Sprays of Salt: Reminiscences of a Native Shoaler – by John W. Downs – Out Of Print & Hard To Find


Sprays of Salt: Reminiscences of a Native Shoaler  by John W. Downs is Out Of Print & Hard To Find. Copies can be found on Amazon ranging from $75-$150 each.

Several friends who are also “Shoalers” and love Star Island and the Isles of Shoals have asked us to offer their Star Island / Isles of Shoals titles. Many are not currently in print.

Sprays of Salt was published in 1944 by John W. Downs, one of the only native Shoalers to recount every day living on the Isles of Shoals during the latter decades of the nineteenth century. Downs’ grandfather, John Bragg Downs, was the last of the “Old Shoalers” to inhabit Star Island, holding onto his property until the town of Gosport no longer existed.

Growing up on the Isles of Shoals, the son of many generations of seafaring fishermen, the author retells many an adventure and historical event, both on the islands and on the sea. Tales of swordfishing, lobstering, romping with Indian children, and life as one with the sea are told alongside the more famous stories of shipwrecks, pirate treasure, and murder.

In Sprays of Salt, Downs also includes some family genealogy, especially that of the Caswell, Downs, Foss, Spinney, and Odiorne families. In addition, his life-long interest in, and connection to, the Portsmouth and Piscataqua region is evident as he knowledgeable relates the history of the area.

The original text is reprinted, with the addition of a foreword, several photos, and an index. As perhaps the most rare of all Shoals books and out-of-print for over fifty years, we are pleased to make a couple copies of the reprint available again! A rare, first-hand account of a native Shoaler.

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