Visit to Maine

Today we took a day trip with my mother to Maine, mainly to see the house of author Sarah Orne Jewett, who was the subject of my mother’s masters thesis.

Mom, The Bug, and I at the Jewett House

Jewett had an odd fascination with her initials; she would carve them on random items, including the window pane of her room, which you can see in the photograph. Jewett’s house is interesting as a representative of Georgian architecture, especially its colorful wallpaper and the hand-carved wood of its central, slightly sagging, staircase. Inside, overlooking downtown South Berwick, we were told plausibly that not much of the view had changed in the last 150 years.

Sarah Orne Jewett\'s initials carved in her bedroom window

Nearby is the Nubble Lighthouse. Although termed a “savage rock” by one mariner in 1602, it took almost three hundred years (and at least one local wreck) before the United States constructed a lighthouse on Nubble Island, literally a stone’s throw from the mainland. Though only slightly removed in space, the picturesque lighthouse seems to be in a different age from the masses of people teeming along the opposing shoreline or sipping lemonade and grilling among the hundreds of RVs lined up just down the road. It fascinates me how something built as a matter of life and death is now one of the most popular postcard images. (Turning the profound into the mundane is common in New England: the Revolutionary Battle Road is now a bike trail; “Patriot” is as likely to be the name of a dry cleaners as anything else).

Mom at Nubble Lighthouse Nubble Lighthouse Tram in 1967

2 Comments

  1. Glad you made it to the Jewett house. Once on bus tour with the Faculty Men’s Chorus, I enjoyed eating a sack lunch while sitting on the rocks and watching the tide come in at Nubble Lighthouse. But I was also a bit annoyed that I was so close to the Jewett house and couldn’t get over there.

  2. Nubble Lighthouse. But I was also a bit annoyed that I was so close to the Jewett house and couldn’t get over there. TUBE

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