The Way Things Were: Deer Isle in the Steamboat Era depicts life on Maine’s islands during a bygone age in short stories

By Ramona du Houx

Life on Maine’s islands during the era when communities relied on steamboats is the focus of a new book edited by Bill Haviland and Carroll “Cabbage” Haskell, both of Deer Isle.

The Way Things Were: Deer Isle in the Steamboat Era is a unique collection of stories and essays by Thomas P. Haviland, Bill’s farther and father-in-law of Carroll. 

“What our intent was, through these essays and stories, to provide readers with a glimpse of what life was like in this island community in those bygone days,” said Bill Haviland.

For close to 100 years, from the 1840s until 1942, Deer Isle, an island off the coast of Maine, relied on steamboats for access to other parts of the state. During this era, the island was a place of small family farms with a strong seafaring tradition. In the last four decades of this time, Tom Haviland was part of this island life.

In his final years, Tom penned a series of short stories and essays based on his early experiences and characters he had known. Through them, we get a view of what island life was like in these bygone days.

Thomas P. Haviland spent his summers on Deer Isle from the age of 8, in 1905. His friends were all island boys. In 1921, he joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania where he taught American Literature and established a creative writing program, up until his retirement in 1967.

Available online and at your local bookstore internationally or directly from the publisher Polar Bear & Company, polarberanadco.org. 207.643.2795.

ISBN-10: 1882190343     ISBN-13: 978-1882190348

$14.95