The Potter Cottage, a charming one-and-a-half storey Cape Cod-style home, is nestled on a gently sloping plot of land that overlooks the picturesque Pettes Cove on Grand Manan Island. The property is accessible from Old Airport Road, with the driveway situated at the rear. From the cottage, one can enjoy stunning views of the Swallowtail Lighthouse, the Grand Manan Ferry as it arrives and departs, two herring weirs in the cove, and frequent sightings of seals and whales.
Dating back to around 1830, this quaint dwelling is among the earliest cottage-sized homes on Grand Manan. It once belonged to Winslow Flagg (1804-1843) and Hadassa Flagg Small, who later married James Small (1815-1888). Their daughter, Pauline Small, inherited the house after caring for James’ half-brother, Winslow Flagg Jr., in its original location on Fern Street, less than 1 km from where it stands today.
Notable summer guests at the Potter Cottage included Alice B. Bigelow, the wife of esteemed jurist Melville Madison Bigelow of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Minnie Kellogg, the wife of Edward Kellogg from the renowned Kellogg cereal family of Boston, Massachusetts. Mrs. Kellogg eventually bought the cottage and had it relocated to its current position on Old Airport Road, where it boasts a magnificent view of Pettes Cove.
Ernie Griffin and a team of horses moved the cottage on skids, leaving it in the middle of the street overnight with lanterns hung around it to prevent accidents. The relocation of the cottage played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Grand Manan Historical Society. Every summer, Mrs. Kellogg would stay at the cottage and rent the entire upper floor of the Swallowtail Inn for her entourage and guests, with Buchannan Charles serving as her driver. With her support and encouragement, Mr. Charles founded the Grand Manan Historical Society and had it incorporated in 1931.
Mrs. Kellogg and Mrs. Bigelow hosted special guests for tea at the cottage, with most of the entertainment taking place at a nearby barn. Various events and lectures typical of the 1924-1941 era were enjoyed. Unfortunately, the war years brought danger to the waters surrounding Grand Manan, impacting the summer visitors and their entertainment. The Grand Manan Historical Society managed to publish seven issues of “The Grand Manan Historian” magazine during this time. Interest in the island’s history persisted, and in 1963, L. Keith Ingersoll—grandson of Keith Ingersoll, one of Buchannan Charles’ original Historical Society Board members—revived “The Grand Manan Historian,” which printed its 27th issue in 2008.
Elizabeth McCashen and Helen Gray, who was one of the original Historical Society Board Members from Medford Hillside, Massachusetts, were the subsequent owners of the Potter Cottage following Mrs. Kellogg’s tenure.
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