Sixth Generation


914. Charles Delton Bowen Jr.116 was born in 1928 in Rockland, Knox County, Maine, USA.
Memories of childhood summers on Isle au Haut
by Kate Taylor

"My grandmother grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and read me The Articles of War," says Charlie Bowen, 82, of the first time he stepped foot on Isle au Haut in 1937.

Beatrice Hamilton Bowen then proceeded to list her 9-year-old grandson's long list of duties. According to Bowen, his grandmother was one of 11 sisters and two brothers raised in neighboring Duck Harbor.

"She was the disciplinarian," says Bowen, "While my grandfather was the pussycat."

Young Charlie Bowen had been sent to Head Harbor, the southern community on Isle au Haut, because his father figured he'd get into too much trouble in Boston during the summer.

He and his friends had been "running around" using public transportation and sneaking into movie theatres without buying tickets. Being sent to a Maine island was his punishment.

Bowen had to stay at the top of the little hill in or near the house in the Head Harbor community. He was not allowed to hike to Thunder Gulch or venture to any shore.

According to his grandmother's Articles, little Charlie was not even to go to the edge of the harbor in front of their house without special permission-although he once helped his lobster fisherman grandfather pull up his false teeth from the bottom of the ocean with a couple of oars: "He popped them right back in, seawater and all," says Bowen with a laugh.

"Head Harbor hasn't changed much. There were just a lot more people then." According to Bowen, there were six or seven working lobster boats moored in Head Harbor when he was a child. There was a year-round population of several dozen compared to less than 10 today.

Charlie Bowen was born in Rockland in 1928. He and his father moved to Boston when he was around 8 years old. Subsequent Maine island summers had made quite an impression on him, so he moved to Isle au Haut and began fishing out of Head Harbor in 1949 at the age of 21.

"I bought a boat. It had been sunk a couple of times but had a nice little flat-head engine."

Bowen's fishing career lasted only two years. Boat prices ranged from 32 to 74 cents per lobster pound, too low to make a good living. "That's good fishing out there though," says Bowen of Head Harbor, "If I fished today I'd go offshore."

Bowen's Uncle Elmer paid off his bills in exchange for traps and equipment. Bowen, then 23, and his new bride Sally Greenlaw, 24, headed to the mainland.

"We went as far as Portland then ran of money," remembers Bowen. The young couple settled in the big city, where they raised five children, three boys and two girls. All five are living in Maine, including his youngest daughter on Isle au Haut. Sally Greenlaw Bowen, Charlie's wife of 55 years, died a few years ago.

Bowen's career began with "hauling boats and refinishing them." He then worked for First National Warehouse for fifteen years, then W.H. Nichols. "I started out as a grinder then worked up from there," Bowen recalls.

The Bowens's hearts were called to the island the whole time they lived elsewhere. "Sally and I were related to almost everyone on the island," remembers Charlie. They bought a home in the 1960s for $2,500, where the couple vacationed regularly. They happily returned to that same home in 1993 to retire.

Bowen cites many changes over the years, most notably the numbers of people and public dock access.

Asked why he came to the island after so many years living and working on the mainland, he replies, "It's peaceful."

Kate Taylor is a freelance writer who lives on Isle au Haut.

Charles Delton Bowen Jr. and Sarah Anne "Sally" Greenlaw were married on 3 February 1951.117
Certificate Number:
Bride Name: GREENLAW SARAH A
Bride Town/State: PORTLAND, ME
Groom Name: BOWEN JR CHARLES D
Groom Town/State: SO PORTLAND, ME
Date of Marriage: Saturday February 3, 1951

Sarah Anne "Sally" Greenlaw, daughter of Aubrey Eugene Greenlaw and Mattie Belle Robinson, was born on 26 February 1927 in Waterbury, New Haven County, Connecticut, USA. She died on 13 December 2005 at the age of 78 in Isle au Haut, Knox County, Maine, USA. Sarah Anne (Greenlaw) Bowen
ISLE AU HAUT-Sarah Anne (Greenlaw) Bowen of Isle au Haut, Maine passed away early Tuesday, December 13, 2005, after a long period of declining health. She was born February 26, 1927, in Waterbury, Conn., to Aubrey E., and Mattie B. Greenlaw. She was educated in Connecticut schools and graduated from St. Mary's School in Connecticut. She attended Bayonne Junior College in New Jersey.

All through her life, she had a strong connection to Isle au Haut where she and Charles's family had spent generations. She grew up in a large happy family and was always close to her four brothers. She is predeceased by her parents and two brothers, Charles and Aubrey Greenlaw. She leaves two brothers, George and his wife, Joanne, of Woolwich, and James and his wife, Martha, of Isle au Haut. She was always close to her brothers and liked to reminisce about the fun they had growing up and the great sense of humor they all shared.

