Ghostly Happenings in Concord, MA
The Maine coastline near Boothbay Harbor
The ghost stories page on this website is always more popular than any of the other pages having to do with Thoreau. There is no doubt about it, people enjoy reading stories that involve the paranormal, myself included. I also enjoy writing them when I am writing about something that happened to me.
The following blog that I wrote about my experience at the Captain Sawyer Inn in Boothbay Harbor, Maine in 2014 was read by Greg Latimer, author of several books on the paranormal. He then contacted the Sawyer family and was able to confirm through them much of the information that I had received from spirit during my stay at Captain Sawyer's Inn in Boothbay Harbor. You can read about his findings in his book, Ghosts of the Boothbay Region (Haunted America).
Captain Sawyer’s Place is a bed and breakfast style Inn that sits majestically on a hillside on Commercial Street in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. It was formerly the home of Captain William E. Sawyer and his wife, Minnie, and was built by his father, Capt. William M. Sawyer in 1877. I knew nothing of the Sawyer family history when we checked into the Inn on September 23, 2014. We had stayed there once before but there had been little time then to spend exploring around town or relaxing at the Inn, so this time we were determined to do both. After visiting some of the shops in town, the highlight being Sherman’s Bookstore, which has been in business in Boothbay Harbor since 1886, we had dinner at Kaler's Restaurant, directly across from Capt. Sawyer’s Place, and later, after dinner, we made our way over to the post office to join the others who were waiting there for the evening ghost tour to begin.
I have come to enjoy these tours that are so popular now in these old historic towns, both for the history they provide and for their ghostly tales. Our tour guide was Sally Lobkowicz, founder of Red Cloak Haunted History Tours, that offers tours in several of Maine's historic towns. Wearing her bright red cloak and carrying an old fashioned lantern, she led us around to Boothbay Harbor's most haunted places, and as she told us the stories of each, I waited and hoped that there would be a story about ghosts at Captain Sawyer’s Place. It wasn't until nearly the end of the tour when we were positioned across the street from the Inn and gazing up at the impressive old structure that she began to talk about the Sawyers.
Sally told the story of “Mimi” Sawyer, the wife of the William E., who was believed to be the ghost who was still haunting her former home. There was mention of the widow's walk, of how Mimi was known to still appear there, as if looking out to sea for the vessel that would bring her husband home. Sally went on to tell us a story that was told to her by the Innkeeper, Kim Reed-Upham, about a disturbance that took place one day when they were getting ready to paint one of the rooms. They intended to paint it lavender, but before the painting could get underway there was a disturbance in the room. All of the photos were mysteriously turned sideways and other items in the room were in disarray. They concluded that Mimi was trying to send them a message and the message was that she did not like lavender. A decision was made to paint the room another color and that seemed to satisfy Mimi. There have been no further disturbances like that one since.
After the tour ended, we returned to the Inn and sat out on the front porch for a while taking in the sights and the sounds of Boothbay Harbor. It was a chilly fall evening and there were few people moving about on the streets. The restaurants had taken in their outdoor seating for the season, but one of them had left an outdoor speaker in place and their music, a selection from the 1940s that included Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, played out loudly into the streets. We sat there for quite a while taking it all in. We were pleased with our vantage point, high up on the front porch of the Inn overlooking the town and we were enjoying the music that we might not otherwise listen to, as we discussed the ghost tour and the stories we’d been told. We could easily see from there the darkened windows on the third floor of the building across the street that housed Kaler’s Restaurant. Sally had talked about how the third floor of that building was sufficiently haunted to prevent anyone from ever using the space for more than storage, and as I tuned into the energy of the building, something I had neglected to do earlier when we’d had dinner there, it seemed to me there might well be someone or something unfriendly there but I was not interested in finding out what. Instead I let it be known to my boyfriend, and to my guides, who are never too far away from me, that I wanted to know more about the ghosts that were haunting Captain Sawyer’s Place. My boyfriend raised an eyebrow, not wanting any part of this, but I was serious and evidently my guides were, too, because almost as soon as we gave into the cold and returned to our room, I began to receive information.
We were staying in the Novelty room. It is the room on the first floor of the Inn, to the left as you come in the front door. It has a bay window, a queen size four poster bed, two chairs and a small dresser with the TV near the door. I didn't sense anything other worldly in the room when we first checked in, or anywhere else in the Inn at that time, but when we came inside, after sitting out on the porch for a while, and as I lay down on the bed, I began to receive psychic impressions, or what you might call mental images. I immediately knew that what I was being shown was in answer to my request to know more, so I closed my eyes and focused and this is what I received.
I was first shown a baby - they were holding it out in front of me. Not sure of gender, but it was young - weeks, maybe a few months old. I could see its bright eyes and happy face, and what was either a cap or some kind of blanket that seemed to be wrapped up around one side of its head. What struck me about the cap was that it was a light shade of lavender. I then picked up the name Abigail and I felt Abigail was connected to that baby and that the baby had died suddenly - I told my boyfriend I thought it was a case of sudden infant death syndrome (a/k/a SIDS or crib death).
