Long Cove Point Association

 

Oral Histories

 

Anna Mary Elskus

Visit on 10/15/09


(Notes on the Cottages by John Neff)


'The Yellow Cottage'

Originally part of the Tukey lands.
1889 -Sold by Patrick and Eldridge Tukey to Weston Lewis of Augusta.
1889 -First camp on Long Cove Point was built and named "Whitefield Camp."
_____ -Cunningham sold to a Mrs. Church.
_____ -Bought by a Kennedy.
1955 -Bought by Allred and Cleda Weston who built the 3-room cottage next door in '59 which was sold to Ruth Moore Brown and Clara Moore in 1962 and then to the Elskuses in 1968.
1959 -The original cottage was bought by Marion and Orel Fairfieid and they sold to the Elskuses in 1962.
1971 -The two cottages were joined by the Elskuses into one building.

 

 

'The Studio House'

Originally a part of the Tukey lands.
1969 -Land was bought by the Elskuses from Louise Stetson, She asked that they not build on it until after the time of her death, a request they honored.
1988 -Cottage was built by the Elskuses.


"The Yellow Cottage"


"The Studio House"

 


Anne takes up tap

On a cloudy fall day with flocks of ducks dotting the ocean swells beyond the Back Shore, Anna Elskus recollected to Elizabeth Vercoe how she and her husband Albin first came to Chamberlain on the invitation of fellow artist and Lithuanian countryman, Pranas Lapé, whom they had met at a party in New York City where they both lived.

Pranas told them that the birch trees in Maine reminded him of Lithuania; Albin was intrigued. So the following summer the family visited Long Cove, staying for several weeks in the house now belonging to the Griesars.

 

 

During their third summer visit in 1962, they saw a 'for sale' sign on a yellow cottage. Anna remembers feeling a bit doubtful about the purchase, but Albin loved the ocean and solitude so they went ahead, borrowing the funds for the down payment. Luckily, the cottage came furnished, as many did, and Anna remembers refinishing some nice pieces found inside and also learning how to cane so she could repair the dining room chairs.

In those days, Albin came by bus from New York on weekends whenever he could while he was completing his apprenticeship prior to joining the union for stained glass artists.

The three Elskus children, Adria & Arilda and Dooie, ranged from two to eight years at that time and there was no well at the house, only water tanks at the back which were supplied by rain water supplemented by water trucked in by Paul Hanna. So the family often went to Biscay Pond to bathe and wash their hair.

 


Anna & the Elskus family


Albin Elskus & fellow artist, Pranas Lapé

 


Back Shore Rocks

 


Albin Elskus watercolor, Back Shore

 

The family joined the Long Cove Point Club and attended the potluck dinners there. At the time, there were many fewer members than now, and most of those lived on the point. Anna remembers Margaret Sanger making the coffee and recalls that the club paid the girls 50 cents for doing dishes. She also remembers her children playing with the Sturtevant grandchildren.

 

In 1968 the family bought a little cottage closely adjacent to them, and later built a dining room that served to link the two cottages together. In 1969 the family purchased additional land on Back Cove but promised not to build until the original owner was deceased. The family honored the request so the Studio House was not built until 1988.

Meanwhile, the children were soon old enough to have summer jobs at places like the local gift shops in Pemaquid. The Elskus son, Dooie, served as steward for the club for several years, living there as the stewards did then (hence the room still known as "the steward's room"). In those days, stewards were not allowed to play on the tennis court until late afternoon, a rule rather rigidly enforced by some club members at first though relaxed in later years.

 

Albin loved to sail and was an experienced sailor. At one point the family had two boats, a sailboat and a row boat, and sailed on day trips to Monhegan and many other places around Penobscot Bay. On another occasion, Albin sailed across the Atlantic to Ireland with his friend, playwright Dean Fuller, in a 31-foot sloop. Newspaper articles and a map of the journey still grace the Elskus garage.

Romance blossomed between son Dooie and another Long Cove resident, Lynn Stebbins and they were married in Newcastle. They now bring their children to Chamberlain. Daughters Adria and Arilda were both married in Chamberlain in front of the Studio House on the rocks

In 2004 Anna and Albin moved from New York to Chamberlain as Maine residents, living in the Studio House while their three children and their families continued to visit the Yellow Cottage.