[FNCA History]

The Hinckley Cabin

Very little information is readily available about the former Hinckley Cabin. It was located at the northeast end of camp beyond the Boys Bunkhouse on Assembly land that was sold in 1984. The location of the Hinckley Cabin is on the map in the 1982 brochure here. (It's #25, all the way over to the right.)

The Hinckley Cabin was most likely the fourth cabin built at the Assembly and was probably constructed sometime between 1938-1941. There is a cabin agreement to build the cabin on file dated July 1, 1938, so the cabin was built sometime soon after that. According to a 2017 interview with Lois Hinckley (1943-2022) of Vienna ME, the Hinckley Cabin was definitely in active use by the Hinckley family from 1946-1955 while her father, the Rev. Dr. Edward B. "Ned" Hinckley, was president of Babson Institute (now Babson College) in Wellesley MA.

The 8/20/46 minutes of the FNCA Board of Trustees clearly indicate that the cabin had already been built at that point, and Lois Hinckley did not remember it as seeming at all brand-new when she first began attending as a child in 1946 — in fact, she recalled the cabin itself as seeming "well used" her first year in it. Since the Assembly did not meet from 1942-1945 because of World War II, therefore the Hinckley Cabin was built sometime during the years leading up to the war.

Since Lois was born during WWII, and since her grandfather, Rev. Charles H. Kuenzli, became the FNCA's second president in 1940 but died during the war, the Hinckley Cabin was built before the war and used by her parents and older brother and sister for several years before the war as well as the 10 years after.

The Hinckley Cabin was built by Lois Hinckley's parents and maternal grandmother: Edward B. "Ned" Hinckley, his wife Dorothy Kuenzli Hinckley, and her mother Vivian M. Kuenzli, wife of the late Rev. Charles H. Kuenzli who was one of the Assembly's core lecturers in the first two decades and became the FNCA's 2nd President in 1940.

The cabin itself was your basic rectangle with (in Lois's words) "a bump out on one side" for the master bedroom. Outside, there was an outhouse a short distance away, as well as a large 3-trunked birch tree that Lois remembers sitting in often as a child.

The Hinckleys are in the 1948 All-Camp Group Photo below. Lois Hinckley is the little girl sitting on the lawn in the front row third from the right. Her father, Ned, is seated immediately behind her. Her mother, Dorothy, is sitting to the right of him. Her grandmother, (Mrs. Charles H.) Vivian Hinckley, is the next one over. Just behind and to the left of Ned is her older sister, Marjorie, with the large, dark-colored hanging bow on her dress. The page of identifying names below the photo says at the bottom that her older brother Ed was "absent".


© FNCA 2011

So far, nothing has surfaced to suggest that the Hinckley Cabin was ever used by any family other than the Hinckleys before, during, or after the period mentioned above. Correspondence also indicates that the title to the cabin was owned by the Hinckleys, not the Assembly.

By the mid-1960s, the cabin started falling into disrepair. By the early 1980s it had became so dilapidated that it was quite dangerous and had to be torn down, possibly in the Fall of 1982, but far more likely before the session in 1983.

In 1984, the land which the Hinckley Cabin was on was sold to long-time Assembly member Ed Schnurr (who served on the Buildings & Grounds Committee for many years) and his wife Wendy (Ashbridge) Schnurr. The purpose of the sale was to raise the necessary funds to buy the current New Hampshire property that was originally part of the Weston Way housing development (built in 1984-1985) immediately adjacent to our land between the state line and the State Line Store.

One of the housing lots in that development was extremely close to the Perry Cabin, and it was deemed best to buy it and the one next to it instead of allowing permanent residences to be built that close to camp. Shortly thereafter, the Boston Cabin and Laird Cabin were built on those two NH lots in 1988 and 1990, respectively, with enough woods to act as a buffer zone between them and the nearest homes.

[FNCA History]

84 Main St, Fryeburg, ME 04037 (map)