Independence Day Idyll in York Harbor

We spent the long holiday weekend in my hometown, York Harbor, Maine, with family and friends. Part of the larger and older town of York, the Harbor is a former Gilded Age “summer colony” where wealthy families from Boston, New York and Philadelphia whiled away their summers in 20-room shingle “cottages”, most of which still stand.  I grew up in one of these cottages, only partially winterized then and now, even though we lived in there all year long and my parents still do.  Like much of coastal York, York Harbor was and is a very different, much livelier place in the summer, and it seems to have been specially created for a warm, sunny and celebratory time such as this past weekend.

Some very random views of York Harbor, past and present, beginning with displays of the weekend colors, on a meticulously restored building on York Street, our family house (front and back, morning and early evening), and in our neighbors’ patriotic garden:

More color, and more cottages:

The first (real) cottages in York Harbor, built in the early eighteenth century, today and in the 1920s.

Historic New England’s Sayward-Wheeler House (1718), where I interned in college.

Lots of antique cars were out and about this past weekend, including a BMW 2002 which I have long coveted.

The York Harbor Reading Room, built in 1910 as a place for men to read newspapers, smoke cigars, and generally escape their families, and some men doing just that from the New England Magazine of that same year.

Artistic impressions from the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries:  Martin Johnson Heade’s luminescent painting and small bronze beachcombers in the park overlooking York Harbor Beach.

Martin Johnson Heade, York Harbor, Coast of Maine, 1877. The Art Institute of Chicago

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