Leonard Osier was born in 1921 at home in the main house at Harborside. He was the last of eight children raised during the Great Depression but was able to work his way through Colby College where he graduated in 1943. His main career was as a high school teacher, but for extra income he decided to build some seasonal cottages to accommodate the many summer visitors to the Pemaquid area. In 1947, he purchased for $700 one of the waterfront lots in front of his parents' home and in 1950 built his first two seasonal cabins, the Cormorant and the Osprey.
In 1956, Leonard married Shirley Kempton Vigue, the daughter of the local high school principal, and she became his helper in charge of housekeeping for many years. They purchased the adjoining waterfront lot shortly after their marriage, and by 1965 Leonard had completed his small colony of ten cottages. He retired from high school teaching in 1972, but continued to take loving care of his cottages until his death in 2013.
Harborside Cottages is now owned and operated by Leonard and Shirley’s daughter, Belinda, assisted by her husband Chuck. Harborside’s oldest customers may remember Belinda as a young girl delivering mail or messages, and many of our current customers remember her as a playmate when they themselves came as children with their parents. As a teenager, Belinda worked as part of the cleaning staff, but after graduating from Bates College, she moved away from Maine to explore the world. After living in Boston, Chapel Hill, Omaha, and Rome, Italy, receiving an M.A. in Latin and working primarily as an adjunct Classics professor, she eventually brought her family back to her roots in Maine. Belinda hopes to preserve the unique simplicity of Harborside that her parents created, and to continue to offer a restful and special vacation spot for our seasonal visitors.