n a lovely location, just a hop, skip, and a jump from Good
Harbor Beach in Gloucester, Massachusetts, stands a
charming, flower- and flag-bedecked, rainbow-hued Victorian cottage. Built some time between 1895 and 1900 on
a small, sun-dappled, rock-strewn plot of land, its asymmetrical facade is embellished with the hallmarks of the
romantic Queen Anne style: a turret, wraparound porch,
bay windows, stained glass, fancy-cut shingles, and an
abundance of highly expressive ornamental woodwork.
Today, the postcard-pretty house rivals the celebrated Painted Ladies of San Francisco’s Alamo Square,
but in 1981, when a Wellesley, Massachusetts, couple purchased the structure, it was an unremarkable, drab-gray,
and woefully neglected Victorian pile.
Prior to the purchase, the couple and their three
daughters had summered in East Gloucester in beachside
rentals, delighting in the briny pleasures of sea and sand.
In 1980, the family was ensconced in a rented house around