Long Cove Point Association

 

Oral Histories

 


Clarice Sturtevant

Visit on 9/4/08


(Notes on the Cottage by John Neff)


Sturtevant Cottage


Originally a part of the Tukey lands.
By 1905 cottage is built.
  By 1907 -The property is owned
by Davis from Chicago and
named "Englewood."
 By 1922 -Bought by Vosburgh.
 1936 -Bought by Chester Sturtevant.
  _____ -Inherited by Fred Sturtevant.
    _____ -Inherited by Clarice Sturtevant
     At one time named "Driftwood"
but now named "Seashore."

 

 

 


 

 

Anne Bullis arranged this meeting with Clarice Sturtevant, now in her 98th year, in order to preserve some of her memories of Chamberlain. Anne and her cousin, Elizabeth Vercoe, arrived at the cottage with flowers and tape recorder, greeted Mrs. Sturtevant who was freshly coifed and reading, and began to set up the recorder in the sun room where drinks and cookies were already prepared on a tray. Although it was an unusually hot day for September, the room had a little breeze and a beautiful view of the cove. Anne remembered that this was Mrs. S's favorite place to sit and that she would keep a watchful eye on all activities, calling the Bullis cottage if their son had ventured too far in his boat.

Although Mrs. S was not feeling the best, she readily spoke of her early years in Chamberlain. Her cottage was purchased by her father-in-law in 1936 for her family with funds from the sale of two lots across the cove behind "Camp Chequers." She and her family first arrived in the fall of that year with a baby and two older children. The cottage came furnished and has had few changes since the 1930s: just the stairs and an upstairs bath. Even wall hangings and an opium pipe on the mantel remain from earlier owners. Other interesting artifacts include some handsome birch baskets - possibly made by local Indians - and an old treadle Singer sewing machine with a cunningly fashioned wooden box containing a number of attachments.

All the houses near the Sturtevants' were there in the 1930s: the Ralph Bookers (who bought the previous year), the Greiser cottage (under other ownership and without the garage), the Showalter cottage and others. In the cottage across the street, she fondly remembers Marion Joyce (a daughter of the Greenwoods who built in 1902) who married a federal judge, and later Emily Ring, wife of Al, as a "little doll." When the Gallaghers had their first child, which Mrs. S called a "surprise" baby, they put up a sign announcing the happy event. Nobody on the road had a phone so that Minnie Tukey came "trotting" to tell you that you had a call and then you hurried to the post office to take it. Both Long Cove Point Road and Route 32 were dirt roads then.

 


Mrs. S also remembers Dr. Falkingham who lived next door and was a handsome man who often sported a bow tie and enjoyed his boat. The Sturtevants also had a boat and frequently went "island picnicking." As a boy, a neighbor, Jim Lyon, even had a glass-bottom boat (see photo below) and she describes his mother, Dorothy, as "a good-looking girl." Other enjoyable activities on the cove included clamming, swimming, playing cards, and having dinners at the club.

Club suppers were pot-luck affairs then, as they often are now, and were good times to get together. Marguerite Sanger was a great organizer at these events, and Mrs. S remembers being shy and helping with dishwashing and other chores on occasion.

She describes herself as a country girl, coming from "up-country" in Farmington, about 80 miles from Chamberlain. The family had a "touring" car so that when it rained you had to put the top and sides up.

Mrs. S met her husband, Fred, at school and describes him as a good dancer, tennis player, golfer, and skier. Her father-in-law was the oldest of seven children and somehow came to own the electric company in Farmington, just how she wasn't sure and still finds surprising. Her husband worked in the company, and on his death the company was sold to Central Maine Power. In later years the Sturtevants went to Florida for the winter where they had an apartment in Fort Myers. She describes herself as frugal but having had a good and comfortable life. Besides her three children, she has eight grandchildren and about five great grandchildren.

Although a bit tired on this particular day, she noted tartly that "your mouth can go when nothing else will."

 


Jim Lyon rowing the "glass bottom boat" (actually plastic) called the Sea Lyon