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2020 Commercial 063 Viewpoint

(Circa 1973)

Viewpoint.

“Cap’n” Richard B. Knudson operated the Galley Shop and Galley Inn here from 1950 to 1960, first with James M. Flagg and then with Robbie Houston. “One of the most photographed spots in town,” the Galley boasted in a 1958 advertisement, noting that it offered crafts, cards, and pottery. Knudson sold the property in 1960 to Daniel B. Caudle when he departed for Palm Springs. (He would return 23 years later as co-proprietor of the Bed ‘n B’fast, 44 Commercial Street.

Caudle sold in 1966 to Hazel Meyer (1909-1979), who shared this and other properties — and business ventures — with Alice F. Bartoli (1914-2006). The lodging became the Viewpoint and the store became Viewpoint Antiques. Meyer was the author of The Complete Book of Home Freezing (which The New York Times called a “most conscientious, all embracing and orderly treatment”), The Carlton Fredericks Cook Book for Good Nutrition (Fredericks was a popular if skeptically regarded radio-based health expert), and The Gold in Tin Pan Alley. With Bartoli, Meyer also ran the Ho Hum Restaurant downtown, at 334 Commercial Street.

Steve Silberman, the author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity, whose family vacationed here for 40 years, said Meyer and Bartoli were “my gay godparents before I even knew I was gay” and the “first virtually married gay couple I ever knew … smart, soulful women.” Ownership passed in 1977 to Donald G. and Joan B. Morse. “I have so many, so many memories from that place,” Silberman told me in 2013. “Here’s just one: David Crosby and his wife came to visit us in the late ’80s. Stepping to the end of the deck, he said, ‘What a beautiful harbor!’ (I’ll say.) We had dinner at Ciro & Sal’s that night, and then walked down Commercial Street as every third person stopped to tell him how much his music meant to them.”

The Morses sold the Viewpoint in 1985 to Richard H. Jensen. He sold it four years later to William P. Dougal and Richard J. “Rick” Murray, who transformed it so substantively that what they created amounted to a new building entirely.

For a view of the renovated building, please see 63 Commercial Street.

¶ Last updated on 3 July 2018. ¶ Image by and courtesy of Steve Silberman.

 

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