Stories

Cape Porpoise, Kennebunk hand painted photograph by Charles Henry Sawyer

The Durrell Family of Cape Porpoise

Philip Durrell, the progenitor of the Durrell family of Maine and New Hampshire, immigrated from Guernsey, according to family tradition, and first appears in New England records on 20 Feb 1689/90, when his mark was affixed to a New Hampshire province petition. While his original settlement was in Exeter, Philip would remove to Porpoise cape in 1700. Philip remained but a short time at Cape Porpoise. The French and their Native allies attacked the settlements of present day Maine over a six day period starting on August 10, 1703. “Cape Porpoise, being inhabitated by a few unshielded fisherman, was wholly laid desolate.”

Valentin Brönner

My Great Grandfather Valentin Brönner

I came across an old photograph in my mother’s album of old family photographs which depicted my great-grandfather, Valentin Brönner, and several of his fellow soldiers posed in a unusual manner. Considering the time frame that this occurred (1918) and the fact that Germany would shortly surrender, moral should have been low on the German side, yet it was good to see grown men, in the hardest of times, improvising for the camera lens in a comedic fashion. P.S. My great-grandfather is the one holding the pitchfork!

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