The House of Lords was built in 1753 as a summer getaway for fishing and whaling captains. Until 1986 it was the home of Ginnie Pine, an artist known as the 'Queen of Broadway' and a character in the village of 'Sconset on Nantucket Island. The house is still furnished with her own paintings, her collection of antiques and art, including the needlepoint runner on the stairs that took her 20 years to complete.
Broadway is one of the most historic streets in 'Sconset, sitting on the bluff above Codfish Park, two blocks from 'Sconset Beach. Behind the house is a small alley known as Front Street, still a rutted road as it has been for over 100 years. Front Street leads to the Bluff Walk, a public thoroughfare that crosses the front yards of the bluff mansions, with the Atlantic rolling on to deserted beaches below, to Sankaty Head Lighthouse.
A two minute walk down Broadway leads to the village center with a Post Office, summer grocery and restaurant.
Donald Pine is the second generation owner of the House of Lords on Broadway in S'conset. His mother, Ginny, was known as 'The Queen of Broadway' during her reign, and lived in the house until her death in 1985. Don spends the Spring and Winter each year working on the house to maintain its historical legacy.
When Don's parents bought the house in the '50s, Nantucket, and particularly S'conset were isolated from the 'real world' (the mainland) by more than 30 miles of Nantucket Sound. Airplanes and boats were frequently stopped by weather even in the balmy summers when fog would settle over Nantucket Airport when the rest of the Island was bathing in bright sunshine. Intrepid fathers, like Don's, often had to resort to hiring lobster boats or private airplanes to visit their summering familes over the weekend from New York, DC or Philadelphia. Dispite these difficulties, the summer residents of that time liked it that way because the Island was spectacularly unpopulated and S'conset a first name unlocked front door community.
Now, a half century later, The Island, particularly the Town, is crowded from mid-June thru Labor Day. But S'conset is still as it was then when Don grew up in the summers here, frozen by the historical district surrounding the village. The House of Lords is much the same as the way Ginney left it. Her paintings are on the walls and the lowered kitchen counters still there to make it easier for her to beat the batters for her pies and cakes. And the beach is still 150 steps (Don counted them) from the patio.