They were called “housekeeping cottages”, marketed by my entrepreneurial grandfather, Frank Stone, to be “where happy vacationers, free from routine and formality, could unite the comforts of home with the unmarred ruggedness of the Maine outdoors”. The snug little green cabins tucked into the woods along Highland Lake in Bridgton, Maine, boasted full kitchens, bathrooms (eventually indoors), wood fireplaces, two bedrooms and a living room with knotty pine interiors, and screened-in porches – upscale design for the 1920’s and 30’s. But along with the fresh milk delivered from his farm, ice harvested from the frozen lake in the winter and free use of his handmade boats, my grandfather also managed to deliver an element of magic. The vacationers not only had enjoyable stays, but many developed a deep love of the area, made memories, found and nurtured friendships, and raised families who subsequently brought their own children to visit. Frank and his son, Charles, and daughter, Joanna, created not only a successful business that lasted generations, but also managed to touch the lives and hearts of so many campers.
People planned their years around their vacation to Stones’ Camps and counted the days until the next visit. Competition for booking the perfect weeks was fierce. Reservations were not accepted until Jan 1, and the phone rang nonstop on New Year’s Day. My father and mother, Charles and Wilma, and my aunt and uncle, Joanna and Ralph, poured their lifeblood into the enterprise for about 50 years. The legacy endures even today. Stone’s Camps, per se, is no longer in business, as the cabins were sold to individual owners, and my parents, aunt and uncle have passed away. The colony is now Stones Lakeside Association, an HOA of individual owners. But it is still beautiful and special. The memories live on. This website was created as a memorial to that legacy, to record some of the history and to be a platform that others could share remembrances, anecdotes, and photos – both historical and present day.