Your Hosts

Bartlett's Harbor, with its quiet cove, majestic bluff guarding the entrance to the harbor, wide accessible beach and a pier where children catch crabs, has been the summer home of the Allens for four generations, since 1914 when Frederick and Agnes Allen bought the Red House.

Frederick Allen, a sculptor, was a member of the Bartlett Harbor Artist's Colony along with Bela Pratt and five others (see History section below). The scenic beauty captivated these artists, who moved here for the summer months.Island life in those early years meant pumping water from a well and cooking on a wood stove. There was no indoor plumbing, telephones or electricity. They fished the harbor for cod and mackeral, picked wild raspberries and blackberries, and drank milk from a neighbor's cow. Everyone delighted in the life of the community.

Today the Allen houses are completely modernized. The view of the Bartlett's Harbor ranks as one of the twelve most beautiful views in Maine.

Let us introduce our family members who still come back to the island every summer for inspiration, fun, and with a commitment to preserve the island beauty. All the Allens stay in the "White House," the home rebuilt on the site of Bela Pratt's home after the fire.

The patriarch and matriarch, who live in Los Angeles but return each summer to the island:
Fred G. Allen (Cornell '45, Harvard Physics PhD '55, Emeritus Professor
UCLA)
Sue Morse Allen (Wellesley '47, UCLA '82, Member of Plato Society of UCLA)

Their daughter, who manages the rentals from her home in New Jersey:
Kathy Allen Roth ( Yale '80, Piano Teacher) Andy Roth, (Brown '73, Psychologist), Kathy's husband

Their sons, also based in Los Angeles:
Warren Allen (Swarthmore '74, UCLA M.D. '80, Pathologist) Warren's wife Sally Allen ( Artist, currently studying art in Los Angeles) Peter Allen ( Yale '80, Stanford MBA '82, Banker)

Our family and grandchildren come every summer to enjoy life on the island. We feel lucky to own these homes and hope that you will also be inspired by the peace and beauty of Barlett's Harbor.

History of this corner of Bartlett's Harbor

In the 1850s, Bartlett's Harbor was a hubbub of fishing activity, with large sailing vessels entering the harbor and loading at a now-defunct pier off the bluff. The harbor reputedly enjoyed the best weir fishing on the island (sadly the mackerel have been fished out now.) The "Red House" dates from this era of fishing commerce. The boathouse was designed and built by Fred W. Allen with the help of his teen-aged sons (Gordon and Fred G. Allen) over the course of several summers in the 1930's. 
 
At the turn of the century, the famous American impressionist Frank Benson owned "Wooster Farm" which is about a mile down Crabtree Road. Many of his paintings depict North Haven. And although he did not live at Bartlett's Harbor, he was the one to bring Bela Pratt to the harbor, and he in turn brought others, creating an Artists' Colony.
 
Bela Pratt bought his home from Alameda Wooster, who regretted it the next day, hence the nickname "Alameda's Regret."  Mr. Pratt was considered one of America's most promising young artists, but he died in his 40s.

Joining Bela Pratt at Bartlett's Harbor were: grandfather Frederick W. Allen, who headed the sculpture department at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; Beatrice Van Ness, an oil painter who took the first house through the woods at the other side of Bartlett's Harbor; and after Bela, his son Dudley and daughter-in-law Colette (a ceramicist), who lived in Alameda's Regret. In the 1950s, Grandfather Allen's student Helen Paulsen and her husband, the "Captain," moved into the Nabby House up the hill from the cove. Helen Paulsen worked in traditional media as well as crafts, and taught the grandchildren of the original artists how to glue seashells onto driftwood to create ART.
 
Each summer, from 1914 until the 1950s, these artists (considered Bohemians by the islanders as well as the summer people) lived off the land and sea: fishing and smoking the fish; berrying; repairing the houses; and fixing their boats. It was a vibrant and exciting community, with young people's dances in the Allen boathouse, group picnics to the neighboring islands, daily wallks to "Mrs. Butter-Brown's" for milk and local stories; haying with the local farmers; and, always, group cooperation to launch boats and lay weirs.
 
Around 1916, one of the Bela Pratt's sons (with a local carpenter) built a camp on a rock above Alameda's Regret, using timber from an old nearby barn, cleverly naming the dwelling "The Barnacle." Shortly afterward the young man died in the Influenza Epidemic of 1918.  Mrs. Pratt's sister's family stayed in the Barnacle for many summers, and it was the headquarters for teenaged islander Lew Haskell's shenanigans (Mr. Haskell, now an octagenarian, presides over the Island Museum). Colette Pratt installed a kiln in in the Barnacle in the 1950s, where she produced glorious colorful ceramic pieces.
 
Fred G. and Sue Allen (with Fred's sister Susanna Beetham) bought Alameda's Regret and the Barnacle from Dudley Pratt in about 1961. That summer, Fred installed the first bathroom in the Barnacle with the help of his brother-in-law Robert H. Morse.
 
The Barnacle changed hands after 1978, and was owned for 15 years by the Paylors, who built the "in-law cabin" as their knees couldn't manage the Barnacle's ladder-like stairs. They sold it back to the Allens in 1989.
 
Neighbors may change, the coastlines erode slightly each year, but fortunately a sense of peace and the natural and wild beauty of Bartlett's Harbor remain constant.

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