1900 to 1930 Ross Cottage in 1900

Ross Cottage became a favorite summering place for Lelia, notwithstanding the elegance of her grand home on Calais Avenue. To get to the cottage from Calais, people at first took the train to Pembroke by way of Ayers Junction and continued by horse wagon. Stopping to pick up Keziah “Gram” Bridges in West Pembroke, they drove down to King’s Point on Garnet Head and carried their belongings either by horse along the beach or by rowboat to the cottage. In 1920, work was finished on a road to the cottage and the family could drive all the way from Calais by car.

Ruth Ross playing cello in 1915

The Rosses opened the cottage in June and closed it in September or early October. Besides maintenance work, activities included hiking, nature study, boating, fishing, clam digging and, sometimes, swimming in the frigid water. Henry died in 1911, but Lelia, her children and their families and friends continued to spend many happy days at Ross Cottage. Church and women’s groups from Pembroke also held picnic meetings there. Known in her later years as “Gram Ross”, Lelia presided through wit, wisdom and kindness. She took an extraordinary interest in children, and always provided food for local Indians who occasionally visited.

Carl Ross graduating in 1908 Lelia’s son Carl graduated from Dartmouth in 1908 as a civil engineer and served as chief water engineer for Portland, Oregon but left to assume management of Ross Bros. in 1919. On Sundays and sometimes on weekdays he drove to Pembroke to pick up or drop off people and to stay for a while. Lelia, her daughter Ruth, and Carl’s children – Hubert, Marjorie and Norman - remained at the cottage much of July and August.

Excerpts from Carl’s 1920 diary illustrate the simple pleasures of carefree summer days at the cottage:

Thursday, Jul 1. Clear fine. Lv house about 9:30 with mother, 3 kids and a load. Arr. Cottage OK and spent rest of day getting settled. Brot stuff over in boat from King’s Pt. Out in boat in evening. Beautiful full moon.

Friday, July 2. Around the cottage all day, building walk to beach. Lovely day and eve. Put out buoy and went in swimming. Bed early.

Sunday, July 4. Clearing. Up fairly early and drove to the cottage with Ruth and baggage. Spent all day around cottage building walks, etc. and playing with kids. Alina, Styles, Doris, Ronald [all Bridges] and Mrs. Abernathy were all down in eve.

Monday, July 5. Fog and some showers clearing in p.m. and eve. Working around cottage, walk in woods. Fire works in eve for kiddies.

Sunday, July 11. Fair. Up 5:30 Lv for cottage 6:27. Made run to King’s Pt. In 1 hour 13 min. Around cottage all day. Aunt Vina, Vide Wilbur, Ruth Wilbur & a friend Wilbur Parks and Eugene Wilbur were down.

Thursday, August 5 – Sunday, August 8. Around cottage – more or less fine weather, some fog in early a.m. Out to Red Island fishing one day, caught one small cod. Hubert caught a dogfish. Made kite for Norman. Let each one of children go out in boat alone and each one handled oars very well, especially Norman for a 5-year-old. Sun p.m. went up Sipps Bay.

footer separator line

All proceeds are dedicated to the Downeast Coastal Conservancy
Amenities    Setting    History    Day Trips    Rental
Copyright 2007     Credits