Culture Spotlight

Eyrie Tales

| Diantha Grant |

I have had the pleasure of being on Sabbathday Lake since 1955 (first at various swimming spots and then in 1960 when my family purchased our camp).  My dad was superintendent at Opportunity Farm until 1962 and we eventually moved to the Bangor area. This is my first winter on Sabbathday Lake ever and my first winter in Maine since 1976. It has been actually a pleasant experience. I say that because it has been quite mild. I’m sure there is more to come, especially mud season. Eagle watching has been the highlight and waiting to see if we get eaglets this year.

I’ve had an itch to learn more lake history, and kindly, Tom Blake is giving me a hand. He recently sent me a couple of maps from 1857 and 1871. Who had the first home on the lake shore?  The current home of Dick and Lori Allen on Sabbathday Road might be the winner. Although Zillow gives it a date of 1890, it appears on both maps and it might have been a stagecoach stop. I’ve circled what I believe is their homestead on the 1857 map. Yes, I know the Shakers were here earlier but their buildings were not on the lakefront.

Map of Sabbathday Lake 1857 | courtesy of Tom Blake

Some of the names on the map are Brackett, Merrill, Pickett, Haskell, Burgess, Small, Hearse and Gore.

If anyone has information on any of the early homes on old Route 26/Sabbathday Road or elsewhere on the lakefront, I would love to see your material.

As I gather more information on lake history, I will update you. I will also share other lake highlights going forward.

My email is

— Diantha Grant

Map of Sabbathday Lake 1871 | courtesy of Tom Blake