Lighthouse cover a trip down memory lane

Dear Editor:


What a pleasant surprise to see your “Out & About” supplement for August 2019 in The Ellsworth American because the featured lighthouse on the cover appears to be the old Prospect Harbor Light. If it is, there are many family connections because my uncle was the keeper and he and my aunt lived there for many years as did his father in later years. But what I remember about “The Lighthouse,” as we called it, was that as a young girl, I liked to spend time there with my aunt and uncle along with their black-and-white bulldog named Pal.

In those days of the 1930s and into the 1940s, I often stayed overnight. After a nice supper of American chop suey, which we ate at the kitchen table that was covered by a pretty oil cloth, my aunt would play cards with me at the table. This was after the dishes were washed from water that came from a cistern in the cellar and heated on the kitchen stove. (She let me “help.”)

The cards were blue and white “Flinch” cards. One of the games we played was called “Donkey.” There was a bright (for those days) lamp on a wall over the table. In the picture of your lighthouse scene, it was at the left of the downstairs window.

When it became close to bedtime, their dog Pal was told to “go sleep behind the stove!” He did, but showed his reluctance to do so. The stove was either an oil or wood stove, which were used in those years.

Then, guided by an oil lamp, my aunt took me upstairs and put me into a soft bed, whose sheets and pillow cases had been ironed after being line-dried. She must have used flat irons as they did not yet have electricity. There again, the kitchen stove was used.

Once, my uncle showed me and a friend the workings of the “light,” but I would not go to the upper level because I was afraid of the noise it made and also the many stairs.

Also in the picture were petunias planted in the ledges in colors of white, purple and pink in front of the lighthouse. They thrived in the salt water spray from the cool ocean waters of our Coast of Maine. Both summer and winter are beautiful. My grandfather passed away in Prospect Harbor Light, and my youngest sister was born there 80 years ago in September this year. I will turn 89 in August.

Your “Out & About” cover holds many glad and sad memories of my childhood for me – even life and death.


Barbara L. Redburn


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