Best Childhood Memories Ever: Summers on Little Sebago Lake, Maine

Summertime always makes me nostalgic because I was one lucky little girl to spend my summers vacationing on Little Sebago Lake, Maine with my grandparents and my Aunt Barbara. Of course my family was there, too, but spending time with my grandparents and aunt was special since they lived in Massachusetts and we lived in New Jersey.

What was so special about time on Little Sebago? Here’s my walk down Memory Lane.

My grandparents actually rented their camp for several years before they had the chance to buy it and the extended family got together for at least a couple of weeks each summer.

This was taken about 1948, long before I was around. Mom, Dad and Aunt Carole are in the back with King, Grandmother, Grandfather, Aunt Barbara and Mickey seated in front. I loved those woods! So much fun to explore!

The camp was a good sized piece of land with lots of space between the Wetherbees and the Abramsons. The main cottage sat high above the lake with a guest cabin in the back.

You can see the Wetherbees’ guest cabin in the left distance. That’s Grandfather repairing something. My parents and brother and I slept in the cabin. Notice the window shutter with the rope – that’s how we opened and closed the “window.” There was no glass, just a screen over the opening and a matching shutter on the other side of the cabin.

The open door was the wood shed – wood was a necessity because the fireplace in the main cottage provided the only heat. After my sibling was born, Grandfather surprised us one summer. We arrived to find the woodshed had been converted into a second bedroom. My parents were happy about that!

Life was rustic, to say the least. Not only was the cabin unheated and the main cottage warmed by fire, but the water wasn’t potable, nor was it hot and the bathroom, which used to be an outhouse about 50 feet or so from the main cottage became an outdoor toilet attached to the main cottage when I was small.

If you look carefully, above, there are two trees to the right of the car. Then there is a tree that is leaning. Between the second and third trees, an addition to the cottage can be seen. That was the new “modern” bathroom. Grandfather was very handy. He installed a small sink and a flushing toilet. It was wonderful to have, but if we had to use the toilet at night or in the rain, it wasn’t the most fun getting there!

My earliest memories are of swimming:

riding in Grandfather’s motor boat (wood and light green in color) with a dock he built himself:

and Aunt Barbara teaching me to pick blueberries:

Grandmother always made a blueberry pie (although I’ve never cared for blueberries myself) and I was still picking those blueberries when I was 16 – the last summer at the lake before Grandfather died.

Boat rides were always fun, but I didn’t appreciate the scenery back then:

The best ride was to the little beach, about 15-20 minutes by boat:

For those enjoying Little Sebago Lake today, my grandparents’ camp was, back then, on a dirt road, which ended at their property, on what is now Cambell Shore Road. This beach was in front of a marshy area which can’t be seen behind the brush.

The red arrow is approximately where the camp is and the purple arrow where the little beach was.

I haven’t been to Little Sebago Lake since 1981 when my husband and I vacationed in New England. I wanted to stop and see the old camp. At the time, it hadn’t changed much from my previous visit in 1968 and we had no trouble finding the cottage. I was hoping that the owners were there, so I could say hi, but the camp was locked up.

I have been in touch with the current owner – a child of the couple woo actually bought the camp from my grandmother after Grandfather passed away. The cottage and guest cabin have been renovated and updated and look terrific and it’s pretty incredible that from the early 1950s to today, only two families have owned the property, originally built in 1939.

3 thoughts on “Best Childhood Memories Ever: Summers on Little Sebago Lake, Maine”

  1. What wonderful childhood memories of a time spent with grandparents. Just like I have read in books–you got to live it!

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