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Special Home > Guide to the Lewis Stark Isles of Shoals Papers, 1945-1988

Guide to the Lewis Stark Isles of Shoals Papers, 1945-1988

Collection number: MC 38

Size: 1 box (.33 cu.ft.)

About the Isles of Shoals

Located ten miles off the coast of Maine and New Hampshire, the group of nine islands known as the Isles of Shoals has had an impact on New England history and culture that is vast in proportion to the mere physical size of the islands. One of the very first settlements in America and the most important fishing and trading center of northern New England in the 1600s, the Isles of Shoals became a popular Victorian summer resort and place of inspiration for writers, musicians, and artists. Celia Thaxter (1835-1894), the Shoals’ most famous inhabitant, lived on Appledore Island. Malaga, Duck, Smuttynose, Appledore, and Cedar (all in Maine); Star, Londoners (or Lunging), Seaveys, and White (in New Hampshire) were included in a grant of a tract of land each side of the Piscataqua River, given jointly to Sir Ferninando Gorges and Capt. John Mason in 1631. In 1635, when the joint estates on the mainland were divided, neither Mason nor Gorges wished to surrender their entire interest in these valuable islands, and the group was divided between them on the line which runs through the middle of the harbor to the sea on the southerly side. Gorges took the northerly part and annexed it to what later became the province of Maine, while Mason took the southerly half and joined it to the existing province of New Hampshire.

About the Lewis M. Stark Isles of Shoals Collection Papers

The Isles of Shoals collection consists of materials about or related to the islands, including published works, magazine articles, ephemera, a few photographs and postcards, and newspaper clippings. In addition, there is a sizeable Celia Thaxter collection. The material was collected by Lewis M. Stark, a 1929 graduate of the University of New Hampshire, who served for 25 years as head of the New York Public Library’s Rare Book Division. Stark also donated to the University two other collections, the Early New Hampshire Imprint Collection and a collection of bookplates.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Lewis M. Stark Isles of Shoals Papers, 1945-1988, MC 38, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Multiple acquisitions: donated by Lewis M. Stark, May 21, 1984 and August 2, 1985 and by T. MacGregor, November 21, 1985 and July 24, 1986 (Accession numbers: 089, 8524, 8544, 8612)

Related Material

Lewis M. Stark Early New Hampshire Imprint Collection

Lewis Stark Bookplate Collection

Separated Material

Cataloged Lewis Stark Isles of Shoals books in the UNH Library:

Hayward, John. The New England Gazetteer. 2nd.ed. Concord, N.H. and Boston, 1839. “Isles of Shoals.”

Warren, Grenliffe. Olph: Or The Wreckers of the Isles of Shoals. Boston: H.L. Williams, 1846.

Carter, Robert. A Summer Cruise on the Coast of New England. Boston, 1864. Isles of Shoals references, pp.140-152.

Parloa, Maria. The Appledore Cook Book: Containing Practical Receipts for Plain and Rich Cooking. Boston: Graves and Ellis, 1872, 1878.

Thaxter, Celia. Poems. New York and Cambridge, 1872. The author’s first book.

Montegeu, M.Tzl. Ancient and Modern Isles of Shoals. Boston: G. Alex. Emery, 1872. Signed copy: “To Whittier Elliott from John G. Whittier, Isles of Shoals, 7 Mo. 19. 1872. Includes obituary of Whittier Elliott tipped in at end.

Jenness, John Scribner. The Isles of Shoals. New York and Cambridge, 1873, 1875, and 1884 editions.

Thaxter, Celia. Among the Isles of Shoals. Boston: J. R. Osgood and Company, 1873 and Houghton, Mifflin and company, 1901 editions.

Bachelder, John B. Popular Resorts, and How to Reach Them. Boston, 1874. 2nd ed., revised. Author’s autographed presentation copy. “The Isles of Shoals,” p. 89.

Drake, Samuel Adams. Nooks and Corners of the New England Coast. New York, 1875. “The Isles of Shoals,” pp. [153]-195.

Benjamin, S. G. W. The Atlantic Islands As Resorts of Health and Pleasure. New York, 1878. “Isles of Shoals,” pp. 205-221.

Stories by American Authors. Vol. 3. New York, 1884. “A Memorable Murder. By Celia Thaxter,” pp. 135-171. (First published in Atlantic Monthly, May 1875.)

Thaxter, Celia. Poems. 13th ed., Boston, 1885. With clippings relating to Celia Thaxter and her husband. Thaxter’s signature pasted in. And also 2nd. copy with pen and pencil sketches added on various pages; inscribed on flyleaf: “To dear Mrs. Sage from C.W. Illustrated by DW. & DM – Jan 1885.” With ALS by Thaxter to “Gertrude”and dated Clifford, Nov. 9, 1888, tipped in.

