A few years ago, photographer Fran Houston began taking pictures of old-timers who make their home on Peaks Island.

She lives on the island, and she worried that some of Peaks’ older residents were dying without having their stories recorded and told.

So she set out to change that. Her project, “For the Love of Peaks,” is an ongoing effort to take black-and-white photographic portraits of island residents and tell their stories through a series of storyboards that accompany the images. She has related many of their stories through a monthly column in the Island Times.

Now, Houston has brought them all together in a self-published book, “For the Love of Peaks.” She will show her sepia prints and storyboards beginning Saturday in a weeklong exhibition at the Addison Woolley Gallery in the Bakery Building, at 61 Pleasant St. in Portland.

The show will open with a book launch and a reception from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, and continue with regular hours from 1:30 to 5 p.m. Sunday through June 18.

The exhibition was funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission.

“I’ve been visiting with the older people, and they’ve told me their stories. I felt an urgency because some of them were dying or leaving the island because they can’t afford the taxes. I felt like it was important to gather their stories in one place,” said Houston, who has lived on Peaks since 2003.

In all, there are 33 portraits in the show.

“Some of them have not been on the island all that long, but their love of the island and their love of the community is so strong,” she said. “That’s really what I was looking for. Some are icons. Some are just everyday folks. But they all have unique stories.”

A portion of the book’s sales will go to the Peaks Island Tax and Fuel Assistance program. The book is available at Long-fellow Books, the Maine Historical Society and Books Etc. 

Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or at:

[email protected]


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