Isles of Shoals Historic and Research Association – The Isles of Shoals and the Stories Behind the Headlines

June 22, 2019 to June 26, 2019

The Isles of Shoals, known for their quiet and pristine natural beauty, don’t often make the news, but when they do, it’s headline worthy. Join us as we explore the ins and outs of three key stories that captured the world’s attention.
In 1973, Greek Millionaire Aristotle Onassis, attempted to build the largest oil refinery in the world along the coast of New Hampshire, using the Shoals as the loading site for his supertankers. Learn how local folks banded together in this David and Goliath story – along with some help from Star Island – to save this rare and fragile place. David Moore, the author of the new book Small Town, Big Oil will join us to share this suspenseful tale of the people who took on the richest man in the world – and won.
We will also explore two other “Shoals Headlines” stories. In 1939, the world watched and held its breath as the headlines reported the rescue efforts to save the crew aboard the submarine “Squalus” which sunk off the Isles of Shoals in 1939. The world watched and waited, following every detail, as rescuers desperately attempted to save the survivors at the bottom of the sea.
And finally, the sensational double murders on the island of Smuttynose shocked the nation in 1873, a story made famous in The Weight of Water. We will hear key details of these murders and you can decide for yourself who was the real culprit. Relax in the porch rockers, “get the scoop” at our ice cream social, take an art workshop, join a traditional candlelight chapel service. It all awaits you on Star Island!

Program Fee


Room & Board Rates

These rates include lodging, meals, and ferry transportation.

ISHRA Standard Shared Standard Single Motel Shared Motel Single
Adult 18+ $605 $808 $736 $1,110

Ferry Schedule

Saturday, June 22

2:25 pm Thomas Laighton Depart Portsmouth

Wednesday, June 26

11:45 am Challenger Depart Star


Contact conference chair Ellen Koenig

Returning to Star? Check out our Community Building Program!

We want our conferences to continue to grow, so we’re asking our Star Island family members to bring someone with you to Star this year. Here’s how it works:

1) Find that person (or more than one person) that you feel would be able to best contribute to the community on Star Island.Consider people in your extended family, congregation members, co-workers or other personal networks!

2) Nominate that person by filling out this form.

3) Star will cover 30% of the room and board for your new Shoaler, provided they attend the full duration of the conference!

4) We’ll also kick in $50 toward your room and board, provided you attend the full duration of the conference! (if you bring 4 or more new people, we’ll give you $125!)