It’s June and it’s Summertime, which always brings back memories of the wonderful years I spent with my grandparents on Little Sebago Lake.
My grandparents, Vernon and Hazel Adams, rented their camp for a number of years – I think from the late 1940s until around 1954 – and then finally purchased the property in the middle lake area.
Earliest photo of the camp, c1946
This photo is blurry, but I love it because it is the earliest one I have of the family camp. Grandfather is with King, the collie. Grandmother is behind him. I have no idea who the person is sitting on the right, but one of the girls (on the left) standing on the porch is my Aunt Carole. The other girl looks like my mom, Doris, and the photographer, as always, was probably Aunt Barbara.
None of the roads – and the term is used loosely because they were more like bumpy dirt paths that flooded in rain – had names. How did we find the camp?
The turnoff, which was between Gray and North Windham on the state highway, had a distinctive display. Two wooden posts held wooden signs with the names of various camp owners down that road, which today is Cambell Shore Road.
The earliest photos I have of me at the camp are from 1954. I was only two years old, so don’t remember that first visit, but as I got older (school age), my excitement grew as we neared the lake.
When I saw the post with the signs, I knew we were almost there, after a long drive from New Jersey. Before we headed down the hill into the woodlands, I would catch my first view of Little Sebago Lake.
Back in the 1950s, the trees weren’t yet tall enough to block the water view.
Water View Approaching the Lake, c1960
When my husband and I went back in 1981, I was quite disappointed that Mother Nature had taken over. The trees were so tall, the lake view was totally blocked and I had to wait until we were further along the dirt road to get a look at the lake.
Road to the Adams Camp
I quickly learned to keep my hands and face inside the car because there were a few spots where errant branches would smack you in the face if you didn’t take care!
No map was needed, though, because the Adams camp, at that time, was the last camp along the road. We had to – very slowly – drive up and down a very short steep hill and then quickly turn right as the back of the guest cabin greeted us.
Grandfather was usually puttering around, working on various projects, but Grandmother and Aunt Barbara were in the cottage when we arrived and I am sure they could hear the car approaching.
Vacation activities were the same every summer, but what fun they were!
View through the trees
Back in the 1950’s the toilet was outside, attached to the cottage but not accessible from inside. If you look carefully at the cottage photo (above), you can see the little square outhouse shape between the pairs of trees on the left, which Grandfather built. Before that, and before my memory, the outhouse was 100-150 feet into the woods.
The water that came out of the cottage faucet wasn’t drinkable and there was no hot water, either. Once a week, we drove somewhere towards Gray, I think, and filled containers with potable water.
Linda & Grandmother
I was forever picking blueberries and, while Grandmother made a mean fresh blueberry pie, I never have liked blueberries. However, I loved picking them:
Last, but not least, there were those fun boat rides to nowhere, taking in all that Little Sebago had to offer:
Smooth as silk
Not so much!
Grandfather’s first dock, which he built himself!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my reminiscing about the good old days on Little Sebago Lake. I have lots of family photos on the lake, but have tried to include mostly views of the lake as it was in the mid-20th century.