Cottage History


Tucker - Johnson  "The Little House"

The Tucker "Little House" was built around 1910 by Margaret Doyle from New York. An artist, she later sold the property in 1930 to another artist and friend, Gertrude Howe from Hastings On the Hudson, New York for $3,000. Gertrude's children, Bobbi Tucker and Priscilla Johnson inherited the property in 1996.

The original structure only had a dirt floor, wood stove and one bunk. Today, the Little House has a full kitchen, round fireplace, dining room and two sleeping bunks up in the Crow's Nest. The 8' panoramic window facing the ocean provides breathtaking views. The Little House is only 30' from the edge of the Bluff and looks straight below to the inner Nauset Harbor.

Tucker - Johnson   "The Studio"

Overlooking the Atlantic ocean, sandy beaches and the ancient Nauset Marshes is a group of weathered grey buildings that have remained largely unchanged for 80 years. Although they originally only deserved the description of “duck shacks” they now have all modern amenities except that some are still partially supported upon locust posts. Mansions have grown up around them but their 180 degree view of the sea from a 50 foot high bluff is equal to any of those.  The morning sun rises from the shining water to light their faces and the golden evening sunset spreads out over the lawn. They are in a spectacular setting. 

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Strickler Cottage

The Strickler cottage was built around the 1920s as a fisherman's cottage. It consisted of three very small bedrooms, a small kitchen and a living room. Its walls were stuffed with horse hair and newspaper as primitive insulation, and a wood burning stove provided heat in the colder months. The cottage was originally set far back from the bluff, and a town road known as Cliff Road ran between it and the ocean. Eventually, erosion took enough of the bluff so that Cliff Road no longer exists, and the cottage is about 50 feet from the bluff.

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The Calderwood cottage was built in 1880 by a woman from Kansas City who used it in the summertime. In the garage there was a horse stall and a place for a carriage, as well as a 3 hole lavatory (out house). Next to the garage was a windmill for pumping water from a well. The cement stanchions for the tower still exist. The 10' diameter well hole was filled in by Mr. Calderwood for safety. The cottage was built of first-cut pine tongue & groove which made it strong. The driveway for the cottage is off Cliff Road; most of Cliff Road eroded from the top of the Bluff in the 1940's. The Calderwood driveway is all that is left of it.

Up until approximately 1940 it was owned by the Brierly family who had owned it for a number of years. It was then bought by the Croll family around 1942. Mr. Calderwood bought the cottage from Mrs. Croll in 1958 for $14,500.

The cottage now has 2 1/2 bathrooms and 4 bedrooms and is heated with oil hot water. It sits high above the Nauset inner harbor about 50 feet from the edge of the Bluff and has spectacular views.


The Oberteuffer house was completed in 1941. Contracts were let in 1939 and the grading begun in 1940. The grading and draining of the lot was done by Eddie Elnathan Eldredge of Chatham, and little Teddy Oberteuffer rode on the bulldozer. The design of the house was done by a professor of architecture at Ohio State University, Gilbert Coddington. Gilbert had never seen the ocean but was able to work from photographs of the site and the intended view and produced the design that is largely unchanged over the ensuing 70 years. It is  interesting to note that when the house was originally sited on the lot the main supporting beam was pointed directly at the opening between the point and North Beach. Coddington's fee for the design work was a week in the house for himself and his family, which he finally collected in about 1946.. 

The carpenter on the job was Stanley Crosby. Del Oberteuffer once saw Stanley setting up a table saw for a complex cut and said it looked complicated. Stanley replied "Ain't cut a right angle since I been on the job." Alvin Fulcher, the wonderfully profane blacksmith from Eastham was asked to make andirons for the fireplace in the living room. When he was told that the fireplace was five feet high he said "well Je--- Ch---- why don't you wall it off and call it a bedroom?"

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Tenney   "Windward"

Windward” was built in 1916 to 1917 and completed for occupancy the summer of 1918.  Source for history of the cottage was Constance Tenney who was 11 years old in 1918 and my father, Captain Joseph F. Tenney, USN (Retired), who was eight years old at the time.  When the cottage was completed there was only one cottage to the north owned by Richardson (MS. Marvel rented the cottage), now owned by the Calderwood family.  To the south were eight cottages and the old camp:

  • David Young’s cottage (care taker of the old camp)
  • Farnham’s cottage
  • Callahan’s (now owned by Kenna)
  • Maloney’s (Cottage B now owned by Farnham girls)
  • Teft’s (now Scofield)
  • Bennett’s (Fisk Rollins married Alice Bennett, now Cunningham)
  • Jarvis’ (Weede, Bickel, now owned by Hurlburt)
  • Taylor (now owned by Hurlburt)

Shortly after we built, Bixby, Crowl (Burling) and Rollins (now McGee’s) cottages were built.

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The Holden cottage on Priscilla Road was built by Albert C. Holden, father of current owner Stanley Holden. In 1950 Albert bought the lot for $500. For a cottage he dismantled a one-room camp off the side of Airport Hill in Worcester overlooking Coes Pond. He redesigned it into a three-room cottage and loaded the bits and pieces onto a small trailer and carted it to Nauset Heights that summer.

