The last time I visited the Olson House was about 30 years ago. I was doing workshops for the great and powerful Peter Ralston's “Island Photographic Workshops” and the Olson House was on the agenda.
A group of photo enthusiasts gathered at the Ocean House in Port Clyde, where we were all well cared for by Buddy Murdock and his gracious crew. Ralston is a big name in the photo world which attracted folks from all over. How I got roped into leading the workshop is still a mystery, but it was fun and I met some lovely people. I still hear from participants, many of whom had never been to Maine.
Ralston had a terrific schedule lined up. We visited islands up and down the coast and saw many unique Maine settings. This was back in the '80s when much of the coast still worked fishing. And Peter was connected. He got us places inaccessible today — many are gone.
One of the key relationships in the Ralston arsenal was his history with the Wyeth family. Peter was, and still is, very active with all that is Wyeth in Maine.
We visited Monhegan, where Jamie still had a house and studio, and the Olson House, Andrew's famous setting for the “Christina's World" painting. Peter could open doors, and the Wyeth connection drew many people to the workshops. We did not chase Andrew Wyeth around Port Clyde, but there were sightings. It was a great adventure for us all and a wonderful opportunity to photograph.
On rainy days, I got to be the entertainment committee which allowed us to review photos and misbehave. Our E6 slide films were processed each evening and ready to view the next day. A dedicated and gifted young man, Martin Nerber, was in charge of film and he never failed us.
If you ever have a chance, the Olson House is a must see, in my humble opinion. A great piece of architecture, historic and well cared for.