I then saw an image of a woman with dark hair who was wearing a checkered print dress. I only saw her from the back but I felt that she was in her 20s and I saw her kneeling down on the floor and playing with a child who I could not see. I wasn't sure if that woman was Abigail or not but I believed she was Mimi's daughter and I told my boyfriend that the scene where she was playing with the child on the floor had taken place right there in the Novelty room - in the space where the bed is now and where we were then lying. I told him I believed Mimi had a daughter who had died in her 20s and that she was also haunting the Inn. I was not sure of the name of the daughter, whether she was Abigail or not, because I did not think the child she was playing with on the floor was the baby I had been shown. I remarked at one point that I often confuse the names Abigail and Rebecca and perhaps her name could be Rebecca, but I was merely grasping to make sense of what I was seeing and also second guessing myself. The name that came most strongly was Abigail and I felt it was Abigail who was the mother of the baby who had died.
The next morning when we checked out of the Inn I asked Kim, the Innkeeper, what she knew about the Sawyers. She told me she knew very little but volunteered that they did have a daughter. I later contacted Sally Lobkowicz, our red-cloaked ghost tour leader, and she was able to give me the names of the Sawyer who had first built the Inn, Capt. William M. Sawyer, and that of his son, Capt. William E. Sawyer, who had later lived in the home with his wife, Minnie (a/k/a Mimi). With that information I began a search on ancestry.com, confident that I was going to find evidence that would confirm the information that I had received, and in fact, I did.
William E. Sawyer (1863-1941) and Minnie (Gove) Sawyer (1871-1937) had three children. Two daughters, and one son. Their daughter, Valeria Edith Sawyer was born Aug. 31, 1893. She married Webster T. Barter (1890-1968) in 1913; gave birth to a son in 1914, Clayton W. Barter (1914-1976); and died of pneumonia in 1918, at age 25, a week after her son, Clayton turned four. Clayton Barter went on to be raised by his father and step-mother and lived a long life.
Abigail (Anderson) Sawyer (1798-1870) was the mother of Capt. William M. Sawyer (1838-1906), the man who built the Inn. She and her husband, Capt. Stephen Sawyer (1795-1849) had 10 children, the first of which, a son named Wilmot, was born Feb. 23, 1821 and died one month later, March 23, 1821. I could find no cause of death listed for Wilmot Sawyer. Abigail also had a son named Stephen who was born Aug. 24, 1824 and passed Feb. 4, 1830, at 5½ years old.
I am not experienced enough with psychic detective work to state my findings with absolute certainty but I feel confident that the woman whose image I was shown playing with a child on the floor of what is now the Novelty room of the Inn was Valeria (Sawyer) Barter playing with her son, Clayton, and that she is still there, perhaps with her mother, Mimi, haunting the Inn. I am also confident that the baby I was shown was Wilmot Sawyer, first born son of Abigail (Anderson) Sawyer (1798-1870). After losing two of her ten children, Abigail went on to live a long life, but perhaps she still carries regrets about their loss, or finds herself so deeply tied to the land where her son, William M. Sawyer built his home, or tied to the other spirits who continue to dwell there in what is now Captain Sawyer’s Place, that she is unable to leave.
The Sawyer family were in the salvaging business in Boothbay Harbor, and they continue to be today. Their antique store, Sawyersway is located in Edgecomb, Maine, on the road leading into Boothbay Harbor. Here is a link to the Sawyersway blogspot where you can read more about the Sawyer family and see a photo of Capt. William E. Sawyer (aka Capt. Billy). http://sawyersway.blogspot.com/
The Red Cloak Haunted History Tours are offered in Camden, Damariscotta, Wiscasset, Boothbay Harbor, Bath, Hallowell and Rockland, Maine. For more information contact Sally Lobkowicz at email@example.com. - http://www.redcloakhauntedhistorytours.com/
Captain Sawyer’s Place is located at 55 Commercial Street in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. The website for the inn is: https://www.captainsawyersboothbay.com/ Kim Reed-Upham is no longer the Innkeeper and it appears the Inn has undergone some major renovations in 2017. I hope that the changes at the Inn have helped to convince the ghosts there that it is time to move on and that they have made their way into the light.
TO BE UPDATED SOON
Ghosts in Boothbay Harbor, Maine
by Cathryn McIntyre
In 2014, my boyfriend and I spent a night in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, where we had an unusual and intriguing experience. It wasn't a haunting exactly. This story is more about receiving information in answer to a request I made of my guides to know more about the ghosts who haunt the old Inn where we were staying. What made it most enjoyable and gratifying for me, is that it gave me an opportunity to prove to my boyfriend, who tended to be a bit of a skeptic, that when I say I am talking to spirit, I actually am.