This photograph of Sleepville, off Iron Point Road, was taken circa 1920. On the far left is the home that belonged to Perce and Marion (Thayer) Crockett. In 1907, Perce and Marion moved to Sleepyville from Crockett’s River on Vinalhaven. They bought land from the George Lewis Farm and had a house built. Perce’s parents, Frank and Susan came to North Haven as well, and the family lived together at the house, which featured a kitchen on either end and shared living space between. Perce was a fisherman and caretaker for the Bullard family’s large “Chimney House” on Crabtree Point. Perce and Marion raised two sons, Leon and Parker, in their Sleepyville home. Parker eventually built a garage nearby and managed a Ford dealership there. The Crockett house remains in the family, now owned by Leon’s son, Wes and his wife, Sharon.
Next door to the Crockett’s house was the home of Jim and Bertha Tabbutt. A mason by trade, Jim was also skilled in moving buildings, such as the Oren Waterman farmhouse formerly located on the golf course and now owned by the Brengle family. For a time, Jim also raised minks out behind his house. Jim’s wife Bertha was remembered as a meticulous housekeeper who made the home spotless. People fondly recall Jim and Bertha’s house as among the most beautiful on the island with its large staircase, beautiful floors, and fireplaces. Lyford Beverage presently owns the house.
Beside the Tabbutt’s lived the Calderwood family, Frank and Tryphosia with their seven children, Arthur, Harvey, Alton “Tonny”, Edna, Mercedes, Nellie, and Alta, ages 2 to 18 about 1920. The small house pictured likely seemed even smaller with nine people living there. Neighbors recalled stories of the Calderwood children having to bathe outside because of the lack of room indoors. For many years, father Frank Calderwood worked at J. O. Brown’s boatyard. Daughter Mercedes later lived at the house with her husband Jim Oldroyd and their two children, Jane and Jimmy. Today the house is owned by Jonathan Demmons.
Across the street was the home of Earl and Helen (Bunker) Marden. Earl worked as the rural route mail deliveryman. When the Mardens’ daughter, Hazel, married Ernest Brown, Earl converted a nearby stable and garage building into a home for the newlyweds. Hazel and Ernest’s daughter, Terry Brown Sprague, recalled how if someone exclaimed, when a door was left open, “Were you brought up in a barn?!” she and her siblings could reply “Yes!” Andrea Adams, granddaughter to Hazel and Ernest Brown, now lives there while Holly Blake lives in Earl and Helen Marden’s former home.
To the far right of the photograph sits the house that belonged to Les and Lena Dickey. A fisherman and carpenter, Les built a home for his son Curtis next door, which is the house now belonging to Ed Beverage. Les and Lena’s former home now belongs to Phyllis and Joette Adams.
In the foreground is the fenced pastureland of the Lewis farm, property now belonging to Ted and Hope Sage. Edwin Thayer, who lived in Sleepyville for a time with his aunt and uncle, Marion and Perce Crockett, remembered the farm’s pigs, cows, and pastureland that stretched all the way to the golf course.
The origins of the name Sleepyville remain a mystery today. Was it because people went to bed early in the neighborhood? Was it because it was a bedroom community without businesses? Whatever the reason, the name certainly stuck. Any further information provided to the Historical Society would be most welcome. Much appreciation goes to Rex Crockett, Sheila MacDonald, Terry Sprague, and Edwin Thayer for their recollections of the Sleepyville neighborhood.
Lydia Brown and Nan Lee
North Haven Historical Society