Thursday, July 24, 2014

Veblen Summer Cottage in Brooklin, Maine, Reportedly Found!

Some friends who were visiting Brooklin, Maine, this summer report that they have tracked down the Veblen's cottage, down close to the beach. The Veblens would go to Maine during the summer. Last year I was told that the cottage had probably been demolished to make room for more upscale homes, so the discovery of what may be the original cottage is an exciting surprise. Brooklin is known particularly for its tradition of boat building, and also as the home of E.B. White and the farm he modeled Charlotte's Web after. Veblen is mentioned in the Wikipedia page on Brooklin as one of the local notables.

My friends took some photos, which will be very helpful not only as a portrait of the Veblen's vacation spot but also for comparing with their "cottage" farmhouse that still stands near the Veblen House. Here is Scotia's account of finding the Maine cabin earlier this week. The "Keeping Society" is the group dedicated to keeping Brooklin's history alive and well accounted for:
"We went today to the Brooklin Keeping Society, open one day a week, and met June Eaton, in her eighties, who called in Lorna, in her sixties, from the Town Hall. Lorna drew us a map, and told me that the building where the Veblens lived was very near the water. She said that the people who had bought it kept the original chimney and renovated the kitchen. So Dick and I went back down a lane that we had missed and found what we believe was the the original wood shingle house with an old stone chimney and the view described. The house also has windows with diamond-shaped panes, and a nearby small shed on what is now an adjoining property has the same kind of windows. The house, which has a beautiful garden, has been enlarged with an attractive two-story wing."
The Veblens are said not to have socialized much while up at their cabin in Maine, and the location of the cabin, far from downtown, helps explain that. Here's another quote from Scotia's email:
"June Eaton mentioned that Veblen was simple in his tastes and did not dress up when he was in Brooklin so she was surprised to learn at the time he lived there that he was a "big brain."

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