Category Archives: June Conference

Join ISHRA on Star Island in 2018

ISHRA June Conference 2018: Through the Lens of History – A Photographic Look at the Isles of Shoals

June 23, 2018 to June 27, 2018

Vintage photos from yesteryear help us to understand the people and places that make Star Island so meaningful. Journey with us over the past hundred years through a treasure trove of authentic photos to better understand those images that capture magical moments of Star Island’s past. We will hear from the authors of the Images of America books “ Star Island” and the “Isles of Shoals” who will help us to relive the history of the places around us. Come and try a stereopticon view of the Shoals. Create keepsake photos as we hear from experts on ways to create our own cherished memories with tintypes, Join renowned Star Island photography experts who will share their tips about their favorite spots on the island and help us all to see our beloved island in a whole new way.


ISHRA Fall Weekend 2018: Fishing Through the Ages at the Isles of Shoals

September 7, 2018 to September 9, 2018

Fishing drew the earliest settlers to the Isles of Shoals—indeed, the very name of the islands may come from that era’s large schools of “shoals” of fish. Join us in tracing the history of fishing in the Shoals and New England from the 1600s to the challenges of today.

Join ISHRA on Star Island in 2017

Some new discounts are in the works for this year’s ISHRA Summer and Fall Conferences! If you haven’t been to a conference in 3 years, you may get 30% off your room and board, and if you’re a returning Shoaler you can get credits for bringing new Shoalers. Please contact the Conference Chairs below for further info.

ISHRA June Conference: Shipwrecks & Lighthouses

June 24, 2017 to June 28, 2017

Shipwrecks—and the lighthouses built to prevent them—have for centuries been closely associated with the Isles of Shoals and neighboring waters off the New England coast. Explore their legend and lore with experts during this five-day, four-night conference, with time to relax and enjoy the beauty of Star Island. Conference Speakers: Jeremy D’Entremont, American Lighthouse Foundation Historian


ISHRA Fall Weekend: Native Americans & the First Europeans at the Shoals

September 8, 2017 to September 10, 2017

Extensive archaeological digs on Smuttynose Island and elsewhere have uncovered surprising secrets of the past, including Native American artifacts dating back 6,000 years. Learn more about the early inhabitants of the Shoals and enjoy hands-on experience with the current dig at Smuttynose, plus time to relax and enjoy Star Island. Program Leader: Nathan D. Hamilton, Associate Professor of Archaeology, University of Southern Maine


2015 June Conference: Fishwives, Witches, Writers, Pelicans, And Scientists – 400 Years Of Women on the Shoals

ISHRAJune2015_FlyerFishwives, Witches, Writers, Pelicans, And Scientists: From 1647 when Goodwife Reynolds and her husband John violated an act in Court that “no women shall live upon the Shoals”; to June of 1674 when Goodwife Tope of Gosport was accused of “being a witch”; to 1839 when Celia Laighton and her family arrived on White Island to begin what would turn out to be an explosion of artistic, literary, and travel destination creativity; to the 1873 murder of two Norwegian fishwives; to the 1902 tragic drowning of seventeen Oceanic hotel staff; and to the 2013 appointment of Jennifer Seavey as the Executive Director of the Shoals Marine Lab. For over four hundred years women have played an active, important, and often overlooked role in Shoalers work and community life. We will explore the lives of these women as a group and as individuals, looking at them in the context of their time in history and the impact they had in supporting and shaping life on the Isles of Shoals.

Online registration is now open.  For more info, click here. Or contact Amy Cook, Registrar, at or Maryann Stacy, Conference Chair, at

June Conference 2014 a Success!

JUNE CONF GROUP PHOTOThe 2014 ISHRA June Conference was a resounding success.  Old and new friends gathered on Star Island to explore the “Changes in the Sea and Marine Science Discoveries” on and around the Isles of Shoals.  Speakers from the Shoals Marine Lab, the University of Maine, and our own ISHRA President Dr. Nathan Hamilton entertained and educated twenty-five happy conferees as we traveled through fourteen thousand years of natural and cultural history at the Isles of Shoals. Walking tours brought to life the geology, marine wildlife, flora and fauna of the islands, and as Amy Cook pointed out the many often unnoticed photo opportunities we all saw things which surprised even the most veteran Shoaler.

Creativity exploded under the talented guidance of Amy Cook and Gretchen Gudefin as we learned about, collected, and pressed seaweed and worked polymer clay into ancient Ivory and Bone replicas, producing wonderful souvenirs of our time together on Star Island.

Quiet time was enjoyed socializing at gatherings at several different locations across the island, and rocking on the Oceanic porch.  The highlight of the week may just have been the excitement of the Whale and Bird Watch aboard the Granite Star, or the Captain John Smith Anniversary events enacted to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of the Creation of his 1614 Map of New England.

A delightfully touching Chapel Service and Blessing of the Boats reminded us all just how precious these islands are to each and every one of us and how tight the ties to the ocean are that bind us together. Many conferees took advantage of the new kayaks and explored Smuttynose, Malaga, and Cedar Island from a watery vantage they had never seen before.

A private concert by the Star Island Music Director Sara Lewis put the finishing touch on our island time, and sent us off with the sweet words whispered in our minds “you will come back, you will come back…” See you all next June.

June Conference Organizers: Maryann Stacy, Nathan Hamilton, and Amy Cook

Registration Open for June Conference 2014

Changes in the Sea: Marine Science Discoveries

Join us on a journey through eons of time as we explore the ever changing conditions in the Gulf of Maine from prehistory into the future. We will investigate sea level rise and its impact on the local coastline, the rise and fall of animal populations, and changes in the environment in the Gulf of Maine. How do all these ecosystems interact and where is our place within them? Join us for educational guest speakers, lively discussion groups, and hands on exploration of the traces of changes left upon the island landscape, as well as much loved Star Island traditions of Candle Light Chapel Service, PEL Show, and a few exciting surprises.

Click here to register online