Like any rule of thumb, this one isn’t infallible — but it’s usually a safe bet that a house as modest as 7 Cudworth, built between 1850 and 1880, has a rich and uninterrupted history in the hands of a single family. Astonishingly, this property has belonged to four generations of the Leonard family, who have owned it since the late 19th century. Victor J. Leonard (d 1913), a carpenter, and his wife, Henrietta (Alves) Leonard bought the house in 1898 from Manuel Brazil.
Victor had come from São Jorge in the Azores, said his great-great-granddaughter, Susan Leonard, a prominent town historian. “He was known as a very skilled carpenter and I have found reference to him building the gazebo for the Pilgrim House,” Leonard told me in 2012. “I think he built a barn on Prince Street, at what is now Crowne Pointe. I have no way of proving it, but I thought he built the little house on Cudworth Street. … I suspect that we see a lot of his handiwork every day without knowing it.”
Henrietta transferred this property in 1930 to their son, William J. Leonard (±1887-1942), who was a carpenter and engineer at the Cape Cod Cold Storage, 125 Commercial Street. William married Josephine Willis Newcomb (±1890-1957), with whom he had a daughter, Leona, and two sons, Willis F. and Edward A. Leonard.
Leona married Stanley Batt and they acquired 7 Cudworth in 1946, passing it on in 1958 to her brother Willis and his wife, Josephine A. (Merrill) Leonard (b 1915). Josephine worked as a chambermaid — her own description — for many years.
Her daughter, Judith R. (Leonard) Osowski (b 1944) moved into 7 Cudworth in 1971 with her husband, Thomas C. Osowski (1941-2005), a commercial fisherman and assistant harbormaster in Provincetown. So you see? No. 7 Cudworth only looks simple from the outside. • Historic District Survey, 7 Cudworth (1) • Historic District Survey, 7 Cudworth (2) • Assessor’s Online Database ¶ Updated 2012-12-17