Building Sorrento: 1911 – 1971

Building Sorrento: 1911 – 1971

It’s impossible to think of buildings in Sorrento without thinking about Ed and Clif Hale. Between 1911 and 1971, two generations of Hales built the majority of the summer homes seen in Sorrento today.

Charles Edgar “Ed” Hale was born and raised in Brooksville and came to Sorrento in 1911. He began working for the Chafee family. Over the following 38 years, Ed Hale built over 25 houses, including the new Sorrento Grammar School (now the Community Building), and the Sumner Memorial High School gymnasium with Eddy Bragdon.

In 1949, Ed retired and turned the business over to his nephew Clifton K. Hale. Clif built at least 25 more houses, in addition to finishing the house on Doane’s Point for Mrs. Hughson that his uncle had started. Clif’s last house was an A-frame on Treasure Island for Carl and Terry Patten in 1971. Clif’s wife, Martha, supported the business as secretary and bookkeeper.

“They were an important part of that core of Sorrento, the people and the houses,” wrote Clif’s daughter, Thelma Hale White, in 2001. “As people, they took pride in their membership and involvement in the community; and their houses stand as reminders of their pride in workmanship.”

The compiled lists of houses built by Ed and Clif Hale are the work of Sturgis Haskins. Additional resources include “Torna a Sorrento, 1835 – 1973” by Lawrence Lewis and “Sorrento: A Well-Kept Secret” by Catherine O’Clair Herson.

Ed Hale built this Colonial Revival for Gifford Ewing in 1929. 

The Sorrento Grammar School, now the Community Center, was built by Ed Hale after the old High Head school burned in 1941.

This house was built for Mildred Hughson by Ed Hale, Clif Hale, Harold Kelly, L.A. Spratt, Donald G. Perry, and M.A. McKenzie. They broke ground in August 1946. 

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED — We are beginning a large effort to renovate the historical society museum. Our first step is to organize and catalog artifacts that have been collected by the Society to preserve town history. We have quarry tools, store ledgers, business signs, glassware and china, household goods, school artifacts, historical costumes and uniforms, framed art and photographs, peanut roasting machine from the Town Office, the old North Sullivan Post Office… and much, much more. If you have any interest in town history, we need your help as we begin to organize and catalog artifacts and create a new floor plan and displays!
 
If you are interested, please let us know. Share with your friends and neighbors. There is NO experience required or minimum time commitment. Please contact Raina at (707)734-0842 or rsciocchetti@islandinstitute.org about volunteering. For information on becoming a member or making a donation, see sullivansorrentohistory.org/membership.

 

P.S. We are also welcoming:
– assistance in the archives with data entry and filing or research
– new board members
– remote volunteers for transcription or indexing projects
– monetary donations to help us to buy supplies or to contribute to a paid intern or position stipend in the future

Wabanaki: People of the Dawnland

Wabanaki: People of the Dawnland

Native American Heritage Month raises awareness of the histories and diverse cultures of Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians. The Wabanaki people, including the Abenaki, Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot Nations, have inhabited the land we now call Maine for over 12,000 years.

In Sullivan and Sorrento, we acknowledge that we are on the land of the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot People.

 

Here are some resources for learning more about Native American history in Maine.   

  1. Holding up the Sky

What does it mean to live in one place for over 13,000 years? Holding up the Sky, a companion exhibit to State of Mind: Becoming Maine, tells the story of Wabanaki people, culture, history and art over the course of 13,000 years. Holding up the Sky was on display at the Maine Historical Society in 2019 and 2020, but you can still view the online exhibit here.

 

  1. Dawnland

Dawnland, an Emmy award winning documentary, tells the story of Indigenous child removal in the United States. In Maine, the first official Truth and Reconciliation Commission travels across the state to gather evidence and bear witness to the impact of the state’s child welfare policies on families in Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot communities. Released in 2018, Dawnland follows the Commission as they grapple with difficult truths, charter a new path towards better state and tribal relations, and share stories that have never been told before.

 

  1. Wabanaki Heritage Stories from Maine Memory Net

The Wabanaki Heritage Stories is a collection from My Maine Stories, a project by the Maine Memory Network. History happens person to person, and everyone has a story to tell. From learning basketmaking to pairing indigenous knowledge with western science, the collection comprises a wide variety of primary source historic material.

