by Jeanne Gehret


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new captains house on MV

It was fun visiting Martha’s Vineyard several years ago and seeing where Anna Osborn Anthony grew up as daughter of whaling captain Abraham Osborn. Unfortunately, I was not able to see the interior of the house, but the inside look at this historic replica of that era helps me imagine my heroine in the rooms where she lived. (This replica is NOT of Osborn House.)

The captain’s first two wives died young; all told, he sired 11 children over more than a 30-year period. It is easy to envision large family gatherings in a dining room embellished with beautiful moldings and full of beautiful china that may have been accompanied the captain home from a world tour.

Annie’s home served many purposes during her parents’ tenure. Not only did the family grow up there, but at times they used part of the home for the customs house and sometimes rented out rooms. One of their dinner guests was lighthouse inspector Raphael Semmes, who later became the Confederate captain of the Alabama, which sank the whaler Ocmulgee owned by the Osborns.

Like many homes on the Vineyard, the Osborn house (built in 1840) was constructed with elements of Federal and Greek Revival styles. As it is prominently situated on South Water street facing Osborn Wharf, Annie probably had a clear view of Katama Bay and the ferry to Chappaquiddick.

For more on Annie’s family and my photo of her home, see this earlier post.

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