Great Duck Island House on the hill

Building the House

The Summer of 1986 on Great Duck Island

We began building the house during the summer of 1986. Fifty-six 700 pound bundles of materials were loaded onto a barge in Northeast Harbor and transported to just off-shore of Great Duck Island. Then a helicopter picked up each individual bundle and dropped it into a field next to our selected building site.
We had picked our building site by setting up tree poles and ribbons to allow us to visualize our house and views we love so much.
We camped on the island for 5 weeks with a team of four wonderful men. Our youngest daughter was 1 and 1/2 years old. By the end of the first summer we had the shell of the house erected and only one door opening and one window opening. It was dark inside. Each summer after that we continued finishing the house.

September of 2009 on Great Duck Island

For 23 years we carried on all of the drinking, cooking and washing water that was needed on the island. Gallons and gallons of water all carried on in 5 gallon jugs. We collected rainwater in barrels for gardening. Finally in August of 2009 we met an adventurous well-driller at the Fenchboro Lobster Festval who believed he could get onto the island and drill a well for us. Not only did he drill a well, he drilled 3 wells for us! However, only one was freshwater, one was slightly brackish and the third was salty.
Everyday when we can take a shower, easily wash our hands, our dishes, we feel blessed by the preciousness of this clear liquid from the earth.