 

  1. Abbe Museum

 The Abbe is a museum of Wabanaki art, history, and culture. In the Abbe’s downtown location in Bar Harbor and the trailside museum at Sieur de Monts Spring, exhibits explore the history and culture of the Wabanaki. Although the museum is currently closed for the season, you can continue to explore their educational resources and programs online.

 

 

 

Visit this map to see the native land where you live.

 

Additional Resources.

 

 

East Sullivan Union Church Replica Repaired by Generous Residents

East Sullivan Union Church Replica Repaired by Generous Residents

The Union Church in East Sullivan was built in 1825, burned and torn down, rebuilt in 1858, and burned to the ground in 1973. A replica of it was built in 1975 by the children of Eva Johnson and placed on the site of the old Union Church in 1982. Forty years of Maine winters and blistering summer heat took their toll on the “little white church” at the entrance to the Simpson Cemetery. The paint was coming off, the shutters and some of the clapboards fell off, the ornate steeple had rot.

In July 2021, Matt Masse of Sullivan Harbor, whose parents were married in the Union Church in East Sullivan, stepped up and offered to repair and rebuild the little church at no cost! Its gradual decay bothered him and decided he would be the one to do something about it. He carefully removed the little church to his home shop where he, his brother-in-law Bruce Larson, and his nephew Jeff Larson took it apart, rebuilt all the rotted pieces using modern materials that will withstand the weather, put it all back together, and gave it a new coat of paint. He brought it back to its home, all done, in only two weeks! Matt added a little spotlight in front so it’s lighted up outside after dark. It’s beautiful.

 

The replica before and after the repairs.

The East Sullivan Union Church, undated.

Archives and Museum Opening July 13! – Summer 2021 Update

Archives and Museum Opening July 13! – Summer 2021 Update

We are pleased to announce that the archives and museum will be re-opening in July for Tuesday afternoons (1-3 p.m.), and we will be hosting the following programs this summer.

Thank you to all who joined us on Zoom these past months. We hosted four History Hour programs with over 140 attendees. You can view the recordings for the first three presentations at sullivansorrentohistory.org.

 

Archives and Museums Opening July 13

The archives and museum will be open on Tuesdays from 1-3 p.m., beginning July 13, featuring new exhibits. The archives will be open for research, assistance is available. Please note that you can continue to visit at other times by making an appointment.

 

Upcoming Programs

Scavenger Hunt for Young Explorers – July 19 – 31, 2021. Calling all young explorers! We have put together a self-guided scavenger hunt of hidden history all around town. Go on the quest to discover the places around us and life in the olden days! Each participant will receive a FREE packet with instructions to find each location as well as coloring pages and other activities. Please sign up to receive a packet by contacting Raina at rsciocchetti@islandinstitute.org. Packets will be available beginning July 19 at the Historical Society. The hunt will conclude with a celebration and prizes on July 31 at 11:00 a.m. at the Sorrento-Sullivan Recreation Center playground.

Visit a Working Quarry — July 21, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. Discover the history of local quarrying with a trip to Sullivan’s very own working quarry, Sullivan Granite CO. We will meet at the Sorrento-Sullivan Recreation Center, then drive to Conrad’s quarry to explore the area, ask questions, and learn about our region’s long history with granite. All ages welcome!

Remembering Margaret – August 2021, date to be determined. Reverend Margaret Henrichsen was a minister of the Sullivan-circuit, a well-loved community member, and author of Seven Steeples, which chronicles her time in Sullivan. We invite you to join us to view her paintings and hear memories of Margaret from those who knew her well. Refreshments will be served.

We will continue to update our calendar online, or follow us on Facebook for the latest news.

Volunteers Needed

Looking to learn more about local history? The Sullivan-Sorrento Historical Society is looking for volunteers to help out in the archives! Available projects include scanning historic photos, filing and data entry, and research. We have a great collection–help us preserve this history and share it with the community! There is no minimum commitment required, and hours can be flexible. Please contact Raina at rsciocchetti@islandinstitute.org (email) or 707-734-0842 (call/text).

 

Thank you for your continued support. Happy summer!