He and IHT President and anthropologist Bill Haviland will present a Talk on the findings in the fall. Check the web site and newspapers for date and time.

Scott's Landing Field Trip

Haviland Story of William Eaton’s Bull

Before its acquisition by Nathaniel Scott in 1784, what we now know as Scott’s Landing belonged to Major William Eaton, one of Deer Isle’s earliest English-speaking settlers.

Born in Massachusetts, he worked his way down east and in 1742, we find him in York, Maine where he married Meribah Wardwell. Her father was an Abenaki Indian, her mother a colonist who, near the start of Dummer’s War (sometimes called Lovewell’s War (1721-1726) was carried off into captivity by the Indians. When later repatriated, she had little Meribah in tow.

Not until 1762 did the Eatons settle on Deer Isle, building their house a short distance south of where the Inn at Ferry Landing now stands. Its cellar could still be seen as recently as 1940. Like the other early settlers, Major Eaton came here to farm raising both crops and livestock. And therein lies our story, as told by Verna Powers Billings in a brief manuscript in the archives of the Deer Isle-Stonington Historical Society. Vera was a descendant of William Eaton of Dr. Moody Powers who was a daughter of William Eaton, II. Vera’s story was recorded in 1947. It goes like this:

My grandmother Lucinda (Gray) Powers told my mother about the Indians who were living at the northern end of the island near Little Deer Isle bar. Major William Eaton had a bull that the Indians were much afraid of. They called it “All One Devil” and because of it moved away from that part of the island.”

Short though it is, the story is important for establishing that Indians were still living here when early “white” settlers arrived. Evidently, they camped somewhere on Scott’s Point (where the causeway now begins), a locality that we know was important to them for at least 3,000 years.

This importance derived from the abundance of marine resources nearby as well as for the proximity of a major transportation artery that passed between Deer Isle and Little Deer. This was the Deer Isle canoe route – still in use well into the 20th century – that ran from the Bagaduce through the middle of Deer Isle to the islands to the south.

Looking Back: 20 Years of IHT’s Dedication To Land Conservation

IHT celebrated its 20th anniversary with a Celebration at this year’s Annual Meeting held at Heritage House, its future permanent home.

After acknowledging the contributions of many including founder Rowan Wakefield, President Ken Crowell highlighted many accomplishments of IHT including its community programs – Adopt-A-Preserve Program, collaboration with Island Community Center in providing summer programs to kids at Camp Kooky, its many free Walks and Talks programs for the public, and Quarryography dance festival with the Opera House Arts – as well as significant land and stewardship projects, especially in the last five years.

Here are comments from some of the early supporters of the Trust:

Brenda Gilchrist (from her remarks in tribute to Rowan Wakefield) – ” I remember attending meetings around Rowan’s kitchen table in the early years.  We were a small band, incited, fueled by Rowan’s enthusiasm and total dedication to the IHT.  Barbara, his wife, sat quietly in the background, ably assisting.  Gentle, friendly, a smile always on his face, Rowan worked indefatigably around the clock, inspiring us to share his commitment.  He had a talent for networking in the field, for organization building, and for finding people to roll up their sleeves on behalf of the IHT.  Tireless in his pursuit of grant money, he also wrote and edited much of the Newsletter.”

Cherie Mason – “On an evening in 1986 in the apartment above the Pilgrim’s Inn barn, Lloyd Capen, Dud Hendrick and I were ending a meeting of the Deer Isle Conservation Commission when we reopened our discussion of establishing a land trust on Deer Isle.  We were encouraged by Blue Hill’s successful effort.  We began making a list of people we knew who might be interested (that battered list is attached).  We then went to Blue Hill to pick the brains of Jean Nickerson and others.  From there the ball just rolled and rolled.” (She attached lists of former board members which I will leave in the office on Monday.)

Dan Hadley –  His memories of the early days include working on a strategic plan.  He “recommends that IHT adopt an aggressive campaign to inform new property owners about the work of the trust and also about local customs concerning waterfront access.  A significant number of new owners bring with them their “from away” views re: private property.  The result is that many clammers find themselves shut out of access to the shore.  I would be glad to work on an educational effort directed to this issue.”

Peg Myers – “The early days of the Trust seemed “ad hoc”, putting things together from scratch.  It was exciting, as we felt we were building something important for the future of the Island.  It was a scramble at times – finding a place for an office (we had several office sites:  Main Street in Stonington where the back room of the Dry Dock is; at the back of the Opera House below the stage; and on the porch of the old Atlantic Avenue Hardware.  Getting our first easement was a landmark event.  Another milestone was the purchase of the Settlement Quarry, the first property to be owned by the IHT.  The early focus was on attaining easements, as there was not the money to purchase land.  Each easement was a triumph of cultivating the interest of landowners in the future preservation of their land.”

