For most of my life, I’ve strolled down North and South Water Streets in Edgartown, Mass with the confidence and pride that comes with being a landowner. Our family house once stood on Cummings Way, just off North Water. My grandmother Essie bought the house just after the war, and for five decades she spent the summer at this house with a view of the Edgartown Lighthouse from the magnificent back porch.
Our family cherished the times we spent celebrating Essie’s August 17 birthdays, with dozens of her friends piling in around the piano to sing show tunes and us cousins sleeping out in her bunkhouse, a converted one-car garage. It was a magical place every time we made the long drive, and it continued after Essie died in the ’90s.
But we finally sold the house in 2002, and today, on the same spot, a gigantic house complete with a pool has been built. We were assured that the cash buyer wanted to keep Essie’s house just as it was, but rich people have no obligation like that–so everything we remember now is gone, and the neighbor’s view is now of the house and not the harbor.
I think about this place often, and today we are excited to be heading out to sleep on the same street, at the regal and classic Harbor View Hotel. With an even more commanding view of Edgartown Light and the busy harbor, it shall be a luxurious few days, and we will write up a review to be published in GoNOMAD’s Stories about Hotels.
It won’t be Essie’s house, with the familiar smell and welcoming hugs from our 90-year-old granny, but it sure will be great being back on Water Street once again.