"Beyond the town (West Cove) was the lake, which stretched toward the horizon and during the winter was a vast white plain interrupted only by the humped black tufts of the four islands in its midst."

George and his mother, Kathleen, walk to West Cove, to have Dr. Box check George’s hand -- the one that Howard bit during his epileptic seizure. As they walk into town, “Kathleen turned the corner, eager for the first look at West Cove that any traveler had when she approached town from the south.” 

Harding modeled West Cove on small towns in the Greenville area, along the southern shore of Moosehead Lake. The year would have been around 1926 – a time when the logging industry was in decline, and the region was becoming popular with summer visitors for its fresh air, good hunting and fishing, and outdoor recreation.