On the Island

Island Historian Ann Beattie Returns

If you’ve ever run into Ann Beattie on Star Island, you’ll know she’s got a lot to share. Last year, Ann took up residency on Star Island as Island Historian, and we’re excited to announce that she’ll be returning for summer 2020. Here’s a look at the programming she’ll be offering this season:

Wondrous Isles: Explore four centuries of life on the nine stark and hauntingly beautiful Isles of Shoals through a series of fascinating historical images.

Infamous Isles of Shoals: Investigate the lore and legends of Shoals and determine the truth behind stories of pirates, treasure, ghosts and murder just 10 miles off the coasts of Maine and New Hampshire.

Notorious Shoals Dunfish: Discover how cod fueled the settlement of New England and go back in time to the era when the Isles of Shoals was the busiest spot in the New World.

Isles of Shoals Resorts: Find out why hundreds of people packed their trucks and spent the summer at one of the Isles of Shoals resort hotels in the 19th century and why hundreds of people continue to explore the natural beauty of the Shoals today

The Oceanic – 140 Years at Sea: Investigate the legacy of the Isles of Shoals’ grand Oceanic Hotel, one of New England’s few remaining Victorian resort hotels. Discover how flames destroyed the hotels, and learn of the ingenious effort in creating a second grand Oceanic Hotel.

Oceanic Regatta: One-hundred and fifty years ago, Gosport Harbor was filled with hundreds of sails unfurled in the wind as the Oceanic Regatta drew national attention to the Shoals. Hear about the yachts, the races, the amazing prizes and the characters that dominated the contests.

Celia Thaxter’s Salon: The Isles of Shoals have inspired writers, musicians and artists for centuries. Explore the lives and work of the famous visitors to poet Celia Thaxter’s salon and discover how they collaborated to produce some of their finest pieces.

Poetic Isles: Living on the storm-tossed Isles of Shoals inspired poet Celia Thaxter to write countless poems, some of them surprisingly relevant today. Explore Thaxter’s experiences at the Isles and discover the meaning behind her work.

Murder at the Shoals: Over 125 years ago, two women were murdered on an isolated island at the Isles of Shoals. One woman survived and the story she told scandalized the nation. Revisit the crime and decide for yourself who was really responsible for the tragic deaths on Smuttynose Island.

We hope you’ll get to hear one of Ann’s famous talks during your visit this summer. By the way, it’s time to register!

On the Island

A Whale of a Tale: 7th Annual Veterans Raffle Winner

Have you heard the news? Our 7th annual veterans raffle winner has been chosen! 32 year old Travis Moss became fascinated with Star Island from afar – all the way from Alaska, where he lives with his adorable family (see photo below). Travis was honorably discharged last year after serving eight years in the Marines and the Army and has since been working on a degree in environmental science, which involved a research project on whale migration. Reading about whales led to reading about islands in New England, and one special island in particular… Travis seems to have immediately captured the magic of Star Island, without having ever experienced it in person:

“…I had fallen in love with Star Island from a distance and began regularly following events online. I imagined myself standing there apart from the world yet somehow more deeply connected than ever. I promised myself that I would someday take my family there. I am so grateful that the Veterans’ Raffle is enabling me to take the first step in what I hope will become a continuing journey to Star.”

We’re so grateful for the dedicated service Travis has given our country, and we are thrilled with the opportunity to give him and his family the experience of a lifetime on Star Island. We hope they will experience the deep connection with nature the island offers as well as the connections with other people and themselves. And, we hope they might even catch a glimpse of a whale on the way!

On the Island

Star Island Registration Opens


Your first steps on Star Island this summer are one step closer now that registration is open. From those first moments of conversation on the boat, to workshop discussions budging into lunch — your favorite Star Island moments are a handful of months away. We invite you to register now to help those volunteers planning and leading conferences prepare for you.

Our season opens in June with opportunities for people looking to deepen their knowledge about topics like natural history and the arts. You’ll find time to learn coupled with time to connect. All the while you’ll discover, maybe for the first time or the fiftieth time, that the simplicity of the island’s time, kept by lapping waves, provides the warmth you need to recharge.

As we move further into summer our traditional family conferences blossom on the island with playful energy. Theme talks about world issues entertain the minds of those gathered in rooms like Elliott Hall, while youth groups engage with Island staff to learn about history, the environment, and sustainability. The island community comes together for intergenerational activities like softball games on the front lawn, meals in the dining hall, and chapel services.

When September arrives with its earlier setting sun, Star Island plays host to a large number of conferences with varied topics. You can find yourself learning a new yoga position, or uncovering a new historical fact about New England, or delighting in the simple pleasures of a musical performance.

No matter your connection to the island, you belong here. We have a few months to get ready, but know that your arrival is meaningful to us. Registering today helps make our community stronger because you will be part of it.

Discover for yourself what conferences to attend by visiting our program list. We look forward to seeing you on Star Island this summer.

On the Island

Star Island Holiday Gift Guide

‘Tis the season to get all flustered by wrapping gifts and matching tissue paper to gift bags. Such a pain, right? Problem solved. ‘Tis the gift of Star Island.

