Charles Church, locally known as "Charlie", built the Wallis Cove cabins 50 years ago (as of 2014) when his daughter, Laurie, was a small child. Charlie was well-known and loved by the town of Douglas and many have fond memories of his political and philanthropic involvements.
The cabins, and the people who vacationed in them, became a big part of Laurie's life. Families have returned to vacation here for decades.
Why Wallis Cove? Laurie shares "When I was a little girl and my dad and I were looking at the sign he was putting up, I asked him why it was called Wallis Cove. A straight-forward man, my dad looked at me and said, 'Well, this land belonged to your great-great grandfather, Salem Wallis, and this is a cove....so it is Wallis Cove.'" The Wallis family were lumberers in this territory since before Douglas was founded, when it was simply known as the county of New Sherborn.
Since the early 60's - new families have been discovering this natural setting with their families without having to travel far for a vacation.
One of Charlie's dreams was to protect the 100 acres of forest the three cabins reside in. Laurie continues many of the traditions started by her father. Wallis Cove is now protected forestry land under Chapter 61. Chapter 61 allows the land to be assessed as timber producing forest under the management of a professional forester.
Continuing the dream of Charles and Virginia church, daughter Laurie Church manages Wallis Cove today. It is important that Wallis Cove maintain its tranquil setting which is far different from many campgrounds you'll find today.
Though most saw old Charlie as your typical New England swamp Yankee tending to the animals and crops on his gentleman's farm, or cutting and stacking cordwood from his beloved forests, Charles had, to his credit, a degree in engineering, served on the Douglas
Planning Board and Conservation Commission for many years as well as being a trustee and Sunday school teacher for the First Congregational School of Douglas.
Virginia Clark Church worked for over a decade as a clerk for the Douglas Selectmen. She was born in Bar Harbor, Maine. After graduating from Dartmouth, she became Executive Assistant to the President of American Optical Company during WWII.
While horseback riding at a friend's stables, she met a young man also out for an enjoyable day of riding. That fellow was none other than Charlie Church and in April of 1951, they were wed at the Methodist Church in Southbridge, MA.