Donovan’s Reef | White Lobster.
The Donovan in question is Michael Donovan, proprietor of Cock & Bull Leather, who has owned this property since 1982. The fishhook-shaped lot, reached down a 15-foot private way, is what remains of the Ruth C. Desch property, which used to include what is now the Bradford Park Condominium at No. 202A. This house was constructed around 1920, according to town records. (The other Michael Donovan is the character played by John Wayne in Donovan’s Reef, a 1963 movie directed by John Ford. The Reef is Donovan’s bar on the fictional South Seas island of Haleakaloha.)
Annie Gauger, the editor of The Annotated Wind in the Willows (2009), lived here in 1987 and 1988, when she was studying the history and design of children’s picture books at the School of Visual Arts in New York. She told me in 2021 that the house is also known as the White Lobster. “There’s a crows nest at the top with an astonishing view, 360,” she said. “You can see the dunes on the Back Shore right out to sea. … I lived in the middle apartment with the big deck overlooking the bay. My next-door neighbor was none other than Mary Oliver. I once bought a typewriter from her. And that driveway was great fun to come down on a bike. You’d zoom down and have to hit the puddle full speed to slice through without getting soaked.”
¶ Last updated on 2 February 2021.
202B Bradford Street on the Town Map.
Thumbnail image: Photograph, 2012, from the Town Assessor, Key 3017.