449 Commercial Street

Nautilus

For more than a century, this building has been owned by the Seaver family and known as the Nautilus cottage. In the early 1900s, there were double-decker porches on either side and rooms were let as seasonal apartments. “The furniture is of hard wood, substantial and pretty,” a 1901 advertisement stated. “The kitchen, chamber and laundry equipments are complete. The cleanly beach and shore tents aid in rendering the Nautilus a first class and most pleasant residence for the summer months.”

Edwin Pliny Seaver (1838-1917), the superintendent of public schools in Boston and a Harvard overseer, also owned the Red House, across the street at No. 438; and the Standish House, next door at No. 453. A reference is made in 1918 to the owner of the Nautilus, Mrs. Edwin P. Seaver, fencing in the large lot between the Nautilus and Standish cottages. Presumably, she was married to Edwin Pliny Seaver Jr. (b 1880).

Margaret Cushing Seaver (1877-1959), Edwin Jr.’s older sister, was the owner of the Nautilus at the time of her death in 1959. “An accomplished yachtswoman, she had sailed her small boats in Provincetown races until a year ago,” The Advocate said in her obituary. These included the Ipah, one of the Eskimo-class boats made in the 1920s by Jot Small, which was destroyed in a 1954 hurricane, and the Ipah II, which replaced its namesake and was later owned by Ciro Cozzi. (Robert Seaver, “Stout Craft Represent More Than 150 Sailing Years, The Advocate, 6 May 1965.)

In 1960, the Nautilus was transferred from Margaret Seaver’s estate, through her niece Roberta “Bertie” (Seaver) Gebelein as trustee, to Robert C. Seaver of Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., who has owned it since then. Seaver was active in the Provincetown Yacht Club in the 1960s.

 


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