This exquisitely curated gift catalog highlights the most sought after and hard to find gifts alongside classic gifts suitable for nearly anyone.

Once you’ve viewed the catalog, you can purchase your gift here.

Star Island Holiday Gift Guide

Click on the cover below to see the Star Island Gift Guide.

StarIslandHolidayGiftGuideCover

Purchase a Star Island Gift Certificate

There’s no need to wrap this piece of magic for the holiday season. Star Island is bursting with so much energy we’re surprised we can even contain that energy within a gift certificate. Yet contain it we have.

Need help purchasing a gift certificate? Here are some pointers:

With a Computer

  • Open your preferred web browser (even if you’re still using a dial-up connection — we don’t judge)
  • Type the following link into the address bar: https://starisland.thankyou4caring.org/star-island-corporation-gift-certificates (or copy and paste the link depending on your computer skill level). Alternatively, you may also click here and skip the next step.
  • Click enter
  • When the page loads type in the number of gift certificates you would like in the boxes next to the value(s) you would like.
  • Click on the “continue” button.
  • Enter your information into the appropriate boxes.
  • Click on the “continue” button.
  • Enter your credit card infomration into the appropriate boxes.
  • Click on the “pay now” button.
  • Wait by your mailbox until the gift certificate arrives (make sure to bring some hot coco or mulled cider with you, though).

With a Homing Pigeon

  • Acquire a homing pigeon if you do not already have one and provide it with directions to 30 Middle Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801
  • Write a note on parchment in your finest handwriting expressing your desire to procure a gift certificate. Please include the amount the gift certificate should be. Notes should be written in iambic pentameter.
  • The note should also include your credit card information including expiration date and the 3-digit number on the reverse of the card. You can alternatively write a phone number down for us to call you to receive the credit card information.
  • Place the note in the pigeon’s carrying case.
  • Set the pigeon on its course to the Star Island office.
  • Wait for the homing pigeon to return with the requested gift certificate.

Gift certifcates should be ordered by December 18 to be in the mail before Christmas.

On the Island

Starry Night 2019: a “How To” guide

Purchase your Starry Night tickets today

So you’ve heard that Star Island is holding an event called Starry Night on Saturday, November 23 at the Discover Portsmouth Center, but maybe you’re wondering, what exactly is Starry Night? Certainly you can look up at the sky during the evening and see your own starry night; why would you attend Star’s Starry Night? Here’s a brief description and suggested itinerary for how to spend your Starry Night with us.

Starry Night is, very simply, a fundraiser for Star Island. Through ticket sales and a silent auction, Star Island raises money to support our non-profit mission. Silent Auction? Yes, we have a number of outstanding offerings for Starry Night. Items include amazing pieces of art, gift certificates to local businesses and tickets to concerts and sporting events. You can even win yourself a night on the town with Star’s beloved CEO Joe Watts.

Suggested Itinerary

First thing: come to Portsmouth! Portsmouth will be buzzing this weekend, so thanks for choosing Starry Night. Now that you’re in Portsmouth:

Saturday, November 23

 

  • 9:00 AM – Enjoy breakfast at Colby’s Restaurant. There will probably be a line, but the food is delicious.
  • 10:30 AM – Take a drive along US RT 1-A through the town of Rye, NH and take a glimpse of the Isles of Shoals. Our winter caretaker is on-island tending to matters, so know that everything is safe. Stop at one of the turn-offs and take a picture. If you strike a pose just right, it could even look like you’re holding Star Island.
  • 11:30 AM – The Seacoast Science Center is open for visitors. Stop by and play in the touch tank to learn more about the Gulf of Maine — just as if you were visiting our Rutledge Marine Lab during the summer.
  • 1:00 PM – There are so many places to eat in Portsmouth you may want to explore a few. Then you’ll know a great place or two to return to before or after your summer 2020 Star Island visit.
  • 2:30 PM – Stroll the streets of Portsmouth. From independent booksellers to locally owned galleries, Portsmouth has a number of interesting and unique shops to pique your interest. And if you’re in need of something sweet, we suggest a stroll down the far end of State Street to visit either our favorite chocolate shop or ice cream parlor.
  • 5:00 PM – Stroll into Starry Night and schmooze, eat and drink while perusing the auction. You’ll be entertained by the music of local musician Seth Gooby. Eat some delicious food provided by our friends at the Kitchen. Peter Paul is donating wine for the event, and Chapel and Main is donating the beer.
  • 5:30 PM – Enjoy a brief fascinating talk by Eric Masterson about his adventures following the migration of the Broad-winged Hawk by bicycle to South America.
  • 6:00 PM – Continue to mingle, eat, drink and bid. The auction closes at 7!
  • 7:00 PM – Starry Night concludes until next year and you’re free to gallivant around Portsmouth. Go grab some dinner!

 

 

Thank you for spending the day with us!

Purchase your Starry Night tickets today

 

Thanks to our event sponsors!

Five Maples Development Communications