Posts Tagged ‘Crawford’


November 5, 2014


Nita Morse Crawford 1890-1975  Owner and manager of popular Pines Hotel in Cotuit for 48 years 1910-58; founded Historical Society of Santuit and Cotuit 1951, donating Dottridge Homestead for museum and headquarters.

Floss Rapp 1918
Florence “Floss” Rapp 1891-1974 First historian of Cotuit “Looking Back (Bits of History Its Founders and their Homes)” 1974; co-founder of Historical Society 1951.
photo courtesy of Rosemary Rapp

Dorothy Worrell 1892-1983 Cape Cod historian, founded Tales of Cape Cod pioneering recording of oral histories of Cape Codders;  author and journalist.

Dr. Marian Cabot Putnam 1893-1972.  One of first child psychologists in America, grew up summers in Cotuit; founded 1943 Putnam Childrens Center, where Terry Brazelton began work.

Marian “Sally” Sawyer 1894-1996 One of founders of Barnstable Comedy Club;  partner of:
Helen MacLellan 1895-1981 Started first radio station on Cape Cod, WOCB, called “The Voice of Cape Cod”; niece of Richard Winfield, developer of Grand Island, Osterville. She made her home in The Place which she rescued after the death of President Lowell.

The Place

Taussig by  KarshDr. Helen Taussig 1898-1986 Cardiac surgeon who developed procedure to save “blue babies” ; grew up sailing in Cotuit, and summered here all her life.



October 1, 2011


Many people have fond memories of The Pines Hotel on Ocean View Avenue in Cotuit.

The Pines was “a family resort”—no alcohol, no gambling—but a fine sandy beach, an ice cream parlor, plentiful home-cooked food, sailboats for rent, private sea captains’ cottages, and rides to fresh water ponds for picnics. Families came by railroad from Chicago, Cleveland and Cincinnati to spend the whole summer.

It began in 1891, when Lizzie Nickerson Morse opened a boarding house in her home which was built about 1845 by her grandfather Samuel Dottridge. The next year Lizzie and her husband, Maine-born John Morse, built a three-story building with 33 rooms. On 15 June 1894 they opened The Pines Hotel and put on a great Fourth of July celebration with boat races, a sawing match, and clambake.

With a sandy beach, just inside the entrance to Cotuit Harbor, The Pines had a row of beach rooms which still stand today. Bathing rules required men to wear full tops to bathing suits, and women’s legs to be covered with black long-johns, as well as skirts.

Lizzie and John Morse ran The Pines until their deaths in 1908 and 1910 respectively. The hotel was inherited by their only surviving child, Nita Converse Morse, age 18. She ran it with her husband Calvin D. Crawford for half a century. Both were community leaders. Nita founded the Historical Society in her grandfather’s house in 1957.

Rooms in 1913 cost $13 a week, American plan, which included three meals. A bathhouse was an extra two dollars. Their son David Crawford said rates were set by Nita each year on a Sunday afternoon by asking, “Lord, I’ve got my pencil out”—How much for room # 1?

David remembered that The Pines provided “the best food I’ve ever had—all you wanted to eat…Steamed clams every night, beef once a week, steak, lobster.” Vegetables were home grown.

Rather than expanding the hotel itself, in 1914 the Crawfords began buying neighboring sea captain’s houses. To renters these had the advantage of being able to serve your own cocktails.

In 1920 the Pines added the Pine Tree Tea Room in the former home of the insurance magnate Alexander Adams next to the hotel. This became the favorite afternoon meeting place for ice cream and sodas.

After World War II the Pines added Evergreen, the Rolosons’ huge 24 room mansion behind the hotel. This addition brought two more cottages, and a wider stretch of sandy beach. Evergreen was used for special guests, such as the mother-in-law of future Governor Dukakis.

After the war American vacation habits changed; shorter stays, more overseas trips. With regret, the Crawfords closed the Pines in 1958. The hotel and tearoom were torn down and the cottages were sold, except for the Dottridge house which Nita turned into the home of the Historical Society of Santuit and Cotuit.

Barnstable Enterprise 30 Sept. 2011

Evergreen Demolished

August 20, 2011


Evergreen, long the largest building in Cotuit, was demolished in the third week of July 2011. 

Built on Ocean View Avenue in Colonial Revival style, it had 23 bedrooms, 17 full baths, magnificent fireplaces and ceilings, shaded by rare trees for which it was named.  It was built in 1924 by Boston’s premier contractor, Walter A. Wentworth, who had built many of the Back Bay mansions as well as many Boston landmarks like the the S.S.Pierce store on Copley Square. Evergreen was built as a summer home of the wealthy Chicago financier Robert Marshall Roloson, whose family sponsored the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright.  

Roloson hired the Scottish gardener John Alexander Reid to landscape nearly ten acres of grounds, and plant a large rose garden. Two gigantic Japanese cedars framed the front entry, with a variety of evergreens like Norway spruce gracing the grounds. The house looked out to Nantucket Sound across Sampsons Island and the entrance to Cotuit harbor. On the wide sandy beach was an open-sided pavilion, that still stands. Off-shore the Rolosons kept a fine two masted schooner, the Janelburn, painted green. It was named for Mrs. Roloson’s son, James Nelson Burnes who died in a plane crash in Hingham.

Evergreen grounds were big enough to keep a pet bear—until the bear bit the gardener. A four-car garage housed a fleet of fine autos. This too, was demolished earlier this year when Bob Hayden moved the 1991 addition to Ocean View Avenue. The Rolosons had a German chauffeur who became a Nazi fan of Hitler, annoying the neighbors by playing the Führer’s speeches loudly on his radio. He was not missed when he went back home to join the Wehrmacht.

Adele Roloson sold Evergreen after a series of personal losses. Beside the loss of a son in a plane crash, another was killed in a car accident, and a third died with his wife and two children in a fire in the Roloson home in Winnetka IL. She moved to “a smaller place” called Nirvana she had built on the Sepuit River in Oyster Harbors before the war.

After World War II Evergreen became part of The Pines Hotel, where special guests were put up, and used as a dormitory for summer help. When the Pines closed and was torn down in 1959 Evergreen was bought by the brother of the Pines manager,  Fred Crawford, founder of TRW. This company led in development of the American Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, the Apollo and Pioneer space missions, as well as early satellites and computers.

For 37 years Evergreen was Crawford’s summer home. He drove from here to the Harvard commencement in 1991, and marched down the aisle under his own steam, the oldest living alum. Crawford bequeathed Evergreen to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) as a scientific conference center.  It was nominated for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. It was put up for sale in 2011, and purchased by a member of the Levinthal family, prominent Boston reators.

The Historical Society of Santuit and Cotuit recorded video and professional photos of Evergreen before it was demolished. These will be shown at the Cotuit Library at 7 pm Oct. 25.  That evening, Cotuit old-timers who grew up near the house will share their stories about the house.  We hope that other residents will share their memories in the tradition of our “Old-Timers Night” meetings.

Adapted from an article published on front page of Barnstable Enterprise 22 July 2011.