Cover of 'Views from the Sandbeach'

Views from the Sandbeach

Including two papers and one short passage:

Islesford Memories by Francis Colton Compton
Mr. Compton grew up at the Wells cottage (now Trotter's) during summers in the 1940s.

Diary of an Island by Antoinette G. Herzel
Written while staying in Peggy Biscomb's cottage "Footnote" in 1978.

Maypole Point by Mary Winslow Smyth
Mary and her sister summered for many years at Mary Morse's Big House and took meals at Woodlawn.

Published by the Islesford Scholarship Fund, with Foreward, Introductory notes, and editing by Hugh Dwelley (48 pgs)
$10   to order


Maypole Point
by Mary Winslow Smyth, 1927

John Standley's gravestone It was late in October that in the gathering dusk, after days of rain, we walked from the village toward the Maypole Point, where in the beginning Marguerite LaCroix, French wife of an early settler, set up her maypole and inaugurated the festivities of her youth.  The marshes were under water, the road was submerged in places, the standing grass all brown and sere.  We passed that lone, brown gravestone of John Standley, who was buried May 7, 1783, far from any dwelling, with the legend, "May guardian angels watch over the sleeper."  Surely he has slept well for a hundred and forty years, but very much alone.

The great seawall on the back shore shut out the sea beyond it; but just before it, from a dark pool with brown cat-tails rimming it about, a great blue heron rose lumberingly on his wide, dark wings.  The sun was set, darkness falling, and as we reached the Maypole and overlooked the barrier seawall, we saw the light on Baker's, two miles away, grow and grow until its cold bright beam pierced like a diamond.  The coast-guard station opposite it stood dim in the twilight, and between that and Baker's, the long half-tide bar wound like a serpent, and between the bar and us, murderous ledges in the shoal ground turned back their white, ugly lips as the surf frothed around their black teeth.

It was utter loneliness -- the tremendous seawall, desolate beyond telling, the treacherous ledges of the shoal ground, the warning light, the uninhabited house on the Maypole.  Baker's light dwindled and dwined away, eclipsed for a moment, and then began to grow again.  We knew that off to the eastward, out of sight, Egg Rock was responding with a half-second red flash and a blank to make out five seconds, and off to the right westward, Great Duck, with just twice the interval of flash and blackness, answered with its red spot; and all through the night all along the coast the lights would be speaking to one another.  But all alone on the Maypole, with the fading gleam of Baker's and the ugly breakers on the ledges, the dark pool, the silent heron, and the lone brown gravestone of the man long dead over whom the guardian angels were watching, we sensed the hostility of the sea.  We came away in the darkness.
single gravestone by bare shore


Pgs. 206-207, Minstrelsy of Maine, by Fannie Hardy Echstorm and Mary Winslow Smyth.  Houghton Mifflin, The Riverside Press, Cambridge, 1927.

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