Through a mutual friend of Mr. Leonard Watson (Watson Isl, now Kelly), Mr. Reid introduced Bill Teele to Meddybemps in 1944. Because Mr. Reid knew how much Bill loved the outdoors and having heard that perhaps an island was for sale on the lake, he had Mr. Watson make arrangements to have Bill stay with Trapper and Lottie Lombard for a week. Trapper picked him up at Ayre's Junction and that was the beginning of a long friendship between the Lombards and the Teeles.
They spent that week fishing and canoeing and visited the island that was apparently for sale – Pierce Island. Mr. Masters had bought it from Mr. Pierce to protect his own island (Master's). Bill was enchanted from the very beginning with the beauty of the lake with its islands and the friendliness of the people who lived in town. So the two set off to talk to Mr. Masters about selling Pierce Island. By coincidence, Mr. Masters had known Bill's father (then deceased) through mutual business friends in New York City and as a result, an immediate friendship was formed, which has lasted between the two familes and their children to this day. So Bill bought Pierce Island, as well as the surrounding three small ones – Tadpole, Shipwreck and No-Name - ( for fire protection!).
After his discharge from the Navy and graduation from Harvard Business School, "Billy" spent a year in 1947 in Meddybemps, living with the Lombards and with the help of Forest Gillespie, Ronald Cousins and probably many others, they helped build the original camp on what is now known as Teele Island.
In 1953 Bill and I were married and in the summer of1954, he introduced his new bride to Meddybemps, coming all the way from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. While on our maiden voyage across lake in the wooden Old Town boat, the Johnson outboard, complete with gas tank on top, caught on fire. I calmly sat watching while Bill removed the motor and dunked it in the lake and remounted it thinking, what had I gotten into to!
Meg was born that October and was 8 months old the first time she visited Meddybemps. Beth was born in 1957 and with 11 months, made her first visit to the lake, the family having since relocated to Millington, New Jersey. Together we shared many wonderful summer vacations together and with our old and new friends: Don and Joy Trouant, Paul and Nancy Pierce, as well as Norman and Ellen O'Dell (our neighbors), Mr. And Mrs. Paul Bloomhardt Sr, Lou and Nancy Kniep, Billy Beard (now Sager's Isl.)and the Lockhardts (now Glenn Ball's) and Wallace & Louise Suffren (Margaret Earle's cousin). Many lasting friendships were made with others on the lake and in the town: Jean Eaton, Ronald and Evelyn and Florence Cousins, Trapper and Lottie Lombard, the Ketchens, the Gillespies – Forest, Everet and Effie, Clayton and Thursta Sawyer and Thurston and last but not least via Palmeter's, Chubb, Roberta, Myrtle and Maxine.
Throughout the years, as people come and go and islands are bought and sold, we met and enjoyed the company of Mr. And Mrs. Ford (they bought Masters), Doug and Jane Wright and the new friendship with the Adelmann family (who bought Masters from Mr. Ford).
Bill died suddenly in November 1986, but fortunately, had been able to spend his last summer on the lake. His ashes were spread in Meddybemps as he had requested.
Meg and Beth were given the islands in 1988 and in additon to the original camp (with its addition of two porches, two small bedrooms, a master bedroom and a bathroom), Meg has built a new camp for her family. I've enjoyed seeing the 5 grandchildren grow and seeing what Bill and I have shared going on to the next generations. Meddybemps has not only provided us with wonderful summer vacations and memories but, as I think anyone who has been on the lake longer will agree, it is a place with its own special "magic" through its beauty and its people.
Submitted by Marcie Teele, 2005