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Westport Island History Committee

Celebrates its people and heritage

The "Donalene", Westport Island, ca. 1935

Contributed by Westport Island History Committee
MMN Item 100587 Item Details
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The Donalene docked at Tarbox Cove, Westport Island, with Barters Island and Hodgdon Ledges visible in the background. Sitting on top of the boat to the rear are: James Garland (with crew neck sweater); his sister, Joanne Garland, seated in front of him with a light-colored scarf; and Susan LeBlanc to their right facing the camera with a dark-colored scarf. Standing beneath James and Joanne Garland (with a kerchief on her head) leaning over the side is their aunt, Evelyn Hanley Roche.

The Donalene ferried riders to and from Boothbay Harbor and surrounding islands from the 1920's until about 1951. According to a schedule from 1931, the boat stopped at Southport Casino, Southport Upper Landing, Isle of Springs, Sawyers Island and Westport with Captain Harry Robinson at the helm. Robinson was from Boothbay Harbor, and built the Donalene, likely naming it after his daughter, also named Donalene. Harry's brother, George Robinson, also captained the boat.

Westport Island First Selectmen George Richardson remembers riding to Boothbay Harbor on The Donalene to go to the bowling alley and the movies in the 1940's. At that time, he boarded at Westport's Harriman's Point landing, and the Captain was George Lowden.

In 1952, the Foxy Boat Service, located in New Hampshire, bought the Donalene and put her into operation on Lake Winnipesaukee.

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