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A busy and beautiful day on Nantucket

Jennie Sparrow | 7/7/2017

Just before the busy 4th of July holiday, Tyler and I took trip to Nantucket. It was his first visit and my second visit and what a fantastic time we had! The weather was absolutely perfect—it was a very comfortable, sunny 73 degree day with nothing but blue skies, the perfect weather for setting sail!

The day started with a speedy yet scenic Hy-Line ferry ride to the island. Coming in around Brant Point Lighthouse, we were welcomed by a picture-perfect view of downtown: quaint homes and businesses clustered together, the spire of the First Congregational Church watching down on town below, all perched above a busy, boat-filled harbor. Once off the ferry we followed the old cobblestone streets into town and took pictures of gorgeous rose-covered homes and antique cars. We enjoyed the sea breeze as we set off to find our first home to photograph.

The most moving and memorable part of the day for both of us was the sweet nature of the few locals whose homes we photographed. Not only were they gracious and kind, excited to help us to set up the photo shoots, and even driving us from location to location, but we noticed there was a very powerful feeling of . . . pride. Pride to live and to own a home on an island with such a unique and rich history.

We met one homeowner, in particular, who was just thrilled to give us a tour of her beach cottage. She showed us the part of the original house that was a scallop shucker’s shack, and told us the home was previously owned by descendants of President John Quincy Adams. She showed us a very cool, old, spiral staircase that was salvaged from a shipwreck in Georgia. Then she gave us a brief lesson in “linoleum mats”—gorgeous pieces that look like actual carpets, but are, in fact, linoleum mats painted to look like carpets. The eclectic combination of elements from different eras created the perfect seaside cottage atmosphere. The amount of history in this little cottage was mind-blowing. Tyler and I both agreed, we’d stay in this little treasure in a heartbeat!

"The Little Grey Lady of the Sea” was settled by the British during the mid-1600s and at lot of the current Islanders are related to the founding fathers. Nantucket dominated the whaling industry from the 1700s to the mid-1800s and earned a literary spot in history in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, both Captain Ahab and Starbuck hailing from Nantucket. The architecture is antique, each interior telling a story of old and the desire of the current owners to preserve everything in its original state and to remember and respect its history is a strong one.

In between shooting local homes, Tyler and I were able to take in some sites like the historical Whaling Museum, which is housed in a restored candle factory, the famous Compass Rose Mural at Gardiner’s Corner, and visit a couple of the island’s beautiful beaches that are all within a short walk from the town center.

All in all, it was a very busy but fun-filled day. Quaint doesn’t even begin to describe Nantucket. It is a tiny island but it’s packed with a huge amount of history and beauty!