August 25 – 31, 2023Vol. 25, No. 11

Summer Revelations

by Martha F. Barkley

How good to read Paul Dorian’s novel about murder at Great Pond, floating arm at night and all! This popular author apparently stayed at Bear Springs Camp at the Mosher farm a few years ago.

What a great introduction to the E.B. White lore around the lake. Whisperwood fishing camp on Salmon Lake has its own lore as well. Walkers trod the short road to the railroad depot1 on Snow Pond, where hundreds of summer travelers from New York disembarked for month long visits by a lake nearby. Many to the Seventh Day Adventist religious campgrounds, still in operation today.

It was 1906 when E.B. White was only six, that his entire family and servants spent the month of August at several rental cottages on the Mosher farm and later Snug Harbor cottages [on Hatch Cove in Great Pond]. Their many trunks required multiple residences.

Every summer the long June and July days were endured by the young White in Mount Vernon, NY. His essay, “Once More to the Lake,” was revised 40 times as the young man grew into a New Yorker magazine journalist and then a coast of Maine year round farm owner where Charlotte’s Web was created for children around the globe.

The fish are hopping at Salmon Lake where I finally discovered the magic of Maine at the lake like Paul Dorian experienced at Bear Springs. Nothing like a dining room full of fish tales at every meal.

Also, Woodlands Camp [on Abena Point in Great Pond] is where I have walked every summer in the last three decades. Finding Ernest Thompson’s childhood summer place and visiting his mother and Charlie were added bonuses. They even came to visit our home by Girls Camp Runoia. Finding Judge Crater’s gazebo still standing and hearing about canoe trips by the judge with neighbor Thompson was fun. Paul Dorian discovered for me the evening sunset blowing of the conch shells!

Yes, they do that over there on that cove on Great Pond. Rod Johnson2 starts the evening sound and then neighbors chime in with their conch shells or other sound devices.

Isn’t it exhilerating to discover around the lake new delights? I swear the neighbor jumped off his dock, but no, it was an osprey snagging a fish for the nest full of youngsters way up yonder. And watch those bald eagles. When pike or pickerel are caught and killed, throw the carcass out and see eagles swoop in before they hit the water: Salmon Lake at its best.

Webmaster’s Notes:

  1. For about a century, through the late 1940s, a train station operated a mile away from Whisperwood, at the bottom of Station Road. In the 1950s, after passenger service had halted, the main building was moved two-fifths of a mile to the top of the road. Until a couple of years ago, it was used for church services.
  2. Long time Summertime readers will remember Rod Johnson as the author of “The Luckiest Boy” columns in previous summers.

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