Thaxter, Celia. The Cruise of the Mystery and Other Poems. Boston and New York, 1886. In original red printed paper covers.

Allen, Willis Boyd. Kelp: A Story of the Isles of Shoals. Boston: D. Lothrop, 1888.

Cook, Joel. An Eastern Tour At Home. Philadelphia, 1889. “The Isles of Shoals,” pp. 231-238.

Langford, Laura (Carter) Hollway, comp. The Woman’s Story: As Told By Twenty American Women… New York, 1889. Contains “A Memorable murder. By Celia Thaxter,” pp. [259]-291.

Thaxter, Celia. An Island Garden. Boston and New York, 1894. First edition with these illustrations. Also a copy of this same edition inscribed by author on front flyleaf with four-line verse dated March 1894. Photograph of author pasted on inside front cover. ALS tipped in, Mary Aubin Harris to Mary Whipple Aubin, 1894.

Thaxter, Celia. Letters. Boston and New York [1895].

Stearns, Frank Preston. Sketches From Concord and Appledore. New York, 1895. “Appledore and the Laightons,” pp. [223]-252; with view of the Isles of Shoals and portrait of Celia Thaxter.

Hayes, H. Wilbur. Attractive Bits Along Shore. Portland, Maine: H. W. Hayes [1895?]

Laighton, Oscar. Songs From Appledore. [Cambridge, Mass.], 1899.

Thaxter, Celia. Among The Isles of Shoals. Boston [c1901].

Unitarian Meeting House (Star Island, N.H.) The Order of Evening Worship in the Meeting House on Star Island. [Boston], 1903. No. 295 of 500 copies.

Laighton, Oscar. Songs and Sonnets. [Andover, Mass., 1905?] Inscribed by the author.

Laighton, Oscar. Songs From Appledore. [Cambridge, Mass.], 1907.

Isles of Shoals Hymn Book and Candle Light Service. Isles of Shoals Association. [Portsmouth, N.H., 1908]. On the back fly-leaves are the signatures of 19 persons, including Dallas Lore Sharp and Oscar Laighton.

Packard, Winthrop. Literary Pilgrimages of a Naturalist. Boston [c1911]. “At the Isles of Shoals. The Island and the garden which Celia Thaxter loved,” pp. [44]-59.

Dedication of a Memorial to Reverend John Tucke, 1702-1773: Star Island…July 29, 1914. [Concord, N.H., 1914.]

Bigelow, Rev. E. Victor. Brief History of the Isles of Shoals: Off Portsmouth, New Hampshire. [Lowell, Mass.]: Published by the Congregational summer conference, Star Island, 1923. (The Andover Press).

Blanchard, Grace. The Island Cure. Boston [c1922]. Chapters I-II relate to the Isles of Shoals; view of “Old Gosport Church on Star Island,” opp. p. 44.

Woodbury, Benjamin Collins. Portsmouth and Other Poems. Boston, 1923. Includes poems on the Isles of Shoals, pp. 15-16, p.19, and p.26.

Marean, Emma Endicott. Now and Then. Cambridge, 1928. Author’s initialled presentation copy to Amos R. Wells. “The Isles of Shoals,” pp. 76-79.

Laighton, Oscar. Ninety Years at the Isles of Shoals. Boston, 1930. Also 2nd copy, bound in green suede and inscribed: “Greetings from Oscar Laighton”; frontispiece signed by the author.

Carpenter, Sara Stone. Pastoral and Vespers: With Memories Turned to Music. Boston, [c1932]. Author’s autographed presentation copy. Poems relating to the Isles of Shoals, pp. 105-114.

Thaxter, Celia. The Heavenly Guest. [Andover, Mass., c1935.]

Rust, Fred Winslow. Unto the Hills and Other Verses. Boston [c1936]. Two poems on the Isles of Shoals, pp. 34-35.

Pearson, Edmund. Murder at Smutty Nose and Other Murders. Garden City, N.Y. [1938].

Fowler, William Plumer. Granite Ledges, Sonnets and Lyrics. Boston [c1943]. Includes several poems on the Isles of Shoals.

Downs, John W. Sprays of Salt. [n.p., c1944.]

Fishwick, Marshall William. Isle of Shoals, A Collection of Poems. New York, 1946.

Molloy, Anne. Celia’s Lighthouse. Boston, 1949.

Young, Hazel. Islands of New England. Boston [c1954].

Fowler, William Plumer. Sonnets of the Shoals. Boston [1957].

Penrose, Charles. “They Live on a Rock in the Sea!”: The Isles of Shoals in Colonial Days. New York, 1957.

Rutledge, Lyman V. Moonlight Murder at Smuttynose. Boston [c1958].

