In the late summer of 1985, my husband, Tom, and I returned to our central New Hampshire home from a three-day camping trip in Maine with dirty clothes, an empty cooler and a commitment to buy fifty acres of land on an island in Lake Mooselookmeguntic. We had not gone to Maine looking to buy anything. Even when we went into the realtor's office, we were only going out of curiosity.
When the realtor told us of two lots on Toothaker Island, a seven-hundred-fifty-acre island on the south end of Mooselookmeguntic, we were intrigued. We had always dreamed of owning a cabin on a lake. Tom's brother Peter has had a water-accessible place in northern Minnesota since the mid-sixties, so the idea of not being able to drive to a cabin did not seem strange. We got directions and canoed over to see if we could locate the pieces that were for sale.
We never found one of them, but the one we did find faced south, had four hundred feet of shoreline, bordered on preserved land, and had a good place to put a cabin. The fact that we couldn't get more than ten feet on shore because of the blow-downs and undergrowth did not deter us. We saw a vision of what was to be, never dreaming for a minute of the challenges we would face getting there.