Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rosehips & Waves: Remembering Mrs. Haskell's good will and presence in the center of town on an Elizabethan Island in Massachusetts in the 1970s

Dear Scott

I wanted to thank you for this posting (http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2009/05/bayberry-cuttyhunk-island-in-1970s.html - May 24, 2009). I came across it when I was researching my Grand Aunt Louise T Haskell( Grandfather's Sister). I would be interested in any additional recollections or information you might have on her. Her maiden name is Hattie Louise Taylor and the last information I was able to find was the 1930 Census. She was still single at 36 and living on the island at that time. I have no information about her husband Mr. Haskell. She died in Apr 1978 at 84.


Dear R,

Nice to get your email, and to revisit Mrs. Haskell, further, in memory. I'm glad you found my earlier posting here in this blog about your great Aunt (http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2009/05/bayberry-cuttyhunk-island-in-1970s.html).

I first came to Cuttyhunk with my family in 1966 as a six year old.

I remember Mrs. Haskell's good will and presence in the center of town, - as school teacher, and, I think, as a Sunday school teacher (which I didn't attend) - and her appearance primarily. She wore these leggings or heavy stockings, rimmed glasses with dark rims and slightly browning lenses, floral print dresses, and big black shoes. I picture her primarily on the front porch in a comfortable chair of where Oscar Lodter (sp?) lived at the time, too, I think, and in front of where the Cuttyhunk store was located then. (The store then moved downhill one house, and then across the street, where it is now). Mrs Haskell lived in the front part, in front of this old store, right on the main road called Broadway. There was no historical society then, and in the '70s, kids used to hang out on the wall right across from where she lived in the evenings, which is on the Tower Hill road. Mrs. Haskell's building, right in the center of town, is now owned by G. A., I think. I don't know who owned it when Mrs. Haskell lived there. I also remember her in relation to the 'History of Cuttyhunk' she wrote. We were friends, - as a little kid can be with a friendly presence in town. She was special to me, too, as a summer kid, because she was a winter Cuttyhunker. If more memories come to me I'll let you know, but that's all I recall at this point.

While this may repeat my blog entry in parts, I didn't revisit the above blog entry in the recalling process. Keep asking people on Cuttyhunk, by coming to the Cuttyhunk Historical Society, for example, in summer. There are probably a lot of people who remember her.

All the best,


Following on the above correspondence, a Cuttyhunk Historical Society curator sent R.T. (and myself) the following information on March 2, 2011:

R: Scott MacLeod sent me your query about Louise Haskell. While I did not know her, I do work with the Cuttyhunk Historical Society and have a bit of information that might help you. The following is the information in our island cemetery survey. We also have a four page monograph on Louise and George and would happily send you a copy if you would share your address.

Good luck in your ancestor search. Sometimes we learn about our direct descendants from the character and lives of their brother, sisters, aunts and uncles. In this case, Louise and George were beloved in the community and made significant contributions that are still remembered. You come from a caring and hearty stock!

Reply with your mailing address, please.

My best,


Cuttyhunk Island Cemetery:
Row E #21 Louise Taylor Haskell 1893-1978
Comments: Known as “HATTIE”. Came to Cuttyhunk to teach school in 1926. In 1931, she became the first woman preacher in the Cuttyhunk Church. (VI) Married GEORGE HASKELL in 1944. Hattie wrote “The Story of Cuttyhunk” in 1952. She also was the Cuttyhunk Librarian for many years.

Row E #20 George Whitefield Haskell 1871-1960
Comments: Became Town Librarian. Bird watcher. Created a list of birds seen through out the year on Cuttyhunk, in The Story of Cuttyhunk, by Louise Haskell p.51-52. He was also called “The Gentle Poet”.


They sit in flocks on the time-kissed rocks They dive to the sea with the greatest of glee
At the blush of early dawn As they glimpse their looked-for treat;
They shake their heads and wiggle their toes They eat their fill while the sunlight glows
But what they are thinking nobody knows, But what they are thinking nobody knows.
And the ocean waves roll on.

They look away o’re the rollicking bay, At eve they rest on the tide-kissed rocks,
Where the vessels sail and the fishes play; With their coats of gray, and their pure
They sometimes sit on the harbor buoy, white frocks;
And wink at the sound of ‘ship ahoy’; And the sun goes down off yon.
Like babes asleeptheir eyes they close, They preen their feathers and stretch their toes,
But what they are thinking nobody knows, But what they are thinking nobody knows,
And the ocean waves roll on. And the ocean waves roll on.

George Haskell, 1948 (monograph The Island in Verse)

(http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2011/03/rosehips-and-waves-remember-mrs.html - March 1, 2011)

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