They were called “the doctor’s girls,” in their town of South Berwick. Caroline “Carrie” Jewett (left, and below center), Sarah Orne Jewett (center and below left), and Mary Rice Jewett (right and below right), grew up to be affluent and educated in the well-respected Jewett household. Mary was two years older than Sarah, and Sarah six years older than Carrie.
As adults, Sarah and Mary had a closeness that stemmed from Mary’s running of the Jewett household so that Sarah could spend her time writing. In turn, Mary and Carrie were often together at the family compound in Sarah’s absence. When Sarah was away, the sisters exchanged letters, sharing concern for each other and happy news, gentle, nudging humor and family expressions, travel stories and town talk; what emerges is a sisterhood that is also friendship between all three of these “doctor’s girls.”