14 Cottage Street

Constructed in 1880, this was the home in the early 20th century of the fisherman Jackson Silva. It passed into the hands of Elisha Smith Newcomb (1858-1933), a Provincetown native, and his wife, Hattie (West) Newcomb (1859-1932), who was born in White Point, Nova Scotia. “From early youth, he was interested in the fishing industry, and would leave on long fishing trips of several months at a time,” the Advocate said at the time of Newcomb’s death. “During his later life, he turned to seining in neighboring waters. He was also well known to the summer visitors here as he took sailing parties out on his sail boat, and taught many of them how to properly row and sail a boat.” Newcomb was also known for the roses he tended here, including a bush so abundant that it was named the Seven Sisters.


The house seen from Nickerson Street in 1943. Photo courtesy of Kelly Turner.


The Newcombs’ daughter, Susan Fredina “Susie” Newcomb (1888-1979), inherited the house, which she shared with her husband, Capt. William Joseph O’Donnell (1885-1952). Their sons who survived into adulthood were William Wallace “Wally” O’Donnell (1911-2010) and Leroy Francis “Roy” O’Donnell (1912-1953). Naturally enough, therefore, Captain O’Donnell’s vessel was named the Wallace & Roy.


The house seen from Cottage Street in 2012. Photo by David W. Dunlap.


Wally O’Donnell served in the Navy during World War II as a chief motor machinist’s mate. Back in town after the war, he married Velma M. Perry, and fished on his namesake boat before turning to carpentry. The O’Donnells’ grandson, Kelly Turner, who now lives in Eastham, was born in this house. In 1997, the O’Donnells sold this property — which includes two adjoining parcels on Nickerson Street with a 77-foot frontage between them — to Harriet J. Hobbs, for $175,000.

¶ Updated 2021-01-30.


In memoriam

• Elisha Smith Newcomb (1858-1933)

Find a Grave Memorial No. 219947946.

• Hattie (West) Newcomb (1859-1932)

Find a Grave Memorial No. 219947959.

• Leroy Francis “Roy” O’Donnell (1912-1953)

Find a Grave Memorial No. 191606034.

• Susan Fredina “Susie” Newcomb O’Donnell (1888-1979)

Find a Grave Memorial No. 191605931.

• William Joseph O’Donnell (1885-1952)

Find a Grave Memorial No. 191605909.

• William Wallace “Wally” O’Donnell (1911-2010)

Find a Grave Memorial No. 170873962.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s