Articles

Softball Throwback

October 16th, 2014

Maybe your favorite Star Island softball team will never make it to the World Series because, well, that’s for professional baseball. But it’s fall, baseball is on our minds, and we’ve uncovered a little bit of Star Island history in the office today as we are going through some of the Vaughn Cottage archives to help some researchers. Here are some photographs from scorebooks kept during the late 1960′s and 70′s of Conference vs. Pelican softball games. We’re already looking forward to more softball games on the front lawn next summer.

All Star 1 v. Pelicans 1975


International Affairs v. Pelicans 1969


International Affairs v. Pelicans 1975


Laity v. Pelicans 1974


Pelicans v. Pelicans 1975

Fall Projects: Solar Array and Pier Resurfacing

October 15th, 2014

The summer season is definitely over, as the weather reminds us most days, but our work on Star Island continues deep into the autumn. About fifteen staff members will remain on island through the end of this week, and a smaller crew returning for the next couple of weeks. The island staff tend to their usual fall tasks which include such things as cleaning all the linens on island, flushing water from pipes, and dismantling the reverse osmosis machine.

In 2014, several groups of contractors are joining our island staff to complete important projects. The solar array, which is about a month away from completion, includes the placement of large concrete blocks as a foundation for the solar panels and other supporting infrastructure. As you may have heard during a sustainabiltiy talk on island this summer, the solar array will provide apporximately 60% of Star Island’s energy needs starting in 2015. We look forward to kicking off next summer with a ribbon cutting/flip switching ceremony.

StarIslandSolarArrayConstruction

Pier upgrades have been ongoing for several weeks now. The ocean side of the pier has been reinforced with additional concrete adding stability to the structure during storms. Large rocks, known as riprap, will also be added to the ocean side of the pier to lessen the force of storm swells. The top of the pier started a transformation yesterday. Much of the top layer will be demolished and replaced with a new top of concrete and supporting materials.

StarIslandPierConstruction

And while the summer has its usual sights of boats sailing past and beautiful sunsets, autumn on Star Island sees a barge parked in Gosport Harbor. This barge recently brought more heavy equipment to the island to support the solar and pier projects, as well as a used flatbed truck to replace one recently decommissioned on island.

StarIslandBargeAtPier

These projects can be completed because of the support of our community through grants, donations, and volunteer work. We are greatly appreciative of all the support. If you’d like to donate to our Annual Fund to support these ongoing projects and plan for another successful year, please Click Here.

A Reminder Of All That Is Made Possible By Your Generosity

October 15th, 2014

StarIslandPeopleChatting

It’s the time of year that starts with candy corn and jack-o-lanterns and ends with champagne toasts that welcome in a new year. Within the merriment comes the Star Island year-end appeal that you will receive this month. The letter from Joe Watts is a reminder of all that is made possible by your generosity. You can click here to make your 2014 gift now or return your gift in the envelope provided with the mailing, which will also provide an overview of your recent giving history!

With your help we are beginning the 100th anniversary year of the Star Island Corporation on a solid foundation having surpassed our occupancy goals and generated the biggest operating gain in the history of the Corporation. We take pride in forecasting a surplus budget for 2015 that continues to include a robust financial aid program that since 2011 has helped 192 families with room and board and provided discounts to 72 Pelicans who returned to a conference of their choice in 2013.


Click here to contribute to Star Island

In 2015 we will flip the switch on renewable solar power that is expected to generate more than 60 percent of our energy needs. What a way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Star Island. Could our founding fathers and mothers ever have imagined what would come of their foresight?

It’s our turn now. Please do what you can to ensure as bright a future for Star as has been fulfilled thus far.

Seeking Photographs for 2015 Publications

October 7th, 2014

Hey, we saw you taking pictures of Star Island this summer — now it’s time to share them with us!

Look through your images from Star Island 2014 and send us your best ones so that we might include them in our 2015 Program Catalog, seasonal newsletters, and on our website.

What type of pictures are we looking for?

  • People having fun on Star Island: row boat rides, softball games, social hours, tennis matches, trivia games, eating in the dining hall, ordering a lime rickey.
  • People enjoying program activities: listening to a theme talk, leading a workshop, making s’mores, working on a craft project.
  • Traditional Star Island scences: People lining up for candlelit chapels, the grand march.
  • Basically we are looking for pictures of people having fun on Star Island in many different ways.
  • We’re not averse to a good sunset picture, too.
  • How can you share your photos with Star Island?

  • Email a link of your online photo album (like Google’s Picassa) to email hidden; JavaScript is required (please don’t share Facebook photo albums as the quality of the picture is not great for print)
  • Mail a CD with your photos to the Star Island office – 30 Middle Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801
  • Please do not email individual pictures or our email server will bounce them.
  • Please note that print quality pictures are 300 dpi.


    The deadline to be included in our 2015 Program Catalog is Friday, October 31, 2014

    Star Island Receives Grant from Historic New England

    September 21st, 2014

    Star Island is the recent recipient of a $1,000 Community Preservation Grant from Historic New England. Click here to learn more about this grant program from Historic New England.

