Finally, for Father’s Day, the weather was perfect—the kind of day that we have seen far too seldom this year—blue skies, no haze, not too cold, not too hot, a breeze making waves lap gently on the shore—in short, perfect for lunch with parents and sister on the deck at the cottage. Dessert was shortcake, with the first native strawberries of the season, deep red and succulent.
|From the deck, a view beyond the neighboring dock to the Mt. Desert Hills|
As my father and I sat enjoying the view, he reminisced that he owes this piece of real estate good fortune to his maternal grandfather, a speculative sort, who bought the small piece of ocean frontage in the Depression for $35.00 (Thirty-Five Dollars). unable to turn it for a quick profit at $85.00, my great-grandfather instead purchased a cute little dairy cottage from a local farm and had it moved to the property, and later gave it to my parents, who added a large living room and a deck dramatically poised high above the edge of the beach (which is what we call the mix of pebbles and rocks along the shore in Maine)
|Because of the unending bad weather this year, very few boats are out yet|
My father went on to remember that later on, his paternal grandmother, who owned a larger place just down the road, decided after WWII to sell that cottage, for $2,000. Lest the reader be gasping in amazement, in that same era, the grandest shore front cottage in our town, 3 floors of hulking stone and shingle 16 bedrooms strong, on a 3 acre plot in the most fashionable summer neighborhood, was sold fully furnished, for a mere $15,000. The next time that house, still hulking, still fully furnished, sold, in 1963, the price was $55,000. That purchaser sold it a decade and a half later, now unfurnished, but hulking still, for an even million, a local record at the time. And so it goes…the last sale of my great-grandmother’s cottage was in the early 80’s, in the low six figures. The next time it goes on the market, it will likely be much higher, and the purchaser far more likely to be wealthy than before. And so it goes…