Fowler-Billings, Katharine. Geology of the Isles of Shoals. Concord, N.H., 1959.

Simpson, Dorothy. The Maine Islands, in Story and Legend. Philadelphia and New York [c1960].

Thaxter, Rosamond. Sandpiper. The Life of Celia Thaxter. [Sanbornville, N.H., c1962.]

Rutledge, Lyman Vincent. The Isles of Shoals in Lore and Legend. Barre, Mass., 1965.

Illustrated Memories of Portsmouth, Isles of Shoals, New Castle, York Harbor, York Beach, and Rye, New Hampshire. Portland: G. W. Morris, Publisher. n.d.

Collection Contents

Series I: About the Isles of Shoals, 1800-1987

Subseries A: Publications, 1800-1978

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 1 “A Description and Historical Account of the Isles of Shoals.” [Boston, 1801]. Pp. 242-261. 8vo. Excerpt from Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1800
Box 1, Folder 2 Thaxter, Celia. “Child-Life at the Isles of Shoals.” [Boston, 1873.] Excerpt from Atlantic Monthly, pp. 532-539. May 1873
Box 1, Folder 3 [Chadwick, John W.] “The Isles of Shoals.” [New York, 1874.] Excerpt from Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, pp. 663-676. Oct. 1874
Box 1, Folder 4 Blount, Annette M. “A Summer Day At The Isles of Shoals.” (In The Granite Monthly, pp. 89-94.) Feb. 1903
Box 1, Folder 5 Gooding, Alfred. “Reverend John Tucke: An Address Delivered at the Dedication of a Monument on Star Island,” Concord, N.H. July 29, 1914
Box 1, Folder 6 Donahue, Jessie E. Star Island Chronicles (Unitarian). First issue. Star Island, Isles of Shoals, New Hampshire, Concord, N.H.: Rumford Press. July 8 to 29, 1916
Box 1, Folder 7 “Kittery: Ancient and Modern.” Kittery, ME. Includes sketch of the Isles of Shoals, with map, pp. 36-37. 1925
Box 1, Folder 8 Randall, Peter E. “One Hundred Years Ago This Month: Louis Wagner and the Smuttynose Murders.” In New Hampshire Profiles, pp. 37-39, 52-56. March 1973
Box 1, Folder 9 Kingsbury, John M. “The Shoals Marine Laboratory.” In New Hampshire Profiles, pp. 26-31. June 1973
Box 1, Folder 10 McGill, Frederick T., Jr. “Who Remembers Gosport?” In New Hampshire Profiles, In New Hampshire Profiles, pp. 54-64. July 1973
Box 1, Folder 11 Francis, W. L. “This New England – Isles of Shoals.” In Yankee, pp. 45-51. July 1974
Box 1, Folder 12 Randall, Peter E. “Winter Isles, A Mid-February trip to the Isles of Shoals.” In New Hampshire Profiles, pp. 19-23. Feb. 1975
Box 1, Folder 13 Storer, W. Scott. “The Light of the Shoals.” In New Hampshire Profiles, pp. 28-29, 45-46, & 48. Sept. 1977
Box 1, Folder 14 Randall, Peter E. “Birds of the Shoals.” In New Hampshire Profiles, pp. 12-15. June 1978
Box 1, Folder 15 Laighton Bros. “The Oceanic. Isles of Shoals. Off Portsmouth, N.H.” 20pp.

