Can you believe it? George wondered what he might have to say of interest to me about Migis! I mean, can you believe it? Well, recently he agreed to sit down with me and do a bit of reminiscing. We surrounded ourselves with photo albums and shoeboxes and an iPad loaded with slides and had a lovely time. I myself recall not so long ago when Mabel, George’s mother, came to lunch at Migis from time to time with a guest who had become an old friend. Mabel lived to be 105! And, ever the gracious innkeeper, she would inquire after my children when she was sitting out on the terrace……”Well, of course I remember you, Mary. How are those lovely boys of yours?”
Migis is currently operated by just the third family in its history. The Portas took over from the Crocketts in 1968 and they had been here since the 40s. Just a FEW of the tidbits from George…
When Mabel and Sherm bought Migis Lodge from the Gulick family in 1943, they went right to work building. Are you a fan of Stone’s Throw cottage? Here it is, fresh and new in 1944, and again in fall 2009.
Firefly, Northstar, Whippoorwill, White Pine, Raven, Moonrise and Southwind were the originals, in addition to Green Camp which is now Gray Gull. See that glimpse, on the left? Southwind was one storey, then. George surmises that Cedar was built at a separate time, before the Crocketts but after the original set. It is quite different than the rest.
Coves I and II were built “for the Scammons and Deets”. “They enjoyed travelling together and liked the idea of a duplex.”
They built Pinetops and Cobblestone; Cobblestone has a number of cobblestones salvaged from the streets of Portland. (Have you seen the cobblestones that peek through the tarmac in the streets of the Old Port?). They built Daybreak. George built “Radar Ridge” and lived there himself. Sherm and Mabel lived in a room in the Lodge, then built Topside and lived there, then (eventually) Shadow Knoll, now gone.
1943 was not their first experience with Migis. In the 20s, Sherm Crockett and another fellow ran a base camp at Mount Washington. Local camps would deliver children there for several days, and he and his friend would guide the kids up. (And they bet each other about who could get to the top in the best time on their days off. Wow!)
One of those camps was our neighbor Camp Wohelo, and Sherm wound up teaching horseback riding at Wohelo in the mid 20s. George says his dad always had horses somewhere. Mabel visited the Sebago Lake area during this time, too and after they married in Boston the senior Crocketts managed Camp Timanous in 1929, 1930. They returned with their growing family in the mid 40s with encouragement from Harold Severance in Lovell, and worked at Spruce Fall Lodge in Boothbay along the way.
Do you have a letter from us confirming your reservation for this year? Not so different from this; I have the original that Mrs. Joan Brown sent. This letter confirmed their honeymoon stay and she sent it along to our office 56 years later thanking Migis for ‘giving us a great start to our long and happy life together’.
Sherm and Mabel had a nice hand with a letter. I wonder where the typewriter went? We might still have some 3 cent stamps in a drawer.
Another Portland note; the Crocketts made daily truck drives (where, oh where are the photos?) to Portland for supplies and kitchen stores. Sometimes (remember the dates and WWII) they shopped with their guests’ ration stamps; vacationers were expected to carry them to their destinations. It sometimes took visits to 3 or 4 vendors just to buy butter and meat and Migis then, as now, was full American plan, serving three meals daily so that was quite a job. They shopped at Hannaford (then a wholesaler) and AR Bishop, and Carr Brothers.
They added shuffleboard to the activities which resulted in that favorite sign of mine. I wonder if they hid the sticks during cookout meals!
This is just a sample of George’s recollections…..more to come about staff, buffets, waterskiing and so many things that were Migis Lodge, and still are. Hope you enjoy these looks back! Do let me know! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook, share about us on TripAdvisor and make sure you are confirmed for the 2013 season! 207-655-4524.