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Before it was floated over to town, the handsome Francis Abbott house stood at the western edge of the Long Point settlement, where it was built in the early 1850s. John Wesley Abbott (1852-1936) “was born on Long Point, the son of Francis and Melinda Snow Abbott,” The Advocate said in its obituary. “When he was three years old the family moved their house across the harbor and located at 24 Commercial Street,¹ where the house still stands. He went swordfishing on the schooner Eddie H. Weeks, and later whaling off the Cape. Mr. Abbott was said to be the best marksman of his day with the whale gun.” He also served in the United States Life-Saving Service (forerunner of the Coast Guard) at Station High Head and the New Orleans Police Department, possibly during the “Robert Charles riots” of 1900, during which rampaging white mobs — infuriated by the killing of a white police officer by a black laborer named Robert Charles — attacked, injured, and killed black African Americans throughout the city. In his retirement, he served as a caretaker for Ursula Maine at her nearby properties.

The fluted pilasters and the entablature at the doorway identify this Cape Cod house as being of the Greek Revival style. It was later home to Carolyn Jones and her daughter Helen, who were responsible in the 1930s for a revival of the Camp Fire Girls program in town. The property has been owned since 1991 by Wayne M. Ayers and Thomas F. Coen, chairman of the town Building Committee, and member of the Charter Commission and the Board of Registrars.

¶ Last updated on 5 May 2018.

¹ I believe this discrepancy in addresses can be explained by the fact that Nos. 24 and 26 were once under common ownership by the McInnis family, as shown in the 1910 Atlas of Barnstable County.

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