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2021 ISHRA Spring General Membership Meeting

The ISHRA Spring Membership Meeting will be on April 27th from 7:00-8:30 PM via Zoom and will include a presentation by David Ramsey on Three Famous Women of the Piscataqua. If you are planning to attend David’s talk, please use the link below to register and reserve your place. You will receive a personal Zoom link to the meeting by return email.

Star Island 2021 Opening for all events and conferences

Star Island staff are making plans to reopen the island for conferees in 2021 with reduced capacity, masks, social distancing and more events happening out of doors. Final decisions will be made in the coming weeks and months, so check the website for updates. As of now, online registration could open as early as March 1 for the summer conferences including ISHRA June and on May 1 for the later conferences including ISHRA September. Here’s what ISHRA is planning!

ISHRA Conference June 2021 Telling Our Stories, Finding Ourselves

Saturday, June 19, to Wednesday, June 23, 2021 (Dates to be confirmed) As ISHRA historians, we study the past — but what will future historians be able to learn about us? We all have a story to tell. This June, we will be looking at our own personal histories, from researching our ancestors to telling our stories and preserving them in ways that will make them come alive. Whether our histories have been handed down to us orally, captured in photographs or recorded in letters, faded newspaper clippings or even a recipe, they all help tell the story of who we are and, eventually, who we were. Our conference welcomes anyone who has a cherished memory to share, a treasured family story to tell and a desire to save it for future generations. Join us as we learn to tell our stories and you just might learn more about yourself in the process. As always, we plan to have plenty of quality time for exploring the island and — as much as social distancing permits — ice cream socials, rowing in the harbor, and arts and crafts workshops.

Questions? Please contact registrar Janey Lentz at

ISHRA Conference Sept 2021 Isles of Shoals During Times of War

Friday, September 10, to Sunday September 12 (Dates to be confirmed) Times of war presented special challenges for those living on the Isles of Shoals. Because of its strategic location, the Isles of Shoals and nearby coastline were often fortified as a first line of defense. Join us as we explore the history of how the Isles of Shoals and surrounding areas coped during difficult times of war. ISHRA’s June 2019 conferees had a rare chance to see the chapel’s codfish weathervane up close, after its restoration and before its return to the steeple visible in the distance. Carol White will share stories about Fort Stark in New Castle and of WWII soldiers and sailors on the Seacoast. Carol is a board member of the New Castle Historical Society and Co-Director of the Fort Stark Historic Site Visitor Center. Laurence Bussey will speak about the Army and Navy occupation of Appledore Island during WWII, based upon logs and record books of the era. Laury is former Chair of ISHRA, a career naval officer and maritime historian. Mark Lechner will speak about early conflicts on the Isles of Shoals, including the attack on Fort Star on Star Island (current site of the summer house). Mark serves on the ISHRA board and manages the summer docent program.

Questions? Please contact registrar Amy Richards at

ISHRA Winter Social via Zoom

ISHRA is pleased to announce — thanks to Zoom videoconferencing — that this year’s ISHRA Winter Social will be as close as your own computer or smartphone!

Please click on the link below to register now and reserve your place to gather online with your ISHRA friends just 4 days from today, on Sunday, January 31, from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

At the Winter Social, we look forward to hearing from two wonderful guest speakers: Star Island CEO Joe Watts, who will speak about Star, and Kim Sanborn, Director of the Kittery Historical and Naval Museum, who will speak about Kittery’s Grand Hotels from the turn of the 20th century. You won’t want to miss it!

Please go to today to register and reserve your place online! We look forward to seeing you on January 31.

Best regards from the ISHRA Board

CANCELLED: All Star Island Events

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Star Island (and therefore all ISHRA events that would otherwise be hosted at the shoals) are closed/will not be opened in 2020. We apologize for any inconvenience and wish our community a safe summer as we all try to navigate through these unprecedented times.

CANCELLED: ISHRA June Conference – 2020

When: June 20 (Saturday) at 2:30 PM to June 24 (Wednesday) at 11:45 AM, 2020

Where: Star Island, Isles of Shoals

Description: Ellen Koenig and Gretchen Gudefin will chair the conference. The conference subject will be: “Telling Our Stories, Finding Ourselves: As ISHRA historians, we study the past – but what will future historians be able to learn about us? We all have a story to tell. This June, we will be looking at our own personal histories from how to research our ancestors to how to tell our stories and preserve them for future generations.”