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A Special Place Called 'Liberty Street'

A Special Place Called ‘Liberty Street’
9 votes, 4.89 avg. rating (95% score)
Standing on the dock is the oldest Hale boy, J.D., then 11 years old.

Photo/Art by Judson D. Hale Sr.
Standing on the dock is the oldest Hale boy, J.D., then 11 years old.

Was it cold out there on those winter weekends? Well, I recall one time when the temperature in the house was around zero. But thanks to the fireplace and the eight electric heaters I had installed early on, it warmed up enough to be reasonably comfortable. Of course, a few adult beverages seemed to help.

As we all grew older, we eventually changed “Men’s Weekend” from winter to spring, where it remains to this day. Last year we called it “The 42nd Liberty Street Adult Beverage Spring Fishing Carnival.” Did any of us fish? Well, no. But we raised our glasses to those of our group who have passed on.

Chauffeured in the beautifully restored wooden Chris Craft owned by island neighbor and friend Ron Konig (at the wheel), Judson and Sally are off to a favorite lakeside restaurant for their 50th wedding anniversary dinner, September 6, 2008. Family members followed in another boat for a festive evening.

Chauffeured in the beautifully restored wooden Chris Craft owned by island neighbor and friend Ron Konig (at the wheel), Judson and Sally are off to a favorite lakeside restaurant for their 50th wedding anniversary dinner, September 6, 2008. Family members followed in another boat for a festive evening.

Throughout all the years, we were always doing or planning projects. One winter we had the entire dock rebuilt with pressure-treated lumber. That spring we expanded the breakwater. Because we felt the house could use more light and better access to the views, we added, over a period of two years, a dozen five-foot-high picture windows throughout the living room, pool-table area, kitchen, and even upstairs in our bedroom. Wow–what a difference they made! Early on I purchased a fourth lot on the east side (putting our overall water frontage today at 679 feet).

Other projects included building a combination workbench area and dining room off the kitchen, large enough to seat about 20. Oh, yes–and 10 years ago we put a brand-new (and more powerful) engine in One Egg.

Time went on, summer after summer, until, lo and behold, the “girls” at Liberty Street became wives. J.D., Dan, and Chris married Cindy, Carolyn, and Catherine. At last we had daughters–well, daughters-in-law. It doesn’t seem that it was very long thereafter that eight grandchildren came along–four boys and four girls. How they all loved to stretch out on the dock for hours, slathered with suntan lotion, occasionally swimming out to the floating raft. Dan anchored out there each spring. Lots of water skiing, canoeing, kayaking, and sailing, too. When my sister’s family, Vermonters all, spent the weekend with us, always bringing their guitars, banjos, and singing voices, Liberty Street was filled with music. Beautiful music.

Now comes the difficult part of my story. Are you ready? Okay. We as a family have decided to put Liberty Street on the market this summer.

Please Note: This article was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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8 Responses to A Special Place Called ‘Liberty Street’

  1. Kathleen Conner July 13, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    What a moving story about the life of a lovely family. The life of a summer home and the love shared there. It was the sharing of a glorious life lived by a blessed few. Thank You for sharing the dream with so many who may otherwise have completely missed out. I wish I could go spend a few weeks at “Liberty Street” myself this summer.

  2. ann scourtes July 13, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

    very nice story

  3. Sarah West Coast July 19, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    This is a lovely story. My family parted with our summer memory-laden lakeside house in Maine years ago, though all of us remember it so fondly. It was part of the inspiration for my husband and me to buy a small waterfront cottage in Westport Mass., so we could make wonderful memories for our kids. Now that we live on the West Coast and the children are growing and heading off to summer camps and travel, it’s too hard to maintain, so we have decided to sell. But, as the author writes, a part of us will always be there.

  4. Chuck Owen July 19, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

    I know your property quite well as I am good friends with 2 of your neighbors, the Gowland’s and Leach’s. Mark has been a long time friend and similar to yourself, a boyz weekend on Father’s Day is always had. As with you, a little work but, more socializing. Through my work at the Boston Globe, I came to know Cindy, J.D. wife. In a few conversations with her, we revealed a common interest, Sleepers Island.
    It made me sad to hear earlier this summer that you were selling the property, it makes me sadder reading such a great story. Whenever I fish around the point ( I’ve caught a lot of smallmouth just off your property ) I will think of this story and think of the good fortune my friends have been able to share in Sleeper’s. The most beautiful sun sets around!
    Be well.

  5. Denise Gonyer July 20, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    What a great story! A real tear jerker…You are have been so fortunate to make these memories to cherish forever and ever. You, your family and friends have been truly blessed. It is so great to hear this story..the island life is so different than the inland life. Thanks for sharing this great story of our beautiful lake! Gilford’s Town Clerk, Denise Gonyer

  6. Louise Fournier Perry August 5, 2014 at 7:33 am #

    What a beautiful heartfelt story! I know exactly how you feel. We just sold our beloved family home that was in our family for 62 years. The beautiful memories of family and friends will last a lifetime. It was so sad and difficult to walk out that door for the last time. We were lucky to have grown up in that beautiful house with the best parents in the world! It was bought by a young couple who had previously looked at
    50 homes. The minute they walked into our home they said they could feel the love in the old antique colonial. It now will have a new family to fill the rooms with laughter. When I was leaving the house for the last time I thanked it for all the beautiful memories that will always live on in our hearts…

  7. ed violante August 5, 2014 at 11:48 am #

    Lovely story about fond memories.Reminds me of my uncle’s home in new York state.Thank you so much for sharing.

  8. Faye August 5, 2014 at 11:36 pm #

    I loved your story — it was sad, sweet, funny & lovely. You are so lucky to have had a place on the lake, with your beautiful family. I bet you have great memories!

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