Stan Myers – “Conservation easements are an important conservation tool but they do not impress skeptical Deer Islanders about the community benefits of protecting private land from future development”    …..’ Preserving Settlement Quarry, an important remnant of Stonington’s industrial past and opening it to everyone for exploration, hiking and enjoyment helped shift community attitudes towards greater appreciation of the Trust’s work.”

Dan Hotaling – “When we moved to Deer Isle year-round in 1993/94 and served on the board, I was convinced of the excellence of the mission, the people and the accomplishments (land acquisition, easements and long-range education and education for everyone).”

Diane Walker – “I remember Stephanie Levy as the first staff person.  Ian served on the Land Committee beginning in 1991.  He prepared the first list of steps for preparing a Conservation Easement.  At that time there was little or no really helpful information for new land trusts, so “helter skelter”, not well-organized or systematic procedures rules – drove Ian to take it on because he cared that IHT have a systematic process and stick to procedures….The Conservation Easement Handbook, published in ’87, a key document with necessary background and legal information, was helpful in identifying the steps and criteria but few people had it, or read it or used it at that time.”

Molly Felton – “Ned and I already serve as stewards for two islands and plan to continue on doing so.  We feel that our IHT is a most important asset to the communities of Deer Isle and value its connection with the larger communities of environmentally conscious groups.”

Dee Dee Moore – “The Island Heritage Trust has been a significant variable in the quality of life on the Island, and is gaining much greater acceptance and involvement by natives.  I truly appreciate the incredible commitment of so many volunteers.  Important accomplishments have been involving the schools and children in knowing and valuing their island; involving natives on the board; preserving the Causeway Beach and properties that would deny development of high rises, etc.”

2007 Quarryography Astounds

Where else can an excavator upstage a dance troupe? Only in the region’s most unique collaboration between a land trust, an arts organization, a quarry, and a machine artist.

Full of surprises, this year’s four, full-scale Quarryography dance performances wowed over 1600 enthusiasts at IHT’s Settlement Quarry against a backdrop of perfect Maine summer weather. That is not a misprint – the show averaged over 400 people a night around the quarry rim.

Stage Manager Katt Lissard, Choreographer Mia Kanazawa, House Manager Karen Galella and Director and Choreographer Alison Chase react to a great moment in Quarryography. Photo by Mac Herrling

Stage Manager Katt Lissard, Choreographer Mia Kanazawa,
House Manager Karen Galella and Director and Choreographer
Alison Chase react to a great moment in Quarryography.
Photo by Mac Herrling

Choreographers Alison Chase and Mia Kanazawa masterfully wove together a bravura of puppetry, flying dancers, Caribbean music, and moments of pure joy and banditry that had the audience cheering and applauding far past an exquisite climax.

The machine artist in question is Rick Weed of Deer Isle and his Mark III, Belco Excavator. Weed’s incredible dexterity with a two-ton leviathan has been honed with Championships scored at Backhoe Rodeos over the last decade. Competitors must excel at events like Backhoe Bowling, Backhoe Basketball, and Egg in the Nest. For the latter, the operator must pick up an egg from a sand pile and gently place it into a straw “nest” inside a tire. It is exactly this virtuosity that provided the possibilities for the production. Weed’s finesse gave dancers the confidence to crawl inside a bouncing bucket, drape their bodies over his machine, hang from wrist straps 40 feet above the quarry surface, and lie still as steel teeth slid toward them.

Quarryography 2007

After a rollicking entrance by The Rock ‘n Steel Band led by Nigel Chase and the community ensemble, Weed deposited Cable Man and his animator (Matt Kent) deftly at center stage. Cable Man comes to life with help from four, black-clad puppeteers (Piari Weiss, Sarah O’Malley, Andrea deFrancesco, Scott Springer) in time to spark a romance with Pink Granite Sprite (Stephanie Fungsang).

Quarryography 2007. Photo by Jeffrey Klofft

Quarryography 2007. Photo by Jeffrey Klofft

She swoops onto the stage in a pink dress and gray “granite” hat. Fungsang and Cable Man commune with Spruce Trees and Milkweeds as they enjoy a full courtship capped by a hug six feet off the ground. Weed returns with delightful Hot Pink Granite dancers (Breanna Gribble, Emily Kent, Rebecca Anderson Darling, Wendee Rogerson, Twanda Chabikwa, Jessica Bindig) riding the Belco like a yellow elephant. In Madonna shades and fluorescent outfits, the dancers – guest artists from around the country and world – provide a lithe counterpoint to the gritty granite-scape. They swing in unison or in couplets and rise briefly before alighting to rhumba and swing dance around the stage.

