In an era when the only means of travel to the new, glamorous, and growing resort of Bar Harbor was through a small, isolated, rural-yet-elegant point of
land on the mainland in the small town of Hancock, Disaster at Bar Harbor Ferry tells the true story of what was, at the time, Maine’s deadliest disaster. The heartbreaking tale starts with the arrival of a train overcrowded with passengers anxious to be among the first to cross the bay and their rush for a ferry with too few seats, turning a casual summer Sunday outing into a scene
of chaos, tragedy, death, and heroism, occurring as quickly as the break of a wooden gangplank. Disaster at Bar Harbor Ferry tells not only the complete story of the people and the events of that day, but of a time and way of life
long gone by and nearly forgotten.
A Navy veteran of the first Gulf War and former reporter for The Bar Harbor Times, Mac Smith lives in Stockton Springs, Maine, in the village of Sandy Point. He is also the author of Mainers on the Titanic, Peyton Place Comes Home to Maine, Maine’s Hail to the Chief, and Siege at the State House.
The Kennebec Historical Society’s April presentation is free to the public (donations gladly accepted) and will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, 2023, at the Augusta City Center, located at 16 Cony Street in Augusta. If you have any questions about the program, please call 622-7718.
KHS May 2023 Presentation:
"The Long Ago Summer Cottages on Little Chebeague Island"
(Photo Courtesy of Lee S. Leffingwell)
Little Chebeague Island (LCI) is located in Casco Bay near Portland, Maine
and is immediately adjacent to its larger namesake, Chebeague Island. Dating back to the 19th century, LCI was home to various farms, a vibrant summer colony centered around a massive Victorian hotel (burned to the ground in
1893) and occupation by the U.S. Navy during World War II. The occupation
of LCI by the Navy in World War II necessitated the eviction of the residents
of the 11 summer cottages and other out buildings in 1942. Since that time, the cottages have been uninhabited and left to deteriorate. After approximately 80 years, the cottages are mostly gone with a few recognizable features evident in the ruins of several of the once elegant cottages. LCI is accessible at low tide from Chebeague Island and the island is easily visited by those wishing to walk across on the connecting sand bar. After several visits to LCI, part-time Chebeague resident Lock Kiermaier became fascinated with the cottage ruins and set out to develop a slideshow which depicts the cottages as they originally looked and how they deteriorated over the years to their present condition. The slideshow also delves into the history of the cottages: who lived there and features collected anecdotes and stories of what life was like.
KHS speaker, Lock Kiermaier, has lived in Maine since 1975 and has been an Augusta resident since 2003. After retiring from his professional career as a legislative analyst at the Maine State Legislature in 2007, Lock has involved himself in a variety of projects and interests- most of which involve history,
old houses and islands. Most recently, Lock spends half of every week living
on Chebeague Island with his wife Marty Trower. That experience led him to
his latest project: compiling a slideshow on the history of a colony of long ago summer cottages which existed on Little Chebeague Island.
The Kennebec Historical Society’s May presentation is free to the public (donations gladly accepted) and will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 17, 2023, at the Augusta City Center, located at 16 Cony Street in Augusta. If you have any questions about the program, please call Scott Wood, executive director, at 622-7718.
Little Chebeague Cottages on the west side of Cottage Grove
(Photo Courtesy of the Maine Historical Society)
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