Annisquam/Bay View, northwestern Cape Ann
A winding, narrow, privet-lined road will take you into the heart of the family compound, past the lily pond, and to a sandy causeway that separates two private beaches. Look to your right: beach chairs and towels, a baby napping under a big umbrella, teenagers diving off the moored dock. To your left: skim boarders, a dancing kite, a game of frisbee. Or maybe no one at all.
Out beyond Sandy Beach, to the north, lies the long pier that Benjamin Butler and his partner built in the late 1800s to ship quarried granite by sea. To the southwest, now set up as a picnic table, you’ll discover the 8’ circular stone that once moored Butler’s yacht America in Diamond Cove. You may remember that Butler served as a Civil War general, before he became governor of Massachusetts in 1883. His descendants cherish Bay View.
Now continue across the sandy causeway, onto the first of the two islands on the estate. Turn right, and you’ve arrived at Punnet, and to a simpler time. Built in 1960 by Adelbert and Judith Ames as a summer retreat for their active family, this unassuming cottage holds many happy memories. There’s plenty of room for yours.
Here, conversation, books, board games, gathering around the fire pit or the dinner table, and watching glorious sunsets all take the place of television and Internet. Plans are made: a game of tennis, exploring the outer island, taking the two kayaks to Annisquam Harbor, beach combing, snorkeling or diving, going on a chartered fishing boat in search of stripers, bluefish or tuna, or on a whale watch.
People who want to explore sandy public beaches leave for Good Harbor, Cranes’s Beach, or countless others. The birders head to Plum Island. Others go to watch the huge waves crash on the ledges at Halibut Point, especially when the weather turns stormy. Rainy day plans also include exploring the old port city of Gloucester, historic Salem, and other coastal towns. Museums, restaurants, antique shops, and galleries abound.
However, guests soon learn that gravity is strong on the roofed front porch of the cottage. Ambitions dissolve, and relaxation takes over in the views of Ipswich Bay, Crane’s Beach, Plum Island, the New Hampshire coast, and Mt. Agamenticus, in Maine. Birds sing in the sheltering trees all day long. Stripers and bluefish chase small fish on the surface, out in Ipswich Bay, and sailboats, fishing boats and lobstermen pass by. We’ve seen huge schools of porpoises. Bring your binoculars.
The cottage sleeps up to eight, in two double beds and two bunk beds. There is one bathroom, but two showers — the outside shower has hot water, and a great view. The kitchen is serviceable, and outfitted with dishes and cooking tools. Bring your own selection of groceries.
Sheets and towels are provided, as is a washing machine and dryer. To keep rates low, we ask that guests leave the house as they found it: RE-MAKE BEDS WITH CLEAN SHEETS, WASH TOWELS, CLEAN BATHROOM, VACUUM/SWEEP FLOORS – LEAVE HOUSE TIDY
Family rules preclude large gatherings, dogs on the beach during the day, and noisy parties. You’ll find a complete listing of the “rules of the road” in the cottage.
You will be a guest in a close-knit, private community. We share the beaches with cousins and their guests. Strike up a conversation, if you’d like. People are friendly here, and interesting. You’re sure to feel welcome, and right at home.
WEEKLY RENTALS – 2pm SUNDAY – 10am Sunday
SUMMER RENTALS – LATE MAY through MID-OCTOBER