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Memories of life on the lake, as told by Doug and Dennis Curry
Interviewed by Jeff Wilkinson
I had an opportunity to sit down with Doug and Dennis Curry on a Sunday afternoon to talk about their memories of summers on Little Sebago Lake. They spent summers at their family camp on Qualey Road in Policemen's Cove in the cottage that their father built in 1956. Qualey Road is named after Charles William Qualey, who subdivided his land and sold the lots for $500 each!
Their father built the camp on pressure treated utility poles sunk in the side of the hill. Over the years, it began to list towards the lake, and three years ago a major renovation was undertaken with a complete concrete foundation, new siding, vinyl windows, and a new roof.Their father was able to enjoy his hard work for many years until his death.Their mother continued to enjoy the camp with her family until just a few years ago, and it remains in the family, now owned by the brothers, Doug and Dennis Curry.
Qualey Road is located above Policemen?s cove, which is so named because there was a camp/retreat for policemen from towns in Southern Maine to relax and enjoy the lake.The original building was built in 1900 and was one of the first buildings on the lake.On the point just in front of the building, a cottage was built in 1902 for the staff.The original building is now called Glendonna after the grandchildren of the woman who owned it after the policemen. The small island in the cove is called Policemen?s Island.
On the other side of the lake there were two camps, a Jewish girl?s camp, and a Jewish boy?s camp, located just around the corner in a small cove.Doug and Dennis have fond memories of moonlit trips to visit the girls camp which had cabins located along the beach in which the girls slept.
They also remember a world renowned flutist, William Kincaid, who lived in Sandbar Cove. He had a classic Chris Craft and always wore his old sailor?s hat.What is now Lyons Point was called Kincaid Point.Mr. Kincaid lived until 1967 and played in the New York Symphony from 1913 to 1918 and became the solo flutist for the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1921. He was on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music beginning in 1921.
They used to sleep out on the ?Big Rock? island In the upper lake, and the gas station ? really just someone with a 500 gallon tank, who sold gas, just to the right of the upper narrows as you enter the upper lake.
The house located on Battleship Island off Campbell Shore Road used to have an asphalt shingle roof, and the boys would climb up to the roof and jump off into the lake!
They often tied their boat up by the Hopkins Damn and would walk out to Route 115 to Boodys Corner for candy and ice cream, right where the Cumberland Farms gas station and store is now located.
The boat they had was a 14 foot aluminum Feather Craft with the cheapest motor their father could find, since it ran wide open most of the time and seldom lasted more than a season! They would leave the house after breakfast, return for dinner, and leave again on numerous lake life adventures.
An innocent pastime was driving the boat toward the sandbar and pulling up the motor, attempting to see who could get closest to the dry land without running aground.
They recalled being on the lake by Battleship Island and Horse Island when a dense fog came in ?they traversed the same route over and over, until finally finding the way home.
The public boat ramp brought a big increase in boat traffic to the lake. In the early days they recall the largest boat being no longer than eighteen feet, and of course, there were no pontoon boats.