Paradise Lost - Our Little Worldly Paradise Destroyed By Mother Nature`s Fury (1938 Hurricane)

Paradise Lost

This page is intended to be an encomium to our many happy summers at our family cottage. It was located on Marks Cove just around the marsh from Swifts Beach in Wareham, Massachusetts. Marks Cove contins a tiny archipelago consists of four islands, two are tiny, then there is a larger one with a sandy beach and finally there is the largest one that even has a name, Cedar Island.

Along the Northern edge of the cove, a small forest or woods laced with pine and oak sneaks down to the marsh until finally giving way to the marsh grasses where the tide washes in and out. The marsh grasses protect and nurture many marine creatures like Fiddler crabs, minnows, fledging stiped bass and other marine likfe.

At the edge of the woods overlooking a salt water meadow, our cottage stood. It was supported by sturdy cedar pilings or posts. On a full moon high tide, the water would creep under our cottage and we would have to wade through the water to get into our front door which was really a side door that opened directly into the small kitchen.

Up until 1935 or so, we had no running water and relied on a driven well to supply water to the cottage.

There was a hand pump in the kitchen. We always had to make srue that we saved a pitcher of water every night so that in the morning we could use it to prime the pump and get it going for the next day.

We had a garage and, of course, a single hole outhouse.

During the winter, we kept out rowboat in the garage and every spring my father, Irving Brown, would bottom paint it with red bottom paint to keep the barnicles from attaching themselves to the bottom of the boat. We moored it off the beach so it was in the water all summer.

One summer, my Mother told me, I found the bottom paint and a paintbrush. I proceeded to bottom paint the family sedan, starting with the right fender. Luckily, my attempt was discovered before the paint had a chance to dry and my father used turpentine to remove it. This was my first artistic endeavor and I always liked to draw and paint from then on.

I intend to show many pictures of our idyllic summers before our paradise was lost.

Just in case you missed the blue underlined "paradise" in the paragraph above, click here for a glimpse of paradise.

Below is a picture of what our cottage looked like when it was first built. The people in the picuture are my Mom's Aunt Mable and her husband, Uncle Burt, who built the cottage. I don't know which are which, but I think the woman on the left may be Aunt Mable who was a sister of my Mom's mother, therefore an Aunt. I remember her from my childhood, but can't recall meeting Uncle Burt Spurr - Spurr was their last name.

The cottage was willed to my Mother after Aunt Mable died, I think. Anyway, they did not own the land. It was on a 99 year lease. That is what my Mother told me.

The cottage would be almost 100 years old today.

Notice the old car tucked away in the trees to the left.

Here is two pictures of our family cottage right after it was built by Uncle Burt...



The porch in front was screened in when we lived there. Guests could sleep on beds on the porch. My brother, Bruce, and I usually slept on the porch while my Mom & Dad had a bedroom off the kitchen. Since there was no running water, we had an outhouse out back by the garage.

Before my Mom, Gladys Rondeau, married my Dad, Irving Brown, she spent lots of time at the cottage and Swifts Beach with her friends.

Here is a picture of one of her beaus. It looks like a Buick, circa 1926 0r 1928. Gladys, my Mom, was 21 in 1928. As you can see, Gladys was very pretty and my Dad really lucked out when she agreed to marry him. They were married in Trinity Church. in Copley Square, in Boston-in October 12, 1930. I, Walter, was born September 18, 1931.

The outhouse is in the back of the picture, to the left of the garage. It has a louvered door. Many outhouses had crescent moons cut in the door. In colonial days a crescent moon meant it was a female outhouse while a star meant it was for males.

The Buick's headlights are pointing at our cottage.

From Here to A Special Niche