AP NEWS
Related topics

Massachusetts family celebrates a century in Hull cottage

July 8, 2019

HULL, Mass. (AP) — As far as 11-year-old Caitlin Downey is concerned, Hull’s Crescent Beach off Atlantic Avenue is the best beach in the world.

Caitlin says it’s better than those in Florida and even better than the popular Gun Rock Beach just down the street. And she’s not the only Downey to think so — her father, Tim, thinks it too, just as her grandmother Nancy does, and Nancy’s grandparents Edward and Julia did before that.

That family-wide love of Crescent Beach all sits in one little house at 113 Atlantic Ave., where the Downey and Riley families are celebrating 100 years of owning their family cottage.

“So many generations have flowed through that house, and I think that’s pretty unusual,” Bob Riley, a member of the third generation of homeowners, said. “We’ve never even rented it. No other family has ever occupied that house.”

The picturesque house has a white, wraparound porch, a small garden bursting with purple flowers, and hand-painted signs that have lasted generations. Inside, framed black-and-white photos show a clear appreciation of the home’s history, but small details, like a painted mailbox and a modern driveway, bring the house into the 21st century.

“Every so often we have to put some work into it, but it’s held up really well,” said Tim Downey, whose mother, Nancy Downey, and uncle Kevin Riley live in the house now. “We’re going to keep this place forever.”

Edward and Julia Riley bought the cottage in 1919. The house then passed to the pair’s youngest son, Edward, who passed it to his three sons and daughter. That generation of family members all gave their shares to Nancy Downey, Edward’s daughter.

“That house has had a lot of use and a lot of people in and out,” Bob Riley, Nancy and Kevin’s brother, said. “We’ve been in that house for 40 percent of the history of the United States. We’ve seen the Roaring ’20s, three wars, the Great Depression, investment booms, the atomic age.”

The family is hosting a celebration of its 100 years on Atlantic Avenue in July, and Tim Downey says he expects a crowd.

“God willing, we’re going to have four generations of our family at that party,” Bob Riley, who lives in Cohasset, said. “It’s been a family affair, and a very close family at that. ... And I have no reason to think that’s going to change.”

On Monday, two of Tim Downey’s children and one of his nieces stood on the front porch to rub in the sunscreen, find their beach towels and head down the road. They are three of the 24 children who make up the fifth generation of cottage-goers, and they love their days on the beach. Bob Riley even has two great-grandchildren, the beginnings of the home’s sixth generation.

“Not much has really changed here since we were born, and I like that,” said Tim Downey’s daughter Deidre, 15.

Online: https://bit.ly/2Xzx9V4

___

Information from: The (Quincy, Mass.) Patriot Ledger, http://www.patriotledger.com

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.