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Historic Star Conference explores Shoals’ sordid history

March 19th, 2012

Investigate mystery and mayhem on the Isles of Shoals this summer and attend the Historic Star Conference on Star Island from Saturday, August 25 to Saturday, September 1.

The Historic Star Conference will help you determine the truth behind stories of pirates, treasure, ghosts and murder just 10 miles off the coast of Maine and New Hampshire. Surround yourself with the cottages and structures used by fishing families in the 17th and 18th centuries while learning about the isolated village of Gosport. Uncover the seemingly peculiar behavior of Gosport’s residents while residing in what remains of this community.

Join author and NHPTV host Rebecca Rule for strange tales of New England, learn of the 18th century hanging of Portsmouth resident Ruth Blay from Carolyn Marvin of the Portsmouth Athenaeum and attend atmospheric digital photographs and art workshops.

Play the role of a famous Shoals character or a detective at an evening “Star Island Mystery Soiree.” With scandals as big as murder and stories as intriguing as pirates, witches and ghosts, the Historic Star Conference allows you to learn about our region’s history and separate from the mainland for a week.

Conference Organizer Ann Beattie said, “The Isles of Shoals have been the home to so much history. From explorer John Smith to oil tycoon Aristotle Onassis, Star Island has stories to tell and the Historic Star Conference is the perfect way to learn about the mystery and mayhem.”

Star Island CEO Vicky Hardy said, “We hear ghost stories all the time out on Star Island, and now there is an opportunity to experience more than ghosts. The Historic Star Conference provides a relaxing way to learn about New England’s isolated gem of history.”

For more information about the conference and to register, please visit

The Star Island Corporation was established as a nonprofit corporation in 1916 to hold and administer Star Island and its historic properties for religious, educational, and kindred purposes. The Laighton family owned and operated hotels on the Isles of Shoals that attracted some of the most prominent artists and writers of their day. Some of the cottages on Star Island date back to the 1700s.

Our Mission

Our mission since 1915 is to hold and maintain Star Island and such other property as the Corporation may hold or acquire, as a center for religious, education, and kindred purposes consistent with the principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ.

Our Vision

Our vision is to create on Star Island an environment that frees all who come to renew spiritually, explore matters of consequence, and gain knowledge about the world as it might ideally be.

Contact Star Island

Phone: (603) 430-6272
Fax: (603) 430-6270
Island Phone: (603) 601-0832
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Star Island Corporation
Morton-Benedict House
30 Middle Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801

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Content © 1999–2015 Star Island Corporation. Clouds photo © Axel Rouvin.
Other photos © their respective owners.