While finishing Business School in Boston, I met Luke. Luke was this incredibly handsome, free spirit daring young man.....my student visa having expired, I needed to go back to France to run the family business.
On Christmas Eve, Luke showed up in our family house's kitchen unannounced....three months later we were married both in Boston and in my village church in France.
I happily return to Boston and started to meet Luke's very large family which had been in Boston since the days of the Mayflower. I buried myself in the family history books and through the story of the family's life learned a very personal fascinating part of American history, how enterprising, adventurous, cultured, well bred this old blue blood american society thrived financially but also contributed to their country through their generosity and political savvy.
On our first summer, Luke brought me to his cherished family Island in northern Maine in hope that I would be willing to trade summers in Saint Tropez for a completely isolated Island surrounded by frigid water.
It was love at first sight.....
Since then, we have spent the most memorable, happiest days in company of our friends, parents, relatives, our children took their first steps there...hiking, swimming ,riding, collecting moss, sailing, cooking. There are no distractions on the island, the houses have no televisions, no radios...only the farmers who live on the island all year around do have Tv, radio, wireless etc... the island is self sustaining, large vegetable garden,berries, chicken coop, lambs, cows, pigs...and off course fish, mussels, clams, lobsters.
When the children were little we would ride to the beach in beautiful horse drawn carriages dating to the early 1800's, we spent Christmas surrounded by iced sea, cross country skiing on the mile long beach or riding in horse drawn sleigh...
I hesitated in sharing this part of my life, but also felt compelled to express my gratitude for so much beauty that God had created, and as a new american (for only 4 years) feel extraordinary privileged to live during these precious summer days, what I would define as the ultimate american experience. Life lived in harmony with nature, away from the distractions and all the negativity of the world.
When Joseph Peabody first set foot on the archipelago in 1806, Indians lived on the main Island. To date we still find numerous Indian artifacts. Joseph Peabody thought the Island would be perfect to build his clipper ships to sail to China for trading purposes.He bought the main island and later on also purchased the 5 smaller surrounding islands which creates very protected natural harbors, Joseph Peabody built a few ships on the Island as well as gristmill and saw mill and went on to build more than 80 clipper ships in Salem, Massachuaetts using the lumber from the island. The island has remained ever since in the family, the farm house was built in the early 1800's, then two more houses were added in the mid 1800's followed by a smaller guest house in the early 1900's.
The interiors are filled with beautiful english and american antiques and the bookshelves are filled with history books, sailing adventure books, books about genealogy, birds, farming....my goal is to read every single book in the large library.... For privacy reason, I will not show the interior of the houses, but will let you explore the beauty of this very special american place.
After a 10 hours grueling drive, we arrived to Roque Bluff where we garage the car, and take the boat to the main dock on the Island. this is truly a blessed moment when I first set eyes on the island
Our sons and friends thrilled to finally arrive, soon they will be sailing, riding, preparing for lobster and clambakes
Each year, we book time for one of the 3 houses.Only the farmer's house is lived in all year around.
The island is a working farm with stables,chicken coop, barns, boathouses etc..
We have working horses and horses for ridding or pulling carriages
The interior of the island is spectacular, it took me more than 10 hours of brisk hiking to go around the island. It is an extremely strenuous hike that is not for the fainthearted.
Amazing vistas such as Great beach
The island is blessed to have the longuest (more than a mile) sand beach in Maine. My daily exercise is to run the length of the beach and swim from one side to the other (more than 30 minutes in frigid water)
Another favorite place to swim where the water is slightly warmer.We access by speedboat, I jump in an swim to shore
The boys stay on board and rather not brave the cold water
Love to wake up for the sunrise
Love to read about the clipper ships being built here and their journeys