From 1870 to 1872, the genius architect Samuel Freeman Pratt (1824 — 1920) designed several structures in Oak Bluffs including Union Chapel that still stands proudly. Architectural historian Ellen Weiss believes Mr. Pratt was contracted for 18 private homes, some of the most distinctive cottages in the whole town, including those charmers in the Camp Ground. Ms. Weiss wrote that Mr. Pratt contributed “a dynamic and festive architectural style” that included “jerkinhead gables, candlesnuffers, steep-hipped roofs, finials and dormers.” He was also noted for his use of Mansard roofs developed by French architect Francois Mansart.

This type of roof slopes gradually inward from the bottom up and is generally used to add majesty to smaller homes, at times making room for a third floor. Ms. Weiss found a dozen of the original 18 and only a few are easy to spot. I’ve been trying to find them for years and if you’d like to, I’ve identified 18 candidates. It will take some time for a nice, healthy walk but there is a driving route to see them as well. It would be more practical to drive during the off-season when there’s less traffic and fewer people in a hurry.

Start on Samoset avenue where house numbers 4, 6, 10, 28 and 30 may qualify as Pratt designs. Make a left around the block to Narragansett avenue and house number 16 on the right (the easiest to spot) is the Blood Cottage that was built for railroad magnate Hiram Blood who coined the phrase “The Cottage City of America.” Swing around Waban avenue and make a right onto Pequot avenue where number 59 may have been a Pratt. Then take a U-turn around Hartford Park onto Massasoit avenue and take a look at numbers 12 and 4. Make a left onto Niantic avenue and another onto Pennacook avenue to number 7. Bear in mind that most of these homes have been heavily altered over the years and it isn’t always easy to see how they originally looked.

Two rights again off of Pennacook onto Tuckernuck and see houses 7, 9 and 11. House number 9 was known as the “Swiss Cottage.” Make the left onto Katama avenue at the bottom of Waban Park and a right onto Nashawena Park where house number 10 on the opposite side is a maybe. Circle back down to Katama and take Nantucket avenue towards the Inkwell Beach. Two rights turns place you on Canonicus avenue (which is now one way) and enjoy homes 5, 4 and 3. Head back over to Ocean Park, where houses 47 and 77 are worth a look. Let me know which you think are Pratt houses. For descriptions and hints you should get a copy of City in the Woods: The Life and Design of an American Camp Meeting on Martha’s Vineyard by Ellen Weiss. I’ll be beholden to whoever lets me know the location of the Governor Claflin Cottage.

Congratulations to Farm Neck’s Shelley Stewart, Jr., vice president of Sourcing & Logistics at DuPont, where he is responsible for $24 billion of global procurement and who was selected the Chief Procurement Officer of the year by the National Minority Supplier Development Council on May 15.

Congratulations also to the Oliveira family of Oak Bluffs. Dave and Margaret’s daughter Alicia graduated cum laude from Providence College and became a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. She received her first salute from her Dad, a military retiree, to whom Alicia presented a silver dollar that her deceased grandmother had given her at birth. The gift stems from a long military tradition highlighting a large weekend family celebration. Congratulations Alicia (and Mom and Dad).

The building that was once home to Seasons now houses a new real estate agency, LAER, and the new Yellowdog Gallery. Remember the Green Banana? That was where the Black Dog is today. Let the smirking begin.

It’s opening weekend at the Capawock Theatre and three weeks before the Strand re-opens, thanks to the Martha’s Vineyard Theater Foundation and its many contributors, one of whom I hope is you. If you haven’t had an opportunity or are just returning to the Island please see for more information.

Memorial Day weekend marked the return of Farm Pond monster Vanessa. Summer’s here y’all!

Keep your foot on a rock.

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