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History Lives Here Text

Discoveryon the Lagoon

A team from the exhibitioncommittee out taking pictures for use in this summer's exhibit on ghost townsencountered near the site of old Fishtown, afoundation, what looked like a stone floor, and a fieldstone well. It lookedtoo new to be part of Fishtown in the 1880s so aquery was sent to Norm Deam, whose family has ownedthe nearby lighthouse since 1936 He sent a couple of old pictures along withthis reply:


Mrs. Nellie Kimball, descendant ofthe piano family, lived there when I was a boy. I delivered old newspapers toher and charged her 5 cents. She was seclusive, but afriend of my parents. She had a parrot. The stones you see were the patio justto the east of her house and there was a stone walkway leading southeast to herlagoon dock which was a roofed pavilion with white railing from which she fedthe bluegills. She may have had a canoe.


We cleared off the sand andovergrowth about 10 years ago and found a cement stone with a date that mayhave been 1932 or 1936. The patio must have been built after the house. Mrs.Kimball was a great gardener and planted all around her patio and house,especially at the south entrance and along her stepping stones to the lagoon.In the summertime, at ground level, bushes and trees made it hard to see herhouse.


The round structure was an outsidewell that had a hand pump. The stones probably came from between the pilingsacross from the house. I don't think it was part of Fishtown.Her cottage was a one story rectangle running east-west with a large room infront on the south side and a parallel back room which was a kitchen and porch.There were additions on both ends and at least one was a bedroom. She had anouthouse to the north. After Mrs. Kimball stopped coming about 1941, several guestsof my parents stayed there during the summer. The old Kimball cottage wasdestroyed in the April, 1956 tornado that leveled the lighthouse.



The oldpictures of Fishtown show buildings and a dock inabout the same position as the Kimball cottage. It would not be unlikely thatthe well and parts of the foundation and dock have been recycled from theprevious use by fishermen.


(Top) A phototaken this spring by Ron Hirsch that created interest in the site.(Bottom) A photo taken in the winter o f 1955 showing theKimball house, left, and the old lighthouse, upper right. Bothstructures were destroyed by a tornado April 3, 1956.