Founders Story - “Mr. Cinnamon Bear”


On a beautiful September day Hannah, our girls and I packed up our day gear and struck out for Vinalhaven.

If you don’t know Vinalhaven is an island here in Maine that has a large enough year-round population to maintain a post office, a grocery store, and some other small businesses; a destination in the summer but mostly home to a quiet fishing community.

After our amazing ferry ride, Hannah had her sights set on one of her favorite places, The Marston House. The girls and I went up the hill to the Historical Society and walked around town while Hannah went to explore and enjoy herself.

Owner, Sharon was there and with just the two of them getting entangled in conversation, they chatted about everything for quite some time.

Sharon is caring and helpful, not afraid to stop and share time with you, soaking in every second of the encounters she has with so many people who visit the Marston House.

During their conversation, Sharon told Hannah a story about her early antiquing days back when she had her first shop in Carmel Valley, CA. She had gone to Brimfield MA,  in the early 80s and came across a cute, and interesting book. The book was titled “Mr. Cinnamon Bear” originally written and published in 1907 by Sara Tawney Lefferts.


“Mr. Cinnamon Bear” is a small children’s book that though simple and timeless in appearance, is deep in story. Sharon said she paid $125 for an original over 40 years ago and did so not only because of the attractive physical features and its uniqueness, but because of the story and message within. “Mr. Cinnamon Bear” is about a German teddy bear coming to America and being rejected by some of the toys, we can imagine in 1907 the tension that might be there, and it ends with the timeless message of love and enjoying one another for who they are.

Sharon loved this message of truth, that no matter who we are, where we come from, or what’s going on we should love one another. “I guess this is why I spent $125 for this little child’s book back in the 1980s,” Sharon said referring to the story and its message. This had such an impact on Sharon and her family that they had the idea to republish the book. After discovering there were no copyrights or any legal protections, that’s just what they did; reprinting thousands of copies. There are a few floating around out in the world today. I’ve read the book a few times and haven’t found anything to compare to the message found within.


Thank you, Sharon, for this unique piece of history, the inspiration, and for treating us so kindly and lovingly, supporting and encouraging the importance of family.


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