261 Reviews
Tell people what you think
John Pustell
· January 1, 2018
This is where I go to connect. To connect with people, with ideas, with my family,.. and with myself. From Porch Rocking to music, to fun, to discussing the secrets of the universe, it is a place I w...ill always come back to. Fair warning though - if you go once with children (for a full family week) your children will insist you always come back. AND - you will want to. See More
Steve Duncan
· December 9, 2017
Star Island has been a part of my life since 1963. Summers on the North shore of the Island with the Lambert’s became something to look forward to beginning around Christmas each year. I bought the Ad...ams cabin in 1965 and summered with my boys fishing and family activities. We are now enjoying time with my grandchildren as they share in the fun on the North shore. Each spring we meet the new additions to the north Shore Islanders. The Lalondes precious Caroline was added this year to Quinn And Charlie’s Island friends. See More
Tracey Alexander
· February 1, 2018
I turned two on Star Island, the first summer we were there. My parents worked on the Island. We returned every summer for three years. This is my Happy Place. I have such wonderful memories of this I...sland and the people who made my early childhood such a delight. It is a place where you learn just 'to be'. See More
Keenan Brooklyn
· August 31, 2017
This island is heaven on earth. I went there this summer and I will always go there. It reminded me of my grandparents and when life use to be simple and beautiful back in the days .I truly love u sta...r island and I love the hotel staff ! Very professional See More
Jennifer Blake La Fleur
· August 28, 2017
We had a horrible experience @ Star Island. On our first (& maybe only) visit on July 28, we-my husband, 9 year old daughter and I- rented kayaks at the dock. As we were in the middle of the cove, my ...husband's kayak almost sank, with my husband falling into the water. We needed assistance from a nearby motor boat that was anchored, to drain the water and place a temporary plug, which was missing. He was able to make it back, and when we told the lifeguard, she did nothing about it. We had to wait over 1/2 hour to speak to the manager, and was given a non-committal response. I am abhorred by the lack of concern, because there could have been serious problems if it was my daughter's kayak. This is a dangerous issue which needs to be addressed. See More
Robin Webster
· January 22, 2018
Our family has been to Star Island twice. Both times were a special experience. It's like traveling back in time. We'll be back!
Beth Sterling
· January 31, 2018
I love the Island been going as long as I can Remember.
The best times with my Grandma Theo Nash ♥
Bruce Cichowlas
· September 25, 2017
It's a great place to attend a conference and has a lot of history to it as well. It was also fun to explore around the rather small island.
Barbara MacLeod
· August 29, 2017
Magical place and so welcoming! Late in the season is a great time to visit and explore. Talk about peaceful...
Nancy Ticknor
· November 15, 2017
Such an atmospheric, charming, and calming place. A photographer's dream.
Bruce Beyer
· September 27, 2017
Bruce Beyer

Stop The Draft Week...
October 16-21, 1967

In late May of 1967 having miserably failed out of college, I took a job as a night clerk in a motel on Main St. in downtown Buffalo, NY which bordered on the outer reaches of the Black community. It wasn't much of a job but it kept my parents off my back while I struggled to make decisions about my future. That summer, rebellion broke out in Buffalo and the motel became a overnight destination for reporters covering the events as well as a gathering spot for cops making forays into the "combat zones". For three nights I watched in total amazement the frenzied activity of the occupying forces and then it was over.

As the days passed I came to realize that I had witnessed a war, a war on rebellious people demanding justice, jobs, and an end to police repression. I came to realize what I had experienced was exactly what the people of South East Asia were experiencing on a never ending, if not far more deadly daily occurrence.

Up until that time, I had not given a lot of thought to the Vietnam war. I knew I was about to lose my student draft deferment and that Selective Service was going to be seeking my active participation but I had no idea what to do about it. I had some vague idea about enlisting in a branch of the military which would allow me to avoid combat but beyond that, I really hadn't given it much thought. I was a 19 year old white middle class kid who had never even dreamed about combat let alone killing someone else.

The summer went on, my draft board caught up with me, I was reclassified 1-A and ordered to report for a physical. I went down to an Air Force recruiting center and spoke with a recruiter about enlisting. After some perfunctory tests he assured me I would be assigned to a missile base in the US and I signed a pre-enlistment agreement with a three month deferral clause.

