Aiden Jacobs, ’23 reflects on a week spent reviving a cottage on Louds Island.

Last fall our family purchased a small cottage on Louds Island, a 3-mile long island across from Round Pond. This was an amazing moment for us in many ways. Our family has been going out to Louds ever since my grandfather, Ed Krawic, volunteered to help his good friends fix up a house that they owned out there. Now, after three generations, we have our own place on Louds. To say our house is very nice would be a complete overstatement. Built in 1890, the house is in a little bit of disrepair, the floor is slowly caving in and a new roof is in order. And much like many island houses, it will need constant work. But, we knew what we bargained for when we got it, gas lights, faulty refrigerators, and lots and lots of filtering water. 

Despite all of this and the cold spring, we decided to take advantage of the current pandemic and spend a week on Louds over April break. We did this with the idea that if it got too wild or too cold on the island we could always come back in. The first thing on our agenda was to move the float so the boat didn’t have to be tied directly to the dock but on our first full day out the waves and wind were too strong to attempt to move it. Nonetheless, there was still lots of work to be done: we cut down trees, cleared debris from the winter, and vowed to move the float the next day. The next day came and we knew it would be our last chance to move the float — a storm was going to roll in and we knew we would not be able to move it then. My dad and I stood on the beached float as the waves crashed into it. We had to wait for it to be lifted off the shore by the tide so that my grandfather on the boat could pull us off the beach. We did not account for the fact that there would be whitecaps pushing us back onto the beach the moment we were lifted off the ground. In spite of this, we still managed to pull the float off the shore, maneuver it past the shipwreck of the Columbia around a small island, and into Little Harbor where the float was meant to go. After a few more hours the float was in place and we finished our work for the day. 

The next day proved the hardest of all. It was about thirty degrees on Louds and it began to snow. I was thrilled this being my first snow ever on Louds Island, I was thrilled, that is, until it didn’t stop snowing until one in the afternoon. After a brief bit of work in the harbor, we returned to our small little cottage got a fire going, and hunkered down inside for the rest of the day. 

Friday offered a respite from the cold as it was a balmy forty-five degrees outside. I split a lot of firewood to keep myself warm and we played many card games in the shelter of our house. Our time on Louds was drawing to a close and that night we walked out onto the point in front of our house and admired the sunset and amazing view of the ocean in front of us.   

Looking back on this now it seems that was just the beginning of things: the ups and downs of life on the island greatly mirror those in our world today and I think that this experience was a great help in preparing me for the long days ahead.

Editor’s Note: Ed Krawic taught at Lincoln Academy for many years and founded the Alternative Education Program here at LA.

Below: Images captured from Aiden’s week on Louds Island.