In the early 19th century, North Haven island became a destination for wealthy Bostonians.  Calling themselves the “rusticators”, the summer visitors built large vacation homes along the island’s shores.  One such house is seen located in the center of this photograph.  Situated atop a steep rocky outcrop, the house was built in 1889 for Alfred and Mary Bowditch.  In 1902, the Bowditchs sold the house because reportedly Mrs. Bowditch found the exposed location “too glary.”  Fred S. Mead owned the house until 1922 when he sold it to Joseph Jr. and Cora Lyman Oliver Choate.  Mrs. Choate wanted a house that would hold 9 servants and found it in this large Victorian home.  The Choates spent nearly fifty years there and sold it to Harry and Joan Cobb in 1970.  The original owners of the summer house, Alfred and Mary Bowditch, later purchased the Lewis Ames farm in 1908, which is seen in this photograph on Ames Point located westerly across the cove.

Lydia Brown and Nan Lee
North Haven Historical Society

Catalog Number LB2007.1.101832