She was especially fond of times during World War II when they would all get together when the boys were home from the service to go have fun in New York City near where the family lived at the time. Sally worked for the American Red Cross in New York City driving an ambulance that transferred wounded soldiers from hospital ships to military hospitals and was once featured on the cover of the American Red Cross Magazine. After the war, she married Charles D. Bowen, they moved to the Portland area where they raised their family.

In 1993, she and her husband Charles retired to their summer home to live full-time on Isle au Haut, she became involved in managing the island store until she stepped down due to declining health in 2003. She was also on the Island Community Development Committee that provides low-cost housing for families who want to bring their families to the island on a year-round basis. She believed in the importance of both institutions and was passionate about their success.

Sally enjoyed the various activities on the island and really loved visits from the Seacoast Mission boat Sunbeam, where she participated in art classes and enjoyed the fellowship of her neighbors over Betty's famous scallop stew.

Her family and friends will remember Sally as a woman of grace, dignity and courage. She leaves her husband of 54 years, Charles D. Bowen, and her five children: a son, John, and his partner, Ricky, of Westbrook; a daughter, Suzanne Corbett, and her partner, Steve, of South Portland; a son, Thomas, and his wife, Penny, also of South Portland; a son, Dana, and his wife, Marie-Ann, of Topsham; and a daughter, Dianne Barter, of Isle au Haut. She loved and was proud of all six of her grandchildren and her two great-grandchildren.

There will be a celebration of her life in the early summer (date to be announced) on Isle au Haut.

The family wishes to thank the Peninsula Ambulance Corp and the Blue Hill Memorial Hospital for their excellent care.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: the Seacoast Mission Society, 127 West St., Bar Harbor, ME 04069; or The IRIS Network, 189 Park Ave., Portland, ME 04102.
She died on 13 December 2005 at the age of 78.118
Sarah Anne (Greenlaw) Bowen
ISLE AU HAUT—Sarah Anne (Greenlaw) Bowen of Isle au Haut, Maine passed away early Tuesday, December 13, 2005, after a long period of declining health. She was born February 26, 1927, in Waterbury, Conn., to Aubrey E., and Mattie B. Greenlaw. She was educated in Connecticut schools and graduated from St. Mary’s School in Connecticut. She attended Bayonne Junior College in New Jersey.

All through her life, she had a strong connection to Isle au Haut where she and Charles’s family had spent generations. She grew up in a large happy family and was always close to her four brothers. She is predeceased by her parents and two brothers, Charles and Aubrey Greenlaw. She leaves two brothers, George and his wife, Joanne, of Woolwich, and James and his wife, Martha, of Isle au Haut. She was always close to her brothers and liked to reminisce about the fun they had growing up and the great sense of humor they all shared.

She was especially fond of times during World War II when they would all get together when the boys were home from the service to go have fun in New York City near where the family lived at the time. Sally worked for the American Red Cross in New York City driving an ambulance that transferred wounded soldiers from hospital ships to military hospitals and was once featured on the cover of the American Red Cross Magazine. After the war, she married Charles D. Bowen, they moved to the Portland area where they raised their family.

In 1993, she and her husband Charles retired to their summer home to live full-time on Isle au Haut, she became involved in managing the island store until she stepped down due to declining health in 2003. She was also on the Island Community Development Committee that provides low-cost housing for families who want to bring their families to the island on a year-round basis. She believed in the importance of both institutions and was passionate about their success.

Sally enjoyed the various activities on the island and really loved visits from the Seacoast Mission boat Sunbeam, where she participated in art classes and enjoyed the fellowship of her neighbors over Betty’s famous scallop stew.

Her family and friends will remember Sally as a woman of grace, dignity and courage. She leaves her husband of 54 years, Charles D. Bowen, and her five children: a son, John, and his partner, Ricky, of Westbrook; a daughter, Suzanne Corbett, and her partner, Steve, of South Portland; a son, Thomas, and his wife, Penny, also of South Portland; a son, Dana, and his wife, Marie-Ann, of Topsham; and a daughter, Dianne Barter, of Isle au Haut. She loved and was proud of all six of her grandchildren and her two great-grandchildren.

There will be a celebration of her life in the early summer (date to be announced) on Isle au Haut.

The family wishes to thank the Peninsula Ambulance Corp and the Blue Hill Memorial Hospital for their excellent care.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: the Seacoast Mission Society, 127 West St., Bar Harbor, ME 04069; or The IRIS Network, 189 Park Ave., Portland, ME 04102.
Sally was educated in St. Mary's School, Connecticut.

Charles Delton Bowen Jr.-65128 and Sarah Anne "Sally" Greenlaw-62767 had the following children:

1401

i.

John Bowen lived in Westbrook, Maine, USA in December 2005.

+1402

ii.

Suzanne B. Bowen-65132.

+1403

iii.

Thomas Bowen-65133.

+1404

iv.

Dana C. Bowen-65134.

+1405

v.

Dianne Bowen-65135.