Janet Nichols Derouin has written a book to convey the story of our great-grandparents’ early lives, courtship, and eventual family life at Pine Knoll – the place they called home. Our grandfather and his siblings were raised there, and Pine Knoll remained in the family until 1975. A fortuitous discovery one day in the Pine Knoll attic motivated Janet to begin researching this story. She then spent years reading old letters and diaries, researching in libraries and archives, and compiling a chronological account. She incorporated transcripts of original letters and quotes from diaries, letting us read the exact words written by these ancestors and their contemporaries. Janet wrote descriptions to provide context, and at times added her own commentary.

The result? A book-draft of over 900 pages, covering the story from the 1850’s to 1883, in three parts:

Illustrations, charts, and  plates are NOT included in the text, but Janet prepared many of them, and hoped that the book would eventually be well-illustrated. In late 2018 I (Janet’s cousin Sandy) began posting selected images into online galleries on SmugMug so they can be consulted by readers:

Each link above is set to open in a separate window, so it should be possible to have the illustrations handy while still viewing this website and/or reading Janet’s text.

Editor’s Note: Please be patient about this work-in-progress. The photo below reveals the physical size of Part II, left, and Part III, with my notes sticking out:

Parts II and III, May 2018

Part III is incomplete, covering only 1880-83, but there are boxes of letters, diaries, and files that Janet intended to work into future pages covering 1884-1900, plus Part IV, 1901-1929. When Janet and her husband retired to Maine in 2000, moving to a smaller home, she packed this project away. Years passed. In 2012, when I called Janet to inquire about an obscure bit of family history, she readily answered my question, but then offered the entire project to me! She had just turned 83 and was happily creating paintings (which were selling well), so she did not expect to resume the Pine Knoll book project.

In May 2013 I accepted her boxes and files for safe keeping, including the latest printout of her book-draft, and her computer files for Parts I and II.  In 2017/2018 I carefully read the entire draft, taking notes or making marks for possible edits. By July 2018, Part 1 was edited, and I began to design this website, to share it. In December 2018 I launched the website with Part I.  Part II was added in September 2019.

I’d like to add Part III, but… I lack time and lack an editable computer file. (Janet’s computer had crashed, and she lost some files). In February 2018 I took Janet’s Part III printout (230 pages) to a commercial copy center to be scanned and OCR’d. The Optical Character Recognition software couldn’t read some of Janet’s italic fonts, unfortunately. From the scan I did obtain both a PDF file (13 MB) and a print copy on which I made notes for future editing. 

I hope that someday another member of our family will move this project forward. We are lucky that Janet collected and preserved relevant resources for the as-yet-unwritten chapters (1884 – 1929). She keeps telling me that the 1890’s will be VERY interesting!  She and I both hope that the rest of the Pine Knoll Story can be written and shared. For now, the boxes are stored in my home.
— Sandy Nichols Ward

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