Black family saga inspires artisanal work – Maine News

Black family saga inspires artisanal work – Maine News

ELLSWORTH — Folks who enjoy walking, running and skiing the trails at Woodlawn have George Nixon Black Jr. to thank for giving his handsome brick house and pastoral grounds decades ago to the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations.

In coming months, they can learn more about “Nixon” Black, as friends and family called him, and his life at the Black House and at his shingle-style home Kragsyde on Massachusetts’ North Shore. A complex and romantic man, Black is the inspiration behind a forthcoming novel due out May 1.

Swan’s Island designer Jane Goodrich, who co-founded and operates the letterpress studio Saturn Press with printer James van Pernis, has written “The House at Lobster Cove” being published by Applewood Book’s imprint Benna Books.

Spanning the period between the Civil War and the Jazz Age, “The House at Lobster Cove” is part family saga, part love story and an engaging personal journey set against the “magnificence and mercilessness of the 19th century,” according to the publisher.

The novel is a testament to Nixon Black, his house and the secrets he held.

“George Nixon Black, a complex and romantic man, spent a lifetime hiding in plain sight, harboring a secret of violence and a secret of love,” reads the publisher’s advance promotion.

Goodrich and van Pernis live in an exact replica of Black’s Kragsyde “cottage” on Swan’s Island. Saturn Press is widely known for its fine letterpress printing reflected in unique cards and other works.

“The House at Lobster Cove” itself will be a work of art. Its paper cover with flaps will be letterpress printed and 100…

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