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Trescott/CCLC: Storytelling: Lighthouse Keeping, Islands & Birdwatching

Delia Mae Farris

CCLC Festival HQ —

Descended from a tradition of story tellers, Delia Mae Farris has a degree in biology from University of Maine at Orono. She weaves an intriguing blend of facts about island bird-watching with folklore from her mother Ruth Corbett’s lighthouse keeping family. In the 1950s, Delia’s lobster fisherman father Glenn Farris initiated the puffin birding trips from Cutler harbor to Machias Seal Island. Her uncle, Captain Purcell Corbett, succeeded Glenn as a reliable ocean guide aboard his Audubon Queen, which he designed and built. Captain Andy Patterson carries on this able seamanship lineage with his Bold Coast Charter Company boat tours. Captain Andy’s vessel, the Barbara Frost, passes around Little River Island on its way to and from Machias Seal Island.

Ruth Corbett Farris with her seven brothers and sisters grew up on Little River at the mouth of Cutler Harbor. As an island-loving girl, Ruth laid out the bodies of migrating birds that unfortunately perished when they struck the light tower. Ruth grew up to become a folk art carver of our local sea bird species, including puffins, terns, gulls, and cormorants.