Long Beach photographs stir wonderful memories and comments from Ann O’Neil, 81 year old GMG reader from FLA

Ann O’Neil, a Good Morning Gloucester reader, spent some 30 years on Long Beach (about 1940-1970). After spotting her former family cottage flying by in one of the Long Beach animations I recently posted, she was inspired to comment and share:

My house, then #45, is on the front row right about in the middle of the beach.     It now has grey shingles, one story with an open porch that runs the whole length of the house.      There is a walk from the back road on either side of the house which gave us 2 good sized side yards.The house looks completely different than when we owned it.   It had a porch also but it had a railing that ran the whole length.   Now it’s more like a deck…It had 2 big bay windows under the porch roof, painted white with dark blue shutters. 

We sold it in 1969 to the Sullivan family (Archie and Naomi) but I don’t know who owns it now. I am the last of my family…I had 2 brothers…Tommy and Charlie… and a sister Mary.  My brother Charlie owned # 63…I live in Fl since 1991. Long Beach will always have a very warm spot in my heart…they were very, very happy years.   I’m 81 years old now and I still think about my childhood summers…fabulous times. I thank you so much, again, for putting those pix on line…I can get a quick glimpse of my home when the second grouping goes by.  I had many albums of pix and slides taken at the beach but they got lost in a move years ago.”

Despite Ann’s vivid recall, I didn’t identify the correct house at first. I thought it was closer to the old Chicataubut Inn. I’ve been documenting the architecture over the past few years and had an inkling, especially after Ann’s clues of one story, fire break and large lot. Was it this one?

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It was! Ann responded:

“oh, how great.     It’s the second pic, the one with the stairs leading to the beach in front of it.   In fact, I can’t tell if they’re the same steps, but my Dad made one of the sets of steps.   He was afraid the ones that had been installed were not secure so he made his own…He bought the home from Mr. Darcy who had built it himself in the early 30s I believe.    My Dad bought it in 1942…I was 7 years old and I still remember the excitement.   My folks had rented there for 4 years before finding that house.   There were several people trying to buy it, but Mr. Darcy chose my folks cause he liked my Mom and the fact there were 4 kids who would live there.   He had had a  daughter who passed at a very young age.    She was an avid reader and the wall between the living and dining rooms was all bookcases..loaded with kids books.   My sister and I were in heaven because we were readers too.   My sister was 12 at the time and read at a high school level…I was way over the level for my age too…I won’t bore you with any more, but I want you to know, again,how much I appreciate this.   Brought a huge smile to this old face.    Please let me know if you put anymore pix of Long Beach on line…ok?   I love them. Thank you again.”

Thank you, Annie, for harnessing a social memory. I’ve pulled out a few photographs focused on the home and site so it’s easier to look without it flashing by. Now the address is 92 Long Beach. The continuity of place is remarkably unchanged. Here’s to families, summertime and reading!

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7 comments

  • Excellent! “Response and reach well said memories and walked the shore lines carry it with you where ever you land later in life!” Thanks for sharing her too response thank you (Ann O’Neil)! 🙂 Dave & Kim 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • Jackie Hutchings

    You’ll be glad to know that Naomi Sullivan still lives in your old cottage. I see her each day when I am walking my dogs. She’s a very nice lady.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Please tell Ms. Ann O’Neil we are so grateful she remembered my Dad knocking on her door the previous summer! He had knocked on a several doors & handed out his business card to several homeowners on Long Beach the previous summer, determined to find the perfect summer home for his wife & 4 girls at the time! He told all of them if they ever wanted to sell. please give him a call. Lucky for us she called in the spring & my parents bought it immediately. We have taken good care of her family home & created amazing family memories of our own over the last 48 years. We will continue to take loving care of her family home. (and if you have her contact info please share it with me so I can update her). The steps to the beach that her father built have been replaced many times during our stay on Long Beach. Thanks Ms. O’Neal xo Naomi (the eldest of Naomi & Walter (aka Archie)’s children

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Naomi,
      How nice to hear from you. So glad you have built memories of Long Beach that will stay with you a life time as mine have.
      I knew your Dad for years before he bought the house. He was part of a group I “partied ” with thru High School. I lived on Hanks St. In Lowell…the last house right at the park and attended the Moody School from 4th grade on. I can’t recall if your Dad was at the Moody or not. My brothers attnded Keith Academy…maybe they met your Dad there? Don’t remember but do recall he was a funny, funny guy and was very popular in the group. I did not know your Mom but did attend the Dancing school for 2 or 3 years. Think my folks hoped it would make me a little more graceful. Didn’t work…have remained a klutz.
      So nice to make contact with you. My email is …oneilann3523@gmail.com. would love to hear from you.
      Ann

      Liked by 1 person

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