Albert, who's hobby was wood turning also made all of the wodden furniture, the beds and the kitchen cabinets. The kitchen is finished in knotty pine. Much of the lumber in the cottage Albert helped fell and cart out of the woods in Sterling, MA. He had the wood sawed into shape to form the windows, studs and other lumber that went into adding two 9x7 bedrooms to the original 15x17 room that serves as a combination kitchen nook and living room.

The cottage is just a short walk to Priscilla beach. If you look closely you will see pear cactus growing long the edge of the driveway.

Farnham   "Cottage A"

Our house is named Tred-y-Noch which means house on the the hill in Welch. My grand parents Onsville and Mary Farnham picked out two one quarter acre lots in 1899 while on their honeymoon and built a cottage by 1901. During the years improvements were made that included dormers, a hand dug cellar, a sleeping porch, and in 1940 a new two car garage with a sleeping loft on top. In 1950 my father Bill Sr. became the new steward of the house and added another dormer, and in the 1960's he bought cottage B from the Callanans.  This added another four lots of land. In 1972 Bill Jr. took over the stewardship and added in 2000 a major renovation that included a new kitchen, living room, and garage.

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Farnham  "Cottage B"

Cottage B was the first Callanan house built on Nauset heights by Francis Callanan, Nancy Callanan Barker's grandfather. The Kenna house was also built by Francis Callanan.  My grandfather, Onsville Farnham introduced his good friend from Boston, Francis Callanan to Nauset Heights at the turn of the century. Cottage B was then built in 1903. In the early 1960's my father, William Farnham Sr bought Cottage B from Dr. Sampson Callanan's two children, Paul Callanan and Lotta Callanan Doherty. Since the early 1970's my sister's, Betsey Blair and Polly Meadows and myself, have enjoyed raising our families there in the summers and now our children are doing the same! 

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Cunningham "Bennett House"

The Cunningham family now enjoys the enormous pleasure of the “Bennett House”, having purchased the home in May, 1992 from the Fiske Rollins estate. In that context, the history below is a scant beginning to what we hope will become over time a rich recitation of the Bennett House’s and occupants’ contribution to the history and lore of the Heights.

It all begins somewhere between the drawing of the “Nauset Inlet Hight’s (sic)” plan, surveyed by Tulley Crosby of Brewster, MA. in 1900; and the Arthur L Sparrow plot plan of “Nauset Harbor Heights”, drawn up for Fred and Robert Seaver of Boston in 1915. 

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Shaunnasey "Dune View"

The ‘Dune View’ cottage at 90 Nauset Heights Rd was built in the 1930s by a local man by the name of Simeon Atwood.  The cottage was bought in 1939 by the Condon family of North Attleboro, Massachusetts. The original house had a separate structure behind the house which included an outhouse and a garage.  The indoor bathroom was added before the Condon family bought the house.  The cottage is truly a summer cottage as it has never been winterized.  The outhouse and garage were demolished in 2005 to accommodate a new septic system. 

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Mahaney   "The Big Cottage"

We call our home (7 Doane Way) “ The Big Cottage” or “The Barnes Cottage” and that’s because our parents Ellen & Jack Mahaney are next door in their home known as  “The Little Cottage”  and/or  “My Fair lady.”  In 1963 my parents rented a cottage on the Heights for a two week family vacation.   It was called “The Salt Box” and the “Yoke” which is on the corner of Iyanough and Nauset Heights Road and now owned by Jan Smith.  That first summer we drove as a family (Mom and Dad and 4 little kids) from Waterbury, CT  to our first ever Nauset Heights family vacation.  

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The Romey cottage was built by Mary Hersey; an elementary school teacher from Milton. Mary had originally bought the old Doane Farm in the "teens", sometime before 1920. Her sister Helen and Helen's husband Howard Patterson lived with Mary on the Cape in the summers, and she lived with them in Milton during the winters.  The upkeep of the farm eventually became too much for Mary so she decided to sell the Farm, and in 1946 she built a house next door, up the hill, overlooking Mill Pond and the Mill Race; 50 Nauset Heights Rd. She had 11+ acres, eventually selling off two lots fronting on Nauset Heights Road, one to the late Willis Pattison.

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Burling "Nausetscape"

On October 11, 1941, Catherine Halladay Croll purchased 95 Nauset Heights Road, a property located on the edge of the bluff overlooking Nauset Harbor, the outer beach and the Atlantic Ocean.  Barnstable County records indicate the two bedroom one bath Craftsman-style cottage was built around 1918.

On December 11, 1941  (four days after Pearl Harbor) architect's plans arrived.  In less than six months, the little house was transformed into a 5 bedroom, 2 bath structure.

The house was inherited by Barbara Croll Burling in 1961 and is currently enjoyed by third and fourth generation family members.

Built in the California bungalow style, the cottage features deep bracketed eaves, Eight over one windows and relatively high ceilings.  Nausetscape was fully winterized in 2002.

If you would like to help preserve the history of your Nauset Heights cottage please contact us at