John Snow was a Passamaquoddy Indian who lived in Northeast Harbor.
Charlene Allen and Polly Bunker relate that when they were little girls, John often visited Great Cranberry Island to gather sweetgrass, which he made into baskets. He also sold the finished baskets on the island. Their parents, Elisha and Annie Bunker, were friendly with John, and would invite him to lunch when he was on the island. One day, after being invited in, he sat down on their rocking chair, and since he was a hefty man, it gave way, tumbling him to the floor. The girls had seen too many western movies in Southwest Harbor, and were immediately struck with fear that John would go on the war-path. But of course, he was the gentlest of men, and calmly picked himself up. So much for little girls' fantasies!
John's children went to school in Northeast Harbor, and he is buried there.
His portrait (shown right) and a small letter basket made by him are hanging in the Northeast Harbor Library. Apparently he dressed up in Western Indian costume for the tourists of Northeast Harbor, the better to sell his wares.
|click to enlarge
courtesy of Bob Pyle, Northeast Harbor Library
If It Were Yesterday...
Wini Smart's charming narrated coloring book celebrates the simple joys of a child's vacation on Great Cranberry Island, both in the early 1900s and today.
a Historic Coloring Book of Great Cranberry Island
If it were yesterday, we'd arrive on the J.T. Morse, meet old pals at the dock, spend a day out cod fishing, hike to see the wild birds and the shipwreck, and listen to John Snow tell how, in olden days, his Passamaquoddy people lived on the island.
courtesy Wini Smart