Toward the end of August I went to a conference sponsored by the Unitarian Church at a place called Star Island off the coast of New Hampshire. It was there that I came in contact for the first time with anti-war activists. Organizers with the Vietnam Sumner Campaign were in attendance and there was endless talk about the war, the draft, and our responses to it. I met a woman named Marcia Sommers who asked what I was going to do and when I told her about my plans she looked me dead in the eye and asked if I had ever considered simply refusing to participate?

I'd never heard of such a thing. I'd never imagined such a concept but it instantly made sense and by the time I left Star Island I knew I was going to turn my draft card in and refuse induction. I went back to Buffalo and told my parents of my intentions. Their response was simple and straightforward, "We may not agree with your stand but we raised you to think for yourself. Good luck."

September and early October 1967 seemed to drag slowly onward. I had no idea there was an anti-war movement in Buffalo and I felt completely isolated from former high school friends and associates. There was no one around to talk with about my plans, so there were a lot of
phone calls back and forth with my friend Marcia. She invited me to travel to Washington with her and some friends. I flew standby to Boston and we all drove down to DC together. We arrived tired and hungry late Thursday evening and spent the night in sleeping bags on the floor of a friends apartment.

Early Friday afternoon on October 20th draft resisters from across the country gathered in a church about a mile or so from the Department of Justice. After listening to speakers we made our way to the steps of the Justice Department, I remember feelings of fear and pride, anger and resentment, and an overwhelming sense that my life was about to change. I had no idea how completely altered it would be as I made my way up the steps, stood in front of a microphone, stated my name and hometown, and dropped my draft card into a briefcase held by Dr. Spock. I watched in fear as Dr. Spock and Michael Ferber carried our cards through the doors and went off to present the cards to Attorney General Ramsey Clark. I honestly thought we'd be arrested at any moment but nothing happened.
We stayed up late talking about the days events and the following morning we headed out to the Lincoln Memorial to take part in the demonstration heading to the Pentagon. I remember being astonished by the sheer number of people and the volume of the chants. I remember locking arms and marching twenty or thirty across, taking up the entire street in waves of chanting protesters. I felt a part of something outside of myself, a part that was reaching out to those fighting in Vietnam and demanding that they be brought home NOW.

We'd heard that Tuli Kuferberg and The Fugs, Allen Ginsberg, and Jerry Rubin were going to attempt to levitate the Pentagon. Marching with all those people almost made me imagine it might be possible. The streets were filled with characters. I walked for awhile with General Hershey Bar and General Wastemoreland. I was astonished at the audacity of Walter Teague proudly carrying the NLF flag. Little did I know that less than a year later I would be carrying that same flag in a demonstration during an anti-ROTC demonstration in Buffalo.

Then the soldiers came into view, bayonets fixed, surrounding the Pentagon, looking fierce and apprehensive. I remember coming up face to face with rows of soldiers not much older than I. It dawned on me that many were as afraid of me as I was of them. I watched with glee as demonstrators gently shoved flowers down gun barrels and urged the soldiers to come over to our side. Rumors swept through the crowd, "a soldiers just crossed the line on the other side of the building, the feds are making arrests, the buildings moving." As the afternoon gave way to nightfall I became separated from my friends and decided to spend the night on the terrace.

I don't remember much about that night beyond the fact that it got cold and that we huddled together for warmth. We were surrounded by soldiers but I don't remember feeling afraid until the Federal Marshals showed up and started yelling commands through their bullhorns. I caught whiffs of what I was told was tear gas and saw helmeted civilians reaching through the ranks of soldiers, grabbing individuals, pulling them back and beating them with nightsticks. Shortly thereafter we were ordered to move or be arrested. I wasn't moving so I was roughly arrested, lined up, and bused off to the Occoquan Work House. Upon arrival my first thoughts were amazement at how well maintained the handsome brick buildings presented themselves. It looked like a college campus.

We were assigned beds in huge dormitories. I happened to end up in the same one as Mailer, Kupferberg, and Sgt. Donald Duncan. My only memories of Mailer were his incessant loud demands for bail as he had a dinner date that evening. The rest of us sat quietly, talked in low voices, and slept. Mr. Mailer was released fairly early and the rest of us were processed out by the next afternoon.

