Married 57 years ago, Denny and Dolly Robertson cannot imagine living anywhere else than Blue Hill.
Denny grew up in the “Devil’s Half Acre” of Blue Hill Village, and many are the humorous tales he can relate about life experienced as a native youth interacting with summer residents. Hailing from South Brooksville, Dolly completed two years at Brooksville High School before transferring to George Stevens Academy, from which she and Denny, their two children and Denny’s father and son all graduated.
“We got married after high school,” Dolly said. “I worked in the kitchen at the hospital in Blue Hill for a couple of years. Then we had kids,” Cory and Chris.
Meanwhile, Denny went to sea. “There was a summer gentleman that came here who was in the personnel office for Sun Oil Company,” he recalled. The man recruited Denny; “I hopped on a ship in September ’58 and sailed for three years.”
A grin lighting his face, Denny looked at Dolly and said, “Then she harpooned me, and I came home.
“I did just anything for work,” from wallpapering to painting signs, he said. “I’d go trucking, [hauling] Christmas trees and wreaths” out of state, and he even cut ice and worked for the Blue Hill Packet one winter.
Hired at the St. Regis paper mill in Bucksport, Denny worked there for 34 years. His true passion lay much closer to home, to Blue Hill, where his grandfather was a charter member of the Fire Department in 1910 and “my father was a chief when I was a kid.”
Denny has served 62 years with the Blue Hill Fire Department. Although he retired his commission as fire chief in April 2017, he remains the battalion chief. He also served his last nine years at St. Regis as the mill’s fire chief, responsible for the fire brigade, an EMS group and a hazmat team.
Denny also served on the state’s Fire Training and Education Advisory Board, among other firefighting-related boards. The Maine Federation of Firefighters presented him with a lifetime fire-service achievement award a few years ago.
A literary bent lies within Denny. He has written a history about the BHFD, spanning the century from 1910 to 2010, and books “on the principles of rigging” pertaining to firefighting. He also ventured into poetry. “I started my poems writing for funerals. Then I started writing it humorously,” he said.
The caretaker for six properties, Denny serves as the Blue Hill harbormaster.
Dolly was the Blue Hill Falls postmaster for 30 years. Among her patrons were the author E.B. White, musician Noel Paul Stookey and Amos Wilder, a brother to novelist and playwright Thornton Wilder. The Stookey Recording Studio, Northeast Historic Film and radio station WERU-FM were her postal customers.
A member of the Rebekah Lodge, she belongs to the GSA Alumni Association and volunteers as treasurer for the Blue Hill Cemetery Association. A Blue Hill election warden, Dolly has belonged to the BHFD Auxiliary for some 25 years. She now has “an estate sales business.”
The Robertsons like to travel, taking “short jaunts” to Newport, R.I., and elsewhere, Dolly said. She is exploring the family’s genealogy.
As for a lifetime spent in Blue Hill, “I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else,” Dolly said.
“Basically it’s the people,” including those who have died, Denny said. “You have neighbors who help each other.” As the town grows, people relocating to Blue Hill from elsewhere “are good people” who involve themselves in the community.
“We have those who have come from fire services from out of state,” he said.