“You know you really don’t have to come. It’s just a formality of signing checks and documents. Just mail them in; the attorneys will take care of the rest.”
My realtor was trying to tell me that it wasn’t necessary to fly from London where I worked, to attend the settlement of my first Nantucket house.
But, I was determined … Even if it was “off season”, rainy and cold.
“You know how long I’ve pined for a place here, Robert! I’m coming!”
I’d long ago fell in love with this small strip of well-preserved sand called Nantucket; spending summers during college in a room rented on Centre Street from a nice elderly lady; and later during my years in NYC – avoiding the LIE/Hamptons crawl for long weekends in one or the other of precious few town rentals that would permit a well-mannered dog.
Now finally, there would be a set of keys belonging to me! Keys that fit the door of a house built in 1837 … A door that swung open for 19 former custodians before I knew it existed.
Last week, Nantucket Preservation Trust put out a call asking Nantucketers, or anyone who loves Nantucket, to send us artistic representations about what they love most about their Nantucket home, or any building on Nantucket. So far, we have received dozens of fantastic pieces. To submit your own, please email an image with a brief caption to email@example.com.
Continue reading below to see more photos, paintings, and drawings.
If you’ve driven up Orange Street on Nantucket than this house may look quite familiar!The history of 74 Orange Street is a true find! It may be hard to imagine from its current state, but in the late nineteenth-century Owen Chase (First Mate and survivor of the Essex whaling ship) called 74 Orange Street home. After his journey on the Essex he returned to the island and wrote a narrative of his experience. This is noted to be the inspiration behind Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick.
Chase’s life has also been made famous in the book: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex written by Nantucket resident, Nathanial Philbrick. Recently the book was turned into a film: In the Heart of Sea directed by Ron Howard and is set to be released, March 2015. Actor Chris Hemsworth (featured on the left) will be starring as First Mate Owen Chase. The film’s trailer can be viewed below.
Chase’s career officially came to an end around 1840 when he resided at his 74 Orange Street home. Towards the end of his life it has been noted that he reached a point of insanity and began hiding food in the attic of his home.
Today the historic property is passed by but often draws attention due to it’s state. The picture to the right features a recently restored handrail. The owner does appear to be slowly restoring it to the glory of it’s heyday.
You never know what you’ll find when discovering a house’s history. Today, a run-down historic Nantucket property but once home to Owen Chase, First Mate of the famous Essex whaling ship.