Writer’s Cottage Restored

From Eric Snyder: Thanks to the hard work of a small group of FOHI volunteers and donors we were able to have a wonderfully successful week restoring the small Writer’s Cottage on Hog Island. This cottage was one of two that remain on site and made up the summer home of Mabel Loomis Todd and her daughter Millicent Todd Bingham. A wonderful example of a Maine island camp, these buildings feature a rustic building style and beautiful fireplaces.

Writer's Cabin - FOHI volunteers 2012
Writer’s Cabin – FOHI volunteers 2012. Standing: Eric, Jamie, Asa, Patrick, Pete; sitting: Juanita, Nicole, and Matt; missing: Joanne

The smaller writer’s cabin was badly neglected for several decades. The roof leaked so heavily that the entire floor had rotted through and many joists were weakened. Roof boards were caving in and some sections of the foundation sill were completely missing. Inspired by the results of a 2011 workweek to restore the main lodge, a group of 8 dedicated volunteers helped to restore the cottage this last week.

Everyone pitched in and we accomplished everything we were hoping and then some. The cabin now looks great, and I am sure will last into its second century and beyond. We shored up the foundation and sills, replaced most of the rafters and joists in the floor and roof. The roof was replaced by traditional cedar shingles and we laid a new floor inside. The fireplace was cleaned and a new stone hearth built. The interior walls were stabilized, siding patched, front steps fixed, and trim painted. We were even able to add some furniture. We put back the original chimney cap, upon which the name “F.A. Lailer 7/22/21” was inscribed. We found it under the building.

Lailer stone at Writer's Cottage
Lailer stone at Writer’s Cottage

These cottages are rich in the history of Maine, literature, and the conservation movement. Hog Island is now in a better position to incorporate the Bingham Cottages and that part of the island into its programming and mission on Hog Island. Thank you again to all who helped make it such a fun and productive week. To see more photos of the Writer’s Cabin restoration click here.

Editor’s note: The FOHI volunteers who generously gave their time and wanted to be part of Hog Island’s history were: Pete Snyder, Asa Snyder, Nicole Passeri, Matthew Horan, Joanne Sharpe, Jamie Wisnwieski, Patrick Larson, Moe Martin and Juanita Roushdy. Thanks to Eric Snyder, Hog Island Manager, who also gave extra time to FOHI and patiently guided us through the restoration. Of course, without our FOHI donors we could not have accomplished the restoration of both the Bingham Cottages – thank you.

Volunteers are still needed for the September program sessions. So, sign up and we’ll see you soon.