Subseries B: Clippings & Miscellaneous, 1847-1987

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 16 13 newspaper clippings recounting various stories, including the fire which destroyed the Appledore Hotel; a marine boundary dispute over lobster-fishing rights (1973); two proposed movies to be shot in New Hampshire, one of them “Murder at Smutty Nose” [never made?] (1948), and others.
Box 1, Folder 17 Brochure for the Boston & Portsmouth Steamship Company publicizing the daily line direct from Boston to the Isles of Shoals and Portsmouth, N.H. from Snow’s Arch Wharf, Boston on the Steamer “John Brooks.”
Box 1, Folder 18 Four postcards (two views of Gosport Church on Star Island, a wider view of the island, and “Shore line and mountains visible from the Isles of Shoals”) two notecards (views of the approach to the church and of the church entrance), a 4×5″ printed card, headed “Nathaniel Hawthorne was a Shoaler, too,” with an excerpt from Hawthorne’s diary from Sept. 13, 1852 in which he describes the Isles of Shoals, a 3×4″ card with illustration of a Chines junk on the front and “Appledore House, Isles of Shoals, Sunday, July 4th, 1880″ on the back, and an envelope with “The Oceanic Hotel/Isles of Shoals, N.H.” printed in top left-hand corner as return address.
Box 1, Folder 19 Blunt, Edmund March. Map of the Isles of Shoals. New York, 1847. 9×10″.
Box 1, Folder 20 Photostat negatives: 1) of cover and first page of A Voyage Into New England: Begun in 1623 and ended in 1624 by Christopher Levett, London: 1628. Note attached in Lewis Stark’s handwriting: “The earliest printed mention of the Isles of Shoals” 2) of “White Island Light (Isles of Shoals)” by John Weiss (3 pages). On back of first page in Stark’s handwriting: “From No.1 of a collection of ms. poems, stories, etc. entitled “Fraternity Papers” (Mss. Div.)” Stamped “New York Public Library” 3) of page 421 of the 1882 Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission containing a letter from Cedric Laighton, dated April 3, 1882, reporting on the “The Capture of Shad at Isles of Shoals, New Hampshire.” Stamped “New York Public Library.”
Box 1, Folder 21 Linen teatowel. Map of the Isles of Shoals. Webster, Mass., 1975.
Box 1, Folder 22 Shoals Marine Laboratory materials: “Shoals Diary,” Summer 1982; welcome flyer, Summer 1983; newsletter, Spring 1983 [missing first two pages - pages 3 and 4 are duplicated].
Box 1, Folder 23 “Savor the Isles of Shoals.” Advertising poster for festive dinner at University of New Hampshire dining halls, March 5, 1987. Sponsored jointly by UNH Dining and the Shoals Marine Laboratory.
Box 1, Folder 24 Fish, C. Julian. Isles of Shoals & Blackbeard’s Treasure. Colored illustration with brief text, 11×14″.

Series II: Of Celia Thaxter and Others, 1872-1966

Subseries A: Of Celia Thaxter, 1872-1966

Box 1, Folder 25 Letters from Celia Thaxter: 1) to Mr. Jenks, March 11, 1872. Apologizes for keeping his book so long and thanks him for his kind words. 2) to Miss Bates, Dec. 29, 1884. Thanks her for praise of Prang’s Christmas Card, noting that Prang feared the card would not be popular. 3) to F. J. Garrison, Boston, Nov. 6, 1886. Invites him to an evening gathering.
Box 1, Folder 26 Broadside: Prang’s American Fourth Prize Christmas Card. Boston, 1881. Verse by Celia Thaxter: “Climb thou and cling to reach life’s highest good.” Illustration by Rosina Emmett.
Box 1, Folder 27 Howells, William Dean. “Literary Boston Thirty Years Ago.” Excerpt from Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, Nov. 1895, pp. 865-880. An account of Celia Thaxter, with portrait and view of White Island Light, Isles of Shoals, pp. 872-874.
Box 1, Folder 28 Miss M.H. Jewell. “An Early Letter by Celia Thaxter.” Old-Time New England, April 1947, pp.101-103.
Box 1, Folder 29 Lord, Caroline M. “To Celia Thaxter” [poem]. Yankee, March 1951, p. 34.
Box 1, Folder 30 Thaxter, Rosamond. “Celia Thaxter’s First Poem and the Isles of Shoals.” Yankee, Sept. 1959, pp. 52-57.
Box 1, Folder 31 “A Garland For Celia Thaxter 1835-1894 on the 70th Anniversary.” Colby Library Quarterly, Dec. 1964. Celia Thaxter issue.
Box 1, Folder 32 Sweetser, Mary Chisholm. “The Legend of Appledore.” The New England Galaxy, Spring 1966, pp.22-28.
Box 1, Folder 33 Five photographs and one postcard: 1. Portrait of Celia Thaxter in middle age. 2. Celia Thaxter in her garden. 3. Celia Thaxter’s cottage on Appledore Island. 4. Man (Childe Hassam?) and two unidentified women on the Isles of Shoals. 5. The Appledore House, Isles of Shoals. Postcard of Celia Thaxter’s cottage, Appledore, Isles of Shoals, N.H.

Subseries B: Others, 1909-1958

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 34 Two letters: 1. Emma C. Marean to Amos R. Wells, April 5, 1929. Asks if she may send him a book of verses for publication. 2. Rosamond Thaxter to Lewis M. Stark, March 11, 1958. Thanks him for copies of four letters written by Celia Thaxter.
Box 1, Folder 35 Four letters documenting Lewis Stark’s purchase of Lyman V. Rutledge’s Moonlight Murder at Smuttynose, 1958.
Box 1, Folder 36 Pencil drawings by Oscar Laighton: Fish – “Massey Trotter (via HC), May 22, 1950″ written in pencil on back; and sketch of a sailing ship.
Box 1, Folder 37 Two cards with poems by Oscar Laighton: “Slumber Song,” and “Christmas Eve”; signed photo-postcard of Oscar Laighton.
Box 1, Folder 38 Photograph of Rosamond Thaxter, aged 14 years and 3 months, July 1909.