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Cape House Hunt: Codfish Park cottage offers glimpse into island history

By Marina Davalos / Contributing writer
Posted Jun 14, 2019 at 8:29 PM

SIASCONSET — By the turn of the century, Siasconset (Sconset) had long been established as a fishing village, a part of Nantucket island but unique unto itself. As we zoom in on Sconset, we find within it another such area, a part of Sconset but unique unto itself, a little neighborhood known as Codfish Park, once the site of ramshackle fishing shacks and shanties. This week’s House Hunt is a historic cottage from that time period that once functioned as a store for the local fishermen — Codfish Park also boasted a barber shop, a bathing suit shop and even a beauty parlor back then, according to the Nantucket Historical Association. There is, displayed on NHA’s Codfish Park page, a black-and-white photo of the cottage, circa 1920, in which you see a sign by the door that reads, “Mrs. Amos Arey, proprietor. Home cooking, hot dogs, soft drinks and candy.”

Realtor Brent Tartamella calls the cottage iconic. “You have climbing roses and hydrangeas in the summer, you can walk up the shell path up to the Sconset Market — it’s Norman Rockwell at its finest, a really magical Sconset spot,” he said. Wake up in the morning, walk up to the store for your coffee and the paper, then take a little stroll down to the beach, which you can see from the property. Everyone in the mostly summer neighborhood is friendly. You can sit outside on a lawn chair with a lemonade and wave to passers-by — it’s that kind of place.

Photo Gallery: Codfish Park

Quaint barely begins to describe the inside of the cottage, with hardwood floors and knotty pine molding, and the kitchen boasts stained wood cabinetry and a stone countertop. It’s just the right size for a solo artist or a cozy couple. The cottage has a solid rental history and can be lived in year-round for the ultimate Sconset experience.

A sign above the front door — the very same entrance upon which hung the sign for Mrs. Arey’s shop — is a sign that reads “Tours End.” According to Tartamella, that’s because the cottage is always the last stop on Gail’s Tours’ cultural Nantucket tour, led by Gail Nickerson Johnson, a seventh-generation islander.