Where it all began...


Attean Lake Lodge Wildlife, Hiking, Boating Vacation Spot


  Attean Lake Lodge has been greeting guests since 1893 when Ithamar Howe, of Lowell, Massachusetts, as ”Lessee and Proprietor of Attean Lake Sporting Camps”, advertised “Visit the New Fishing and Hunting Resort at ATTEAN LAKE” in the June 1, 1893, issue of Shooting and Fishing. Further ads of Attean Camps appeared in Forest and Stream throughout that summer and into September.

The 1894 June issue of Maine Sportsman reported “Lewis Smith, of Jackman, game warden and proprietor of the Attean Camps, was drowned recently at Attean Rips, by the upsetting of a boat. He with others was getting some boats down to the pond and instead of carrying past the rips as the others decided to do, ventured to make the run.” His body was not found in the lake until July of that summer.

 John Thomson McLaughlin, of Rahway, New Jersey, first advertised his Attean Camps, Jackman, Maine, in the August 18, 1895, issue of the New York Herald as a place “for sportsmen and families; unique log cabins, comfortably furnished and charmingly located; 18 square miles of the best fishing and hunting grounds in Maine.”

The following spring, of 1896, John was joined by his wife, the former Elizabeth Andrews Dyer, and three sons on Birch Island for the summer. Unfortunately, John died from complications of an appendectomy operation on May 20, 1896, and was buried in the Whipple Cemetery, Jackman, Maine. Elizabeth Dyer McLaughlin continued as the proprietor of Attean Camps until 1899 when the business was sold to Sullivan Newton of Jackman.

 Following the proprietorships of Sullivan Newton, C. S. Cook of Boston, and Fred C. Henderson of Jackman, brothers Henry L. and Ruel E. Holden of Jackman purchased Attean Camps in 1905. Four descending generations of Ruel and Etta (Connors) Holden have continued to maintain this unique island retreat on Attean Lake “the most beautiful lake in Maine” for over 127 years.

J. Harlan Buzby- Summer 2020


Postcard from 1913

 Welcome to Attean Lake Lodge in Maine

Left: ‘Manhattan’

Center: ‘Portland’

Right: ‘Walden’ This camp was first known as the “Casino”

The two camps on the right are the only camps dating from 1895 that exist today from the McLaughlin/Sullivan era.



  • Testimonial 1
    Brad & Andrea,
    "We all had a terrific time at Attean last week. It's a great place for a family get together and the kids loved it. Thanks for bringing us back to life the way it was 100 yrs. ago."
    Sheri & Joel
  • Testimonial 2
    "You created this special place and it is unforgettable for all of us. The food was delicious, the staff friendly and we also appreciated the song-evening with your friends. Our stay was special from the minute we boarded the boat until the last breakfast."
    Doris & Pete
  • Testimonial 3
    Andrea & Brad,
    "We would like to thank you and your family for the wonderful days we spent on your island. We were treated so friendly from everybody you all showed us another side of the American way of life. We will never forget these five days."
  • Testimonial 4
    Brad & Andrea & Barrett, "We hope to have the opportunity to enjoy your lodge and cottages again!"
    ~ Alan & Gwinn
  • Testimonial 5
    Friends at Attean,
    "We just want to tell you how grateful we are that we found your "Unique Retreat" I must confess that being a city girl, I was somewhat nervous with the idea of a vacation in the Maine woods, how pleasantly surprised I was! Your attention to every detail was evident from the start, our cabin was luxurious and the food is outstanding. Our kids can't wait for us to take them back next summer."
    ~ Roger & Ellen
  • Testimonial 6
    "My favorite memories are of the summers I spent with my family vacationing at your splendid resort. I will soon be bringing my own family."
    ~ Greg Atkins
  • Testimonial 7
    "We would like to thank you for having us here and for the wonderful time we spent with you. It was a pleasure to meet you. Thank you again."
    The Szmolda family
  • Testimonial 8
    Attean Lake Lodge,
    When I tell people about my family's vacation last summer, I get one of two response: either "Log cabins, it must be wonderful!" or "No electricity, it must be boring!" They're both right. Attean Lake Lodge isn't for everyone, but for people who want to enjoy unspoiled nature without the hassles of camping, it's paradise. - read more
  • Testimonial 9

    "Nestled in the Maine’s picturesque and serene wilderness, the Attean Lake Lodge provided our team with the ideal opportunity to take a break from our usual, jam packed schedules and reconnect with each other, and ourselves. As I see it, our time at the Attean Lake Lodge was simply priceless, as it provided us with an opportunity to refresh, recharge and recommit ourselves to fulfilling our promise of empowering people to better navigate their health journeys. With new energy, ideas and motivation, we are excited to charge forward and bring Backpack Health to the next level."
    Jim Cavan, CEO and President of Backpack Health