Potter Cottage – Grand Manan

The Potter Cottage is a one-and-a-half storey Cape Cod residence located on a gently sloping clear piece of land overlooking Pettes Cove on Grand Manan. The driveway to the cottage is located on Old Airport Road at the back of the property. The sightlines from the cottage offer views of the Grand Manan Ferry as it arrives and departs the island, two herring weirs in the cove and often many seals and whales. 

Pettes Cove, Swallowtail Lighthouse, Grand Manan Ferry

Built circa 1830, this residence is one of the earliest cottage-size homes on Grand Manan. It was the home of Winslow Flagg (1804-1843) and Hadassa Flagg Small; Hadassa remarried to James Small (1815-1888). The house was left to their daughter, Pauline Small, for looking after James’ half-brother, Winslow Flagg Jr., during these early years, when it was located on Fern Street within 1 km of its current location. 

Among the summer visitors who stayed at the Potter Cottage were Alice B. Bigelow, wife of eminent jurist Melville Madison Bigelow of Cambridge, Massachusetts and Minnie Kellogg, wife of Edward Kellogg of the Kellogg cereal family of Boston, Massachusetts. Mrs. Kellogg purchased the cottage and had it moved to its present location on the Old Airport Road where it has a beautiful view of Pettes Cove.

Potter Cottage, Grand Manan

The cottage was was moved by Ernie Griffin and a team of horses with the building on skids. It was left in the middle of the street overnight and lanterns were hung around it so no one would run into it in the night. 

Potter Cottage, Grand Manan

It was from this cottage that the idea began for preservation of the history of Grand Manan through the creation of the Grand Manan Historical Society. Mrs. Kellogg would come to Grand Manan every summer and stay at the cottage. She had the entire upper floor of the Swallowtail Inn rented for her entourage and guests. Buchannan Charles was her driver. With her support and encouragement Mr. Charles created The Grand Manan Historical Society and had it incorporated in 1931.

From this cottage Mrs. Kellogg and Mrs. Bigelow would entertain special guests for tea. Most of the entertaining was done at a barn that was located a short distance from the cottage. Lectures and other types of entertainment common to this time period (1924-1941) were enjoyed. Sadly the war years made the waters around Grand Manan dangerous for travel and the economy had its impact on the summer visitors and their entertaining ways. The Grand Manan Historical Society was able to publish seven issues of the magazine “The Grand Manan Historian” in this time period. The interest in island history continued with letters to Buchannan Charles in North Andover, Massachusetts from older island residents. In 1963, The Grand Manan Historian came back into print under the leadership of L. Keith Ingersoll – grandson of Keith Ingersoll – one of Buchannan Charles original Historical Society Board members. In 2008, the “Historian” printed its 27th issue. 

Elizabeth McCashen and Helen Gray were the subsequent owners of the cottage to Mrs. Kellogg. Helen Gray of Medford Hillside, Massachusetts was one of the original Historical Society Board Members.

Resource: HistoricPlaces.ca 

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