A message from Sharon:

I first heard the story of Jane Bates when I was sixteen. Lee and I would visit Ed Jenks on the weekends, sit next to his old Queen Atlantic, and he would talk of his childhood, his family history and the island how it used to be. Ed’s father, Joshua Jenks left a diary which provided details of the Sunnyside Hotel on Little Chebeague during his time as proprietor. When that endeavor fell apart, he packed up his wife and two young sons in a wagon, lifted the sign from the hotel and transported them across the sand bar to Chebeague where he built his own hotel; conveniently named The Sunnyside. Ed was just two when Jane Bates died in 1890. Apparently, Jane’s story was legendary in the bay because he chose her story to tell one winter’s day. I still get chills thinking about us standing there in the snowy field outside Ed’s house looking out across the bay to Bangs, Stave, Ministerial and Bates. Of all Ed’s stories it was Jane’s that took up residence in my imagination, begging to be retold.

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