On August 19, 1968 my friend Bruce Cline and I were arrested after taking symbolic sanctuary in the Buffalo Unitarian Church for having refused induction. 32 FBI agents, federal marshals, and border patrol agents backed up by 100 Buffalo cops came to arrest two draft resisters and in the process arrested seven others. We were charged with assaulting, intimidating, and impeding the cops. We called ourselves the Buffalo Nine. Of the Nine four were Vietnam vets, and the rest were SDS, YAWF, Peace and Freedom, and Buffalo Draft Resistance organizers. There were two trials. I alone was convicted of assault, in the second, two of the vets were convicted. We all received three years sentences.

Shortly thereafter I was indicted for inciting a riot, burglary, arson, and conspiracy to commit arson after Univ. of Buffalo students ransacked a ROTC training facility following an anti-draft speech I made.

I left the United States in March of 1970 and jumped a $5,000. bail bond. I went underground to Canada, obtained a false passport and made my way to Sweden where I was granted humanitarian asylum. In April of 1972, after marrying a Canadian woman, I immigrated to Canada where I lived the next four plus years.

On October 20, 1977 after reading Gloria Emerson's book "Winners and Losers", I returned to the US with my attorney, the former United States Attorney General Ramsey Clark, the same man I had returned my draft card to in 1967. Walking alongside us was Col. Ed Miller the highest ranking Marine Corps POW who served five years in Hanoi camps and fifty or so Vietnam vets. Gloria Emerson, Cora Weiss, Gold Star mother Patricia Simon, my father and scores of other supporters also walked across with me.
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Pat Nelson
· April 26, 2017
I first went to Star in junior high school many, many years ago and it has never lost its charm for me. Am looking forward to a return later this year. You can't beat living the simple life on an isl...and lost in time. See More
Stephanie Simpson
· June 8, 2017
The best vacation I ever had as a single person...The beauty and history and ocean currents and fellowship and magic and gorgeous views were unsurpassed..Thank you Star...I will come back!
Becky Ellis
· August 7, 2016
It may take a while to de stress from mainland life but as you do you can walk the trails, make a basket, row a boat, chat with new and old friends, watch the birds, have a lime ricky, etc and then yo...u realize you have fallen asleep in a porch rocker. Perfection. See More
Ethan Hamburg
· August 22, 2016
My times go back from 1958-1965, taking out the two humble boats The Koboko and The Viking from Portsmouth NH.

I have nothing but the fondest memories, as many as a 4 year old through an 11 year old... kid can accurately remember. I loved rowing or boating out to go explore the neighboring islands of Appledore and Smuttynose, taking the boats around Lunging and White Island to hear the foghorn up close and see the lighthouse and occasionally a whale nearby. I remember the graves from the 1800s, the plaque for Captain Smith. I loved Betty Moody's cave, the glacier scratches, the birds & their nesting grounds, the grand hotel in Gosport, playing softball, and helping to build the stone chapel with dynamite. I remember we kids were named by age after birds, Gulls, Terns, Pelicans, etc. I loved playing the grand piano in the hotel lobby, a pump organ and the old upright in the theatre. I loved when US Navy helicopters would occasionally pay us a visit.

I'm sure some things have changed, like being able to visit overnight, instead of either committing to a 1 or 2 week Unitarian or Congregationalist's conference, or making a day trip only.
If that is true, it is worth the visit, I assure you.

But as we Old Shoalers used to remind the new ones, "You will come back!"

I hope I can come back ASAP after a 50 year absence.
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William Leavenworth
· January 20, 2017
One of my 7th great grandfathers fished from the Isles of Shoals. They are still a wonderful place to visit, even if the giant cod are long gone.
Elizabeth Hanna
· January 5, 2016
I've made lifelong friends and had the most amazing experiences on Star. I love the staff, the history and the incredible beauty there. The best and most important thing I do for myself all year is re...fresh and reset on Star. See More
Claudia Ballard Ewing
· August 2, 2016
There really aren't words to describe the beauty and love I have experienced in years passed.
I am so grateful for the memories of Star, the joy it brought to my children and the opportunity to return!
Jason Knight
· March 14, 2014
Star Island is the most amazing place I've ever been in my entire life. I can't express with words how much I am in love with the island and the people that work there. It is so special to me and I ca...n't imagine a more perfect place to work or visit. See More
Paul Emack
· December 18, 2015
You know love for a place as special as Star is when every memory of that place is bathed in it.
Morning Singers on Star Island
I Love Star Island 2012
I Love Star Island

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