From a January 1917 issue of The Bar Harbor Times
By Deborah Dyer, director, Bar Harbor Historical Society
‘Twas the year of 1916
December the 15th day.
When twenty-five happy Rebekahs
To Southwest Harbor made their way.
The ground with snow was covered
But the traveling wasn’t bad,
So autos took the party
“Twas the best way they all said.
When we left Bar Harbor
‘Twas snowing just a mite,
But all the weather prophets said,
“You won’t get snow tonight.”
The trip over was uneventful
Only a blow-out or two;
and one car took a snowdrift,
But the women pushed her thru.
We met a warm reception
From the Southwest Harbor Lodge,
and they had prepared a supper,
a meal that was fit for the Gods.
We started in with tomato bisque,
and ended up with pie;
I could not tell you all we had
So I am not going to try.
They entertained us royally
as Rebekahs always do,
With degree work, music and speeches,
and a good second supper, too.
At length the time for parting came
and we all said adieu,
tho some of us would have been there yet
If we’d known what we had to go through.
For the snow had kept on coming down,
and the ground was smooth and white,
With never a track to show the way
To the poor Bar Harborites.
But courage is never lacking
To Rebekahs in hours of need
So we started on our journey
With a Hudson in the lead.
Brewer’s Ford then started out,
Win Grindle’s Flivver following;
Then Wescott in his Overland
Leaving Nels behind a hollering.
Till after we left Somesville
We made the trip quite well,
But whether in the road of ditch,
why, none of us could tell.
The Hudson got to George King’s place
Then took to the side of the road
and wouldn’t move for all they coaxed
and lightened up their load.
While back along the road a ways
Win Grindle’s car got gay,
and careened around like a fiery horse
All over the broad highway.
Brother Brewer came to the rescue,
and pushed and cranked and groaned,
and groaned and cranked and pushed and said
He wished he had stayed at home.
While Brewer worked and cranked and sweat
and wished he were in bed
The other two cars that were behind
Now forged on ahead.
But what they gained, they quite soon lost,
For Dyer’s car got giddy,
and in spite of all that he could do
He couldn’t keep her steady.
With the aid of Wescott’s Overland
and a rope that was good and strong
We finally reached the Hudson
That was stuck at George King’s farm.
The brother’s talked and worked and grunted
and groaned and reved and swore,
But finally concluded
To knock on George King’s door.
To be roused at one in the morning
By a party of twenty-five
who were wet and cold and tired
can’t be a pleasant surprise;
But we had a royal welcome
as only a King can give;
Not one of us will forget it
as long as we shall live.
Now some of us are cheerful
and some of us were sad,
and some of us were gay, and some were glum
and some of us were mad.
While every few minutes
Nels Dyer’s voice was heard
“Oh, darn it all, I wish,” he said
“I’d never bought a Ford.”
Ethel Leighton prayed, and sighed,
and wished that it was day,
While Emma Stanley’s constant cry
Was “What will Robert say?”
And Mabel Grindle sat and moaned,
Because she ruined her dress;
From the way she growled about it;
‘Twas her only one, I guess.
Lula Murch said she wished
Her husband and babes were there
while Georgia Liscomb walked the floor
and wept and tore her hair.
Some of them tried to get some sleep
but this was never done,
For Orient, ever on the watch,
Said, “Two naps better’n one.”
To add to our consternation
some ladies were taken ill;
we couldn’t get a doctor,
we hadn’t eve a pill.
Alma Brewer was so sick
she had to go to bed
While Lottie McFarland took the couch
with a bad pain in her head.
Addie Parker, too, felt ill
From her throat the groans arose,
while Nettie Higgins suffered,
from bleeding of the nose.
Maude Dow and Bessie Williams
with pillows under their heads,
each sat in great by rocking chairs,
and vowed they were ‘most dead’.
So Lena Hodgkina
a district nurse was made,
and she went round from room to room
and many visits made.
At last came the daylight
and Brother Brewer and son
set out to find a telephone
and see what could be done.
And while they sat and wondered
whatever they would do,
the good wife of the household
got breakfast for the crew.
The men were gone an hour or two
but when they did come back,
they brought Lee Fogg with horses two
Hitched to the big school hack.
The seven prettiest ladies
(of this there is no doubt)
got ready very quickly
and with them he set out.
In about an hour he was back
We shouted, “Where are they all?”
“Oh,” he said, “don’t worry about them
I’ve left them with Dan Hall.
“The road is blocked, you can’t get thru,
In Town Hill you’ll have to stay.
The neighbors there will take you in
It seems the only way.
‘Twas then we sighed, and sighed and groaned,
‘Twas then we felt so blue
For our poor families left at home
Surely wouldn’t know what to do.
“Oh, bosh,” said Alice McGouldrick,
“In Aroostook the snow’s so deep
that to shovel a path a half a mile
takes seven men a week.
“This doesn’t amount to anything
I don’t see why you have the blues,
I’ll reach Bar Harbor in an hour and a half,
If you will loan me some snow shoes.”
As snow shoes were not available
She couldn’t be put to the test,
So she decided to make the best of it
and take her chance with the rest.
So some went here and some went there,
but the men they stayed behind
Digging and shoveling through the drifts
their autos for to find.
Somewhere about the hour of two,
word quickly spread about
that a four horse team would take us home
for the roads were shoveled out.
Soon all the ladies climbed on board
and started off once more,
Praying there wouldn’t be any more stops
before they reached their door.
So early in the evening,
with all their proud heads bowed,
The “‘Beckies’ returned to Bar Harbor
a sadder and wiser crowd.
The fate of the men I do not know,
Now how they all got down,
but someone whispered to me, that
Nels Dyer walked to town.
The autos question well, I tell you,
If you won’t let it be known;
I have the word of Danny Brewer
that the autos, too, rode home.
Such is the story of the trip.
‘Tis every bit true, I swear.
How do I know? well, I rather guess
I happened to be there.
Mabel D. Grindle
To find out more about Bar Harbor history, visit www.barharborhistorical.org.