Quarryography 2007. Photo by Mac Herrling

Quarryography 2007. Photo by Mac Herrling

Just as Cableman and his Sprite settle into a prone reverie, a chainsaw sounds from the cliffs and in roars Bad Seed Jason Weed on his four-wheeler with fellow hombre Mary Barnes (wielding a chainsaw with a faux blade). While Weed does “donuts” in a blaze of gravel and menaces the crowd, Barnes proceeds to terrorize and beat up Cable Man and his assistants while Sprite makes a get-away. With her black tutu and bad attitude, Barnes is the Anti-Dancer. She and Weed make a triumphal and noisy exit to a cascade of jeers and boos from the crowd.

When the Dancing Excavator returns with the Dance Corps and the Sprite, they reanimate Cable Man and an extravaganza of dancing begins anew. When the Bad Seeds return amid a flurry of beer cans, Cable Man and his supporters knock them down with help from Milkweeds now wielding chunks of “granite.” Kent soars 30 feet above the stage at the apogee of the Excavator’s reach. Chabikwra lifts Hot Pink dancers and contorts himself from the flying bucket. A beribboned Cable Man swings in a full arc as the centrifuge of a crescendo of sound and movement in the finale.

I cannot say enough about the band. Chase does a great job with a young, savvy, snail-helmeted ensemble. Their Calypso-inspired, Zydeco-infused sound delivers a landscape of sweetness that sets the tone and provides the musical foil for the entire production. This tiny band emits a grinding, lilting, booming repertoire that creates a remarkable ambience.

Although it appears Alison and Mia are taking a break next year, we look forward to many more of their creations in the Quarry’s amphitheatre.

Quarryography 2007. Photo by Jeffrey Klofft

Quarryography 2007. Photo by Jeffrey Klofft

In Support of Quarryography

None of Quarryography would be have been possible without the dedication of many hard-working volunteers and staff from IHT and the Opera House.

My thanks especially to IHT volunteers: Pat and Ron Gross, Ken and Marnie Reed Crowell, Michelle Dur, Jo Anne Greiwe, Mark and Sue Bradford, Carolyn and Kristin Eberdt, Joe and Elke Dorr, Ann Hooke, Bill Haviland, Jim and Gail Plotts, Wendy Schweikert, Tom Mehalic, Carol Carter and her family, and Jon and Lynn Braff.

Major Kudos to Linda Nelson, Carol Estey, Judith Jerome, Karen Galella, Katt Lissard, Flax Hermes and her Shuttle Crews(!),Wayne Merritt, Mark Kindschi,Liz Alley, and all the countless others who helped make this production a smash!

Community Performers (Milkweeds, Trees, and Bad Seeds!):
Mary Barnes, Whitney Davis, Kim Drasler, Asia Keene Eaton, Lawrence Estey, Amy Friedell, Adam Groves, Erlynne Kitagawa, Jennifer Lee Morrow, Brendan Murray, Sarah Paget, Jennifer Trowbridge, Tracy Van Buskirk, Jason Weed, Alice Wilkinson.
Band members: Nigel Chase, Francis Chase, Samantha Haskell, Oliver Chase, Alex Pfister, Duncan Hardy, Jaimie Allen, Morgan Springer, Ben Fox, Martin Lonty, Same Guilford, Matt Meaney, Charlie Sichterman, Rachel MacArthur.

School Outreach Programs

Island Heritage Trust is taking its school programs to a whole new level! Read Mike Little’s letter to the editor from the November 21, 2013 Island Ad-vantages to find out how. More info on the Marine Studies Pathway.

Adopt-A-Preserve Program In Full Swing

It is a great hands-on natural history experience for the children to understand, observe, and record the many cycles that island animals and plants undergo each year.

Here are the classes and the places they have adopted:

Kindergarten – Reach Beach
First Grade – Crockett Cove
Second Grade – Scotts Landing
Third Grade- Mariner’s Park
Fourth Grade – Shore Acres
Fifth Grade – Settlement Quarry
Sixth Grade – Barred Island
Seventh Grade – Lily Pond
Eighth Grade- Tennis Preserve

“The Adopt-A-Preserve field trips have been excellent,” said Don Sargent, parent of kindergartener Amber Sargent. ”The IHT field guides are great with the kids and hands-on teaching. My daughter Amber walked away with a new sense of place that she did not have before.”

Fourth Graders Sing Praises Of Shore Acres

4th Grade October Field Trip at Shore Acres

Emily Mueller and Jen Haggerty’s fourth grade class worked on a project about Shore Acres. For this project the students took pictures at Shore Acres. Later in the classroom Emily projected the images onto a screen while students wrote about their experience. The visual stimulation encouraged some of the reluctant writers to open up and let their thoughts flow freely. Then students typed up their comments and they compiled this slide show as a final project for the year.

DISES Students Enjoy Fall Trips To Preserves

Students examine moss and lichen at Barred Island.

Students examine moss and lichen at Barred Island.

Sixth grade students study kelp with volunteer Lee Fay on a fall trip with their class.

Sixth grade students study kelp with volunteer Lee Fay on a fall trip with their class.