"Maude shows the boys how to take care of that lake monster once and for all."
Congratulations, Cary, and if by chance you happen to be my old friend Cary Brown from Edgertown, then we have some serious catching up to do!
The shotgun toting lady with the wasp waist standing resolutely in the bow is my great grandmother Barker as none now living ever knew her. Alice May Martin was the girl next door who married Ray Barker in 1901, the year after she graduated from High School. That's Ray standing with the gaff second from the left. I am not sure, but have a feeling that this picture was taken before their marriage, perhaps in 1898 when the Barkers joined family friends for the summer in Massanoga, Canada. According to a brief family chronology compiled by Raymond H. Barker Jr., my grandfather's older brother:
"Due to mosquitoes spent my time on a house boat out in the center of lake."
The Martins and the Barkers were second generation Clevelanders, and while upwardly mobile they remembered lean times and kept scrupulous accounts of even the smallest debt or transaction. Ray and Alice Barker bought the cottage on Monhegan Island in Maine and were building a second one even closer to the water when Ray died coming over from the mainland with supplies. Our extended family still enjoys this extraordinary place to this day and this year - for the first time in five long years - my little family will be able to go as well.
My second cousin, Karen Shaw Knapp, who has a deep interest of her own in family genealogy, kindly allowed me to post some of the archival photographs from her collection. I've never seen my great grandfather with a mustache before, nor Grandma Barker looking anything but white haired and severe, let alone with her hand on the tiller in the Gulf of Maine or staring down the barrel of a shotgun. The family has a long association with watercraft, from the Great Lakes schooners captained by Alice Martin father John Thomas Martin to the Genevieve, 60 ft long and purchased by the family in 1906 for $3,750. Those of us weaned on Atlantic water tend to forget the vast inland seas of the American upper Midwest, but the Martins and Barkers knew them well.