    HistoricNewEnglandGrantImage

    Star Island will use this grant money to digitize old films in the Vaughn Cottage collection that depict old Shoalers like Unlce Oscar. The films, which were on display in their cases in Vaughn throughout the summer, will be made available for viewing on the Star Island website and within Vaughn after the digital conversion.

    Star Island is grateful for the continued support of Historic New England. The organization, which manages historic properties throughout New England, also partners with non-profits like Star Island to promote access to history. Over the past three summers, groups from Historic New England have visited Star Island for special tours of the island and its buildings.

    Click here for more information about Vaughn Cottage, Star Island’s museum.

    Support Star Island in 2014

    September 15th, 2014

    StarIslandPeopleChatting

    It’s the time of year that starts with candy corn and jack-o-lanterns and ends with champagne toasts that welcome in a new year. This time of year is a reminder of all that is made possible by your generosity. You can click here to make your 2014 gift now.

    With your help we are beginning the 100th anniversary year of the Star Island Corporation on a solid foundation having surpassed our occupancy goals and generated the biggest operating gain in the history of the Corporation. We take pride in forecasting a surplus budget for 2015 that continues to include a robust financial aid program that since 2011 has helped 192 families with room and board and provided discounts to 72 Pelicans who returned to a conference of their choice in 2013.

    In 2015 we will flip the switch on renewable solar power that is expected to generate more than 60 percent of our energy needs. What a way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Star Island. Could our founding fathers and mothers ever have imagined what would come of their foresight?

    It’s our turn now. Please do what you can to ensure as bright a future for Star as has been fulfilled thus far.

    Star Island’s Gardens Grow

    September 13th, 2014

    StarIslandKaleGarden

    Celia Thaxter’s Appledore garden is probably the most well known of the plots out at the Isles of Shoals, but Star Island’s gardens are growing strong while supplementing staff and guest meals throughout the summer.

    This year, the gardens were tended to by sustainability intern Elspeth Pennell as well as numerous volunteers who helped from a few hours to several days. There are three gardens on Star. The largest, called the Pel Garden, started over five years ago as a small plot tended to by Pelicans — our summer staff — during their off time. This garden has grown over the years and includes two levels and a small greenhouse. Vegetables like summer squash, zucchini, and kale were grown in this garden over the summer. A small garden behind the Founders motel unit started as a potato patch in 2013, and grew kale and other leafy greens this summer. The flower cutting garden behind the Elliot Memorial Building (EMB), where our winter caretaker lives during the off-season, continues to be a flower garden with the addition of vegetables this year.

    The goal of the gardens is to reduce our need on mainland food as part of a substantial sustainability effort.

    By September 1, 2014, the gardens have produced a total of 910 pounds of produce. Here are some of the numbers from within that haul:

    • 44.5 lbs of Lettuce and Salad Greens
    • 54.5 lbs of Kale
    • 156 lbs of Chard
    • 167 lbs of Zucchini and Summer Squash
    • 55 lbs of Green Beans
    • 42 lbs of Tomatoes

    If you have ever participated in a CSA, you’ll know that sometimes you receive a lot of one vegetable at once. In a similar sense, we end up with a lot of certain items at once. For example, a plethora of zucchinis have led us to utilize the vegetable for interesting treats like zucchini muffins. Here’s the recipe our island bakery follows for these muffins (to feed approximately 300 people):

      Ingredients

    • 45 beaten eggs
    • 26 1/4 cups vegetable oil
    • 26 1/4 cups granulated sugar
    • 30 cups grated zucchini
    • 9 3/4 tablespoons vanilla
    • 45 cups all purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup cinnamon
    • 3/4 tablespoon nutmeg
    • 4.5 tablespoons baking soda
    • 4/5 tablespoons baking powder

    Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the eggs, oil, sugar, zucchini, and vanilla in a gigantic mixing bowl. In a separate gigantic bowl, mix the remaining ingredients (plus chocolate chips, if you prefer). Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in three parts, and mix until combined. Pour the batter 3/4 of the way up into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

    Chickens

    Starting in 2013, a flock of chickens was added to Star’s sustainability causes. These chickens are fed leftover bread and vegetables from staff and guest meals. The chickens are instrumental in reducing the amount of compost shipped off island. In 2014, the chickens have eaten 2,349 pounds of leftover food. The chickens, destined for an end of season staff bbq, will produce about 300 pounds of meat.

    Next Page »

    Star Island is one of the rocky, wind-swept Isles of Shoals, located off the coast of Rye, New Hampshire. For over 100 years, summers here have provided individuals and families with a welcome respite from their busy mainland lives.

    Star Island Corporation is a nonprofit organization which maintains the island and its facilities and provides hospitality services for visitors.

    Contact Star Island

    Phone: (603) 430-6272
    Fax: (603) 430-6270
    Island Phone: (603) 601-0832
    Staff Email Address List

    Star Island Corporation
    Morton-Benedict House
    30 Middle Street
    Portsmouth, NH 03801

    Get directions to the office

    Content © 1999–2014 Star Island Corporation. Clouds photo © Axel Rouvin.
    Other photos © their respective owners.