Summerguide 2014 | view this story as a .pdf
By Deana Lorenzo
Who lives on North Haven Island? “Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s summer home is located at Deacon Brown’s Point at the northwest tip of the island,” says Emily Greenlaw of the North Haven Island Historical Society. Which means, yes, Charles A. Lindbergh, famous for being the first solo pilot to fly from New York to Paris (in 1927) was a summer fixture here, too. His family members still touch down on North Haven. “Oliver Platt [Indecent Proposal, Benny & Joon, Lake Placid, and most recently with Scarlett Johansson and Dustin Hoffman, Chef (2014)] has a home on Dole Road,” Greenlaw says. “Elise & Pierre DuPont live on Kents Hill overlooking the downtown village.”
Pierre S. “Pete” DuPont IV (R-Delaware) served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1971-77) and as Delaware’s governor (1977-85). Companies owned by the DuPont family (who arrived from France in 1800 and quickly cornered America’s gunpowder manufacturing market–today they’re best known for DuPont Chemical) employ between five and 10 percent of Delaware’s population.
Former IBM president Thomas Watson (1874-1956) lived on Oak Hill on the North Shore. His family still logs in here every summer.
Artist F.W. Benson (1862-1951) found inspiration on “Wooster Farm. [The house is] currently owned by Peter Allen and is located on Crabtree Point Road near Wooster Cove.”
How about some old Hollywood? Leading man “Robert Montgomery (1904-1981) resided at Indian Point at the southeast end of the island.” Among his credits: Rage in Heaven (1941), with Ingrid Bergman; Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941), with Claude Rains; and the noir classic Lady in the Lake (1947), which he directed. His daughter Elizabeth Montgomery (1933-1995) stayed here, too, in the same house. “My father, a realtor, sold him the property,” says artist Eric Hopkins. “I used to see Robert all the time. Their place was an old fishing/farming cape with white cedar shingles on it.” As for glimpses of his bewitching daughter, Hopkins, 63, says, “I didn’t watch a lot of TV back then.”
But he was watching the summer that Jimmy Cagney came to visit Robert Montgomery. “Robert owned a Huckins [custom power yacht] named Cygnet. Every two weeks or so, he’d take his wife Elizabeth (not Bewitched’s mom) up to Northeast Harbor to get her hair done at her favorite [salon].”
Cagney tagged along for this junket “and was putting out the fenders when some people on shore starting jumping up and down and shouting,t Montgomery. “Robert owned a Huckins [custom power yacht] named Cygnet. Every two weeks or so, he’d take his wife Elizabeth (not Bewitched’s mom) up to Northeast Harbor to get her hair done at her favorite [salon].
Cagney tagged along for this junket “and was putting out the fenders when some people on shore starting jumping up and down and shouting, ‘Jimmy Cagney! Jimmy Cagney!’ Then they said, ‘You look much younger than you do on film!’”
They were looking at Montgomery, who had a similar build.
But wait, there’s more. “The Bush family…Jonathan and Jody…have a home on Kent Cove,” says Emily Greenlaw. Über designers “Toshiko Mori and James Carpenter have a home on South Shore Road.”
Speaking of architects, when he’s not in New York, I. M. Pei & Partners founding architect Henry N. Cobb heads to North Haven, where he has homes “downtown and on Indian Point.” If you’ve ever wandered through the Payson Wing of the Portland Museum of Art, you’ve already been inside one of his many world-famous designs.
For Boston Brahmins, how about the Cabots, one of the “first families” of Boston who can trace their lineage back to John Cabot (b. 1680). If the Cabots get lonely, they can swap stories with the Saltonstalls out here. We didn’t know S.S. Pierce delivered this far north.
Speaking of the Saltonstalls, let’s not forget the Welds of Massachusetts and their ties to the island.
In 1885, summer rusticator William Weld commissioned John Alden to design him a fast sailing yacht tender. The result was the North Haven dinghy, and soon everyone in the summer colony had to have one. The graceful, plumb-stemmed, 14-foot gaffers are still raced off North Haven today.
In 1960, Philip Saltonstall Weld, at age 65, won the London Observer-sponsored, singlehanded transatlantic sailboat race (OSTAR) from Plymouth, England, to Newport, Rhode Island, beating scores of younger competitors in his 50-foot trimaran Moxie. William Floyd Weld, bow-tied lawyer and resolute Harvard-man, served as Republican governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997.
Actor Oliver Platt’s father is Nicholas Platt, a career U.S. diplomat with high-level service in China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Canada (where Oliver was born in 1960), and served as ambassador in Pakistan, Zambia, and the Philippines. Oliver’s brother Adam Platt is New York Magazine’s restaurant critic.
Novelist Susan Minot lives on Main Street. Among her spectacular accomplishments: writing the screenplay for Stealing Beauty with Bernardo Bertolucci. Her first novel, Monkeys, put her on the map. (Although it didn’t hurt to have palled around with ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy at Concord Academy). Minot’s new novel, Thirty Girls, enraptured the critics at the New York Times Book Review this spring.
Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning poet Elizabeth Bishop visited here summer after summer to see friends, so much that she’s a part of the place. Want to read a good poem? Read Bishop’s “The Fish.” Just sayin’.
Think we’re done? We’re just getting started. Beyond Eric Hopkins, a North Haven boy through and through, there’s design maven Angela Adams. Did you know that U.S. Rep. and College of the Atlantic alumna (1979) Chellie Pingree first came to the island as a back-to-the-land farmer? Her daughter, former speaker of the Maine House of Representatives Hannah Pingree, continues the tradition. Hannah runs Nebo Lodge, the island’s chic, locavore inn and restaurant.
The inn is decorated with Angela Adams rugs and homewares; the restaurant serves produce from Chellie’s nearby organic Turner Farm. Still with me? Chellie’s other daughter Cecily received an individual artist fellowship in documentary filmmaking from Maine Arts Commission. Cecily also has a casual restaurant opening this summer in the island’s Calderwood Hall, the product of a new restoration.
Remember Elton John? He doesn’t live here. But when he toured singing “Don’t Go Breaking my Heart,” North Haven’s Cindy Bullens sang the Kiki Dee part of the duet with him on three major tours. The talented singer-songwriter, who came out as Cidny Bullens in 2012, was also the driving force behind the 2001 Broadway debut for the musical Islands, which put North Haven into the stratosphere, as a sort of seaswept Our Town. To see Bullens being interviewed by Dick Clark, visit youtube.com/watch?v=PVxTUIB9HTU.
Who lives on North Haven Island? Who doesn’t?