“The cove has always been the center of Lanesville, and the Shack has been the epicenter. Whatever you’re feeling going to or from work, you can always drive to the cove.”
Jim Hafey said this in November, in a lantern-lit interview at a long plank table in the Lane’s Cove Fish Shack.
In 2001, Hafey moved with his wife and children to Lanesville, to a house with a front porch, lined with rocking chairs, facing the cove.
“At that point I was up to my eyeballs in caring for my little kids; I barely knew the cove was there. My wife started walking the kids down to the cove, and pretty soon going down to the cove was a de facto thing. Now my kids spend the whole summer down there.”
– And now Hafey has proudly spent every Saturday morning for two years restoring the cove’s signature building – a building that represents a time when the fishing boats were thick and the Coast Guard shimmied its vessels through the gap. Later, abandoned by its last honest occupant, George Morey, the Fish Shack lurked empty, representing an easy shelter for questionable activities and large personalities.
According to legend (and Jim Hafey,) there was a certain Lanesville crew whose favorite predawn fun was attaching an old wrecked dory to the back of a truck, dousing it in gasoline, lighting a match, and dragging the flaming boat through town. Welcome to Lanesville, as they say.
In 2011 the city declared the Shack condemned, but a few Lanesville men, quietly inspired by Russell Hobbs and including newcomer Hafey, began talking about saving the place.
“We got a committee together,” Hafey said, meaning that’s what the city wanted, “but we knew we were going to make it happen one way or another.” A certain sentiment had permeated all the men who came together in that year to rebuild the Shack, Hafey explained, “We don’t have a lot that’s steady in our lives, but this we can do.” Again, welcome to Lanesville.
Hafey was appointed chairman of the Building Committee by Mayor Kirk, a committee that does the work to make sure the Fish Shack remains weather and hooligan tight.
I asked Hafey what he thought the Fish Shack means to him and to the community:
“I feel like a part of me went into this shack – I had wanted my kids to grow up and say, ‘my dad worked on this. To the community, the Shack represents an idea that we can actually put something together ourselves.”
Welcome to Lanesville.