IT'S A PRIVATE ISLAND in Maine off the coast of Stonington that I get all to myself with my husband and our friends for a week each summer. It's an old quarry island that's been in our family since 1927, when a relative bought it for $600. With no electricity, we use kerosene lanterns, but aside from that, Devil Island has all the comforts of a summer place. It's roughly 60 acres with a natural beach, fresh running water and indoor plumbing in most buildings. We are lucky to have a mother-daughter team from Stonington who have cooked for us for years, and they are practically family. Local lore has it that the island's name came from a mean old squatter in the 1700s who forced his kids to swim from island to island and they washed up on shore.
The operative word on the island is relax. On sunny days I love to lie out on the beach and go swimming (if I work up the nerve--the water is cold!), or canoeing. It takes about an hour to walk around the island; we search for the old tennis court and graveyard. On rainy days I curl up by the fire with the Log, a record of daily activities on Devil Island that has been kept every day that someone has been on the island since 1927.
Round Hill, Va.
Devil Island is private property; for information on Stonington, contact the Maine Office of Tourism, 1-800-533-9595, www.visitmaine.com; or the Deer Isle-Stonington Chamber of Commerce, 207-348-6124, www.acadia.net/deerisle.