Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

Back in the early ’90s, we owned a 100 yr old summer house on Buzzards Bay in South Dartmouth, MA.  When whale hunters reigned supreme in the 19th century, this was a booming, happening place where fortunes were made and mansions built. Our house–a caretaker’s cottage–was located on the grounds of one such mansion: The Colonel Edward Howland Robinson Green Estate at Round Hill.   Below is an aerial view of the property as it looks today:


And here is the original caretaker’s cottage as it looked in 2009:

Caretaker's cottage, Round Hill, So. Dartmouth, MA. 2009

Note: when we sold this house in 2001, a few years post-divorce, it was a really quaint Dutch Colonial. The buyers more than doubled its size!!!  If you look at the three windows adjacent to the original roofline, you can see where the new addition begins.

Getting back to my sea story….

Colonel Green was a descendent of the family who built and launched The Charles W. Morgan, a 117′ wooden whaler that sailed 37 voyages between 1841-1921. With her whaling days over, Col. Green restored The Morgan to her original splendor, and moored the vessel at Round Hill’s South Pier, where it remained a popular floating museum for the next 20 years.  .


Vintage postcard circa 1927 of the Round Hill pier, from the M.L. Baron archives

Here are some photos (from 2009) of the remains of the pier….

South Pier, Round Hill, So. Dartmouth, May 2009

and looking away from the pier, a bit of the mansion:

Round Hill Mansion, So. Dartmouth MA.,  May 2009

As part of the floating museum, a replica of The Morgan’s mast and hull sections were built to display the mechanics of rigging and whaling gear. Somehow or other (perhaps the hurricane of ’38?) the hull was pushed inland toward the Round Hill golf course.  When my kids were little, they spent hours exploring and playing on this piece of sea history:

  Round Hill and the surrounding seaside was an idyllic respite in a not-so-idyllic time in my life, and I appreciate sharing some of that beauty. 🙂  I hope you enjoyed my interpretation of this week’s challenge as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Unless otherwise cited, all photos taken by T.C. Mulhern, on Mother’s Day, 2009.  The kids brought me back to Round Hill as a surprise gift that year, knowing I’d want to see “our old spot” before Maggie and I moved to Florida!

For more about The Charles S. Morgan, check out the M.L. Baron Archives, and Mystic Seaport Website.

Until next time…..

🙂 🙂 🙂


23 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

  1. it looks so different! I still can’t believe they erected the old ship to be a neat/safe area to explore. Way cooler when it was thorny, overgrown, and a bit spooky to play around!

    • We were there for the best possible time in my kids’ lives: the years when they look forward to family summers and don’t feel like they’re missing something by not being home with friends. By the time it sold, their summer sports and dance camps had cut our “lazy summers” there in half!
      It is a beautiful spot, though! No question!

  2. Thank you for letting us take a glimpse of such a rich, exciting past. It is a beautiful house, so is the spectacular floating museum but above all, a sea just looks so wonderful. A perfect place to dream and recover from all craziness of life.

    • Hello my friend!
      As I said in reply to Dena, I almost used a photo from a local beach…but then I realized “sea” connotes something completely different from surf/beach. Once I figured out the difference, the whaling ship and northern seascape seemed like an ideal choice for the challenge!
      So glad you liked it!

  3. It’s been determined that Florida seascapes are not necessary to make me happy. ANY seascape will do! Even if it happens to be in New England. I would LOVE to explore the whaling history of these towns in Mass. While I’m the ultimate history nerd, I am also the ultimate history tourist. Fun post!

    • thank you, Dena!
      It would have been far easier to slap up a pretty pic of one of our local beaches. As I was getting ready to do that, I realized I’d never blogged about our time in South Dartmouth. You know how it goes…one thing leads to another and soon you’re writing a whole post about an old whaleship! 🙂

  4. This is a fascinating, fully woven story. From the history of the area, to your personal history, to the ruins explored by your children. Beautiful. What a wonderful place to live or to visit each summer. You’ll never be short of writing ideas.

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