Built around 1800 on Commercial Street, the house was moved to this site and opened in the late 1920s as the Ship’s Bell (“because of the gladness that was ringing in our hearts”) by Eleanor Bloomfield and Mary “Ivy” Ivins. They called themselves “independent women.” Contemporary eyes might see the Ship’s Bell as the town’s first lesbian-owned guest house. It was later owned by Charles Hapgood, author of The Earth’s Shifting Crust, and his wife, Tamsin (Hughes) Hapgood, a real estate agent. Their son, William Hapgood, an inventor and musician, sold it in 2001 to the artist and photographer Marian Roth, and the clothing designer Mary DeAngelis. Hapgood owns the garage, No. 2A, whose attic apartment shelters the artist Barbara E. Cohen.
James Thomas, a member of the Bonedome Construction Company, who ferried people and supplies to the dune shacks in a specially modified Model A Ford (that was how he met the artist Edith Hughes, who was to become his wife), built this house and three-car garage in 1938. Their daughter, Michal (Thomas) Barnes, lives in Ohio but still owns this property. Daniel Towler, one of the town’s more informed and passionate historians, has lived here since 1995. Edith’s backyard studio has been used by the potter Debbi Kahn, the sculptor Paul Bowen, and the painter Bert Yarborough. In recent years, the painter Alyssa Schmidt sold miniature landscapes from a roadside stand here, on the honor system.
The Rilleau Sandal Shop was founded in 1940 by Roger Rilleau as Hand Industries, at 322 Commercial. It moved to 347 Commercial, then to this property, which had been known to generations of postcard buyers as the Rose-Covered Cottage, said Gaby Rilleau. Kim Rilleau, son of Roger and Peggy (Tryon) Rilleau, conducted the business in a workshop here from 1968 to 1997. It was “cluttered with dyes, driftwood, sculpture, whale bones and dusty shelves filled with hand tools,” Sue Harrison wrote in The Banner, and carried “the deep, rich smell of leather that new cars can only aspire to.” It was more recently Pat McCobb’s Allerton Custom Picture Framing business.