The Haskells were early Deer Isle settlers. In 1793 Ignatius, owner of a sailing loft and shipbuilding business, built a house that would remain in the Haskell family until 1942. In the 1890s, William Haskell, a sea captain, and his wife, Elizabeth, opened a boardinghouse in the family home. They named it The Ark. William and his crew perished at sea off Cape Hatteras in 1915, but Elizabeth continued to operate the Ark. Their son Stacy Benjamin, who as a boy took boarders out for rides or fishing on his small boat, ran the boardinghouse after his mother died.
A number of New York Yacht Club members summered on Deer Isle in the 1890s. C. Oliver Iselin, one of the syndicate that owned four America’s Cup vessels, stayed at the Ark. The yachtsmen watched with admiration as the local fishermen raced their sailboats into the harbor at the end of their work day. Their sailing skills were so good that the owners of the America’s Cup boats turned to them for their crews. The Defender in 1895 and Columbia in 1899 were sailed to victory by Deer Isle crews, among whom was Philip Haskell, Stacy’s older brother.
The Ark is now Pilgrim’s Inn, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.