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Mount Desert Island: Shaped by Nature

Third Generation and Beyond

Augustus Chase Savage, 1854
Augustus Chase Savage, 1854

Item Contributed by
Northeast Harbor Library
Emily Manchester Savage, 1854
Emily Manchester Savage, 1854

Item Contributed by
Northeast Harbor Library

Emily was a daughter within the 4th generation of the Manchester family of Northeast Harbor. Her great-grandfather, John Manchester, was another one of the earliest permanent settlers of European descent to make a homestead on Mount Desert Island.

The Manchester family first settled in 1775 near present day Manchester Point at the mouth and Southeastern shore of Somes Sound and obtained title to their property directly from Bartholomy DeGregoire and his wife, Maria Theresa Cadillac DeGregoire, heirs to the 1691 French Grant of Mount Desert Island from King Louis XIV. (See Hancock County Registry of Deeds, Book 1, p. 448-449. John Manchester, Settler, paid the DeGregoires five Spanish milled dollars for a 100 acre lot with frontage on Somes Sound.)

Emily Manchester was fond of saying her husband “Chase” should construct all of his buildings on wheels. This may have been a good suggestion. As time would pass and practical needs would change, A.C. Savage and family would move many structures around the Savage portion of Lot 67, likely by rolling them on logs or skids and with the help of family members and a team of oxen.

A.C. and Emily Savage and their descendants certainly seemed to live up to legends of Yankee thrift with the recycling of buildings within the neighborhood. Houses, barns, workshops, garages and sheds in Asticou were routinely moved, split up, and expanded as needed to suit the occupants, giving true meaning to such Yankee sayings as “waste-not, want-not” or “eat it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” or “if you keep something long enough, eventually you will find use for it”.

Perhaps to a mariner such as A.C. Savage his houses and outbuildings were considered another form of vessel like his schooners, and it did not seem odd to move the old structures and find a new use for them when new ones were built. More likely, due to economic and logistical necessity, it would simply be unthinkable for A.C. and Emily Savage or their heirs to destroy or throw out any building or part of a building that was free from rot and therefore still had some life left in it.