3 North Liberty

An NPT House History

Steven Skinner, mariner

c. 1805

3 North Liberty Street
3 North Liberty Stree - Courtesy Nantucket Historical Association3 North Liberty Street c. 1880s
Courtesy Nantucket Historical Association

Nineteenth-century deeds for the house at 3 North Liberty describe the property as “a certain lot of land in Nantucket, in that part of the town called Egypt.” Liberty, North Liberty, and Lily Streets meet in the heart of “Egypt,” an early Nantucket place name that referred to an area south of Lily Pond, extending to the end of the Wesco Acre Lots on India Street; its exact boundaries are nowhere described. Why it was called Egypt is not known, although it is possible that the palpable darkness of the outskirts of the tightly clustered and more brightly lit town reminded some of a biblical reference: “And the Lord said unto Moses, stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.” (Exodus 10:21)