Island Stories: Brown’s Tower and More: the 2021 Summer Exhibit
Brown’s Tower was built by the US Army Coastal Artillery at the beginning of World War II. It was on the site of a World War I Coastal Artillery searchlight facility, and had an unobstructed view out to the Atlantic Ocean from the top. The Tower was a “fire control tower” designed to detect and locate enemy vessels offshore and calculate the distances to the enemy vessels. The coordinates were then sent to gun batteries for use in firing at the enemy ships and submarines. It was one of several thousand towers around the US, and 9 towers in Casco Bay. In the early 1970s the Brown family purchased the property, and spent the next 50+ years fixing it up. For the first decade they were summer residents, living in the 8′ x 12′ small generator house but spending most of their time outdoors. Eventually a home was built and the family now lives there year-round.
Photo credits: The Brown Family
Many Long Islanders can trace their lineage back to the original Mayflower passengers in 1620. Ann Kremer and Earl “Buddy” Johnson gave an excellent overview of these connections at our program on July 29th. At last count, 15 Mayflower passengers are represented in Long Island families, with some families representing multiple passengers. Especially prominent among these are all the Cushing descendants, as Ezekiel’s wife Hannah Doane was a descendant of Stephen Hopkins. And as the many Cushing children married into many of the island families in the 1700 and 1800’s, many, many of the common island families can also count themselves as Mayflower descendants: MacVane, Doughty, Dyer, Johnson, Clarke, Norton, Bartol, Norcross and more. In addition, the Calderwood, Reilly, and Richmond families also count many Mayflower passengers in their lineageLobstering: A Family Tradition
The Community Center was full to overflowing for the program on lobstering featuring a home video of Earl Johnson lobstering in the 1990s and followed by a discussion by two generations of MacVane and Johnson lobstermen. We all learned something, and came away with a new appreciation for how things have changed, what remains the same, and what the challenges are for the future.