My recent family vacation to Maine started with two poems that we had hanging in our farmhouse. They were drafted and given to my great grandfather when he was there on a hunting/fishing trip in 1909. I knew that we wanted to go to Maine again this year and thought ....why don't we go to the same place our great grandfather went. On each poem the place of record was Birch Island, Maine. I googled Birch Island and found it. I also found a wonderful lodge to stay- Attean Lake Lodge. The lodge brochure mentioned that people had been coming to the lodge since the late 1800s. I thought...this is it and my great grandfather must have stayed in the same lodge. Well we arrived at the remote lake, located only minutes from the Canadian border, and arrived at our lodge. That night at dinner we were speaking to one of the other guests and he told me that we were at the wrong Birch Island. This Birch Island was on Attean Lake and our Birch Island was on Holeb Lake. Oops...after so much work to get there. Well it turned out that Birch Island on Holeb Lake was just the next lake over. There are some hunting cottages on it, though not a lodge to stay. The next morning I spoke with the owner of the lodge and he put us on course to see the other Birch Island. We motor boated across our 7 mile lake....hiked 1.5 miles through the woods and arrived at the shore of Holeb Lake. Our lodge hides two canoes in the woods for guest to use on this lake. We pattled 5 miles and finally arrived at our destination....Birch Island! Two construction guys greeted us at the shore. We were the first people they had seen on the island in 3 weeks. Birch Island on Holeb Lake used to be a fancy destination owned by an exclusive Boston country club for its guests. My great grandfather lived in Kansas City and was in the cattle business. He must have had a business associate that invited him. Birch Island has seen better days and was a little run down...though enchanting. Sorry for the long post....though look at the pictures and descriptions below for an illustration of our journey. (This is my last vacation post....sorry to my readers who are bored by this and want more local St. Louis posts.)
The poem below was printed on birch paper. My grandfather's last name was Forrest...thus the cute way of incorporating the last name into the poem.
Traveling to our destination....
And canoeing in Holeb Lake to Birch Island... being chased by storms periodically
And then Birch Island!....finally!