Make the passage to North Haven on the charmingly old-fashioned ferry and you can see David Wilson and David Hopkins’s small stand of buildings—actually called Hopkins Wharf—ahead of you, jutting out over the water, the first signal that you’ve made it to the island.
Hopkins can tell you the story of each structure by heart—the wharf has been in his family since 1899. What was once his great-grandfather’s general store, which sold “not only groceries but ice, gasoline, heating fuel, coal, lumber, and building supplies” and served as a chandlery for boats passing through, is now a gift shop with an apartment above.
Next door is the former grain shed; it’s now a gallery, with a studio above where Wilson, an artist, paints while looking out at the harbor. The onetime icehouse, where ice from the island’s freshwater pond was cut to be delivered directly to villagers’ pantries, is now an extension of the gallery. And the old carriage house, built on granite piers over the water, is the couple’s living space.
Hopkins was raised on North Haven, in the apartment above what was then his mother’s gift shop. But he can trace his Down East lineage even further back than the wharf, to one Dr. Theophilus Hopkins, who moved to Maine from Massachusetts in the late 1700s.
David Wilson, meanwhile, is Scottish; the two met in London and lived in New York (Hopkins ran the Met’s gift shop) before settling on the island in 2011 to preside over the shop and the art gallery.
Now, in the one-room carriage house, the couple lives among antique finds, ephemera passed down through generations, pieces from artist friends, and breezes off the water.
Excerpted from Remodelista in Maine by Annie Quigley (Artisan Books). Photographs by Greta Rybus. Distributed by www.bookreps.co.nz