The Wellhouse Did Come Back!

The Wellhouse Did Come Back!

by Nancy Meyer



The well house blew down in a violent squall in August of 2001 and only the empty concrete base stood on the lawn for a year. An exact replica of the structure was built the spring of 2003 by a volunteer crew comprised of (almost) all ex-Pelican labor. Dick Case, Jr. led the project and drew together an extraordinarily talented crew of professionals, many of whom first learned their skills on Pelican crews. Tom Mansfield drew the architectural plans from photographs of the old well house (luckily Tom has a comprehensive photographic record of every structure on island). Jon Carruth and Mark Nash worked on the early stages of construction at Dick’s home in Harvard, MA. A lot of caffeine and pizza went into calculating the complicated angles and cuts for the little octagonal building, especially the eight-sided slanted roof. Dick, Jon, and Mark, joined by Ed Case, cut lumber into exact-sized and correctly angled pieces on the mainland and fitted one section together to make sure everything was right (it was). B.J. Parsons turned a new pinnacle at his home, after the original was damaged in the squall.


On an early June day a crew assembled for the next phase. Chris Harris brought his lobster boat to Kittery Point where Dick, Mark, Ed, Chris, and Peter Kolbjornsen loaded up the boat with cut lumber, power tools, hand tools, nails, shingles, ladders, and lunches and headed out to Star. Despite a cool rain on island they managed to frame the structure that first day. They made sure it was securely bolted down and the new structure withstood at least one squall its first summer.


Volunteers went out several more days to shingle the base and sheath the roof, and these included Marc Soule, Ben Soule, Mike Claus, and Adam Frye. A heroic last push got the roof shingled by Mike Claus, Mark Nash, and Laurence Saunders before Nancy Meyer came out and put an end to the fun so Dick could concentrate on his next project (see wedding announcement on page 7).


Marc, Ben, and Tom and other All Star I volunteers continued to work on finishing details during their conference week. Mark Adams added a floor (to avoid tripping over the well hatch) that was designed by Ben Soule.


During Pel Reunion weekend, benches were installed inside and the roof cap was added. The well house is back, stronger than ever but not noticeably different.


Thanks to the Pelicans who made this what Island Manager Paul Jennings called, “The Perfect Volunteer Project,” and to the island that started many of the volunteers on their professional careers. More photographs of the project can be viewed at


The well house crew: Dick Case (61-66), Jon Carruth (70s), Mark Nash (70s), Tom Mansfield (68-71, 74-78), Marc Soule (70s), Ben Soule (69-70), Mike Claus, Ed Case (01-02), Chris Harris (winterkeeper 94-95), Peter Kolbjornsen (73-76, 81), Laurence Saunders (60s), Bruce Parsons (75-81), Adam Frye (EOS-01), Mark Adams (70s).