July 22, 1856

A seventh child was born to master mason Christopher Capen, age forty-six, and his wife, Lydia, age forty, in 1856 and was named Warren in honor of another son who died in 1850.

Capen built five of the most iconic homes on Main Street during the island’s whaling glory days. Between 1831 and 1840, Capen constructed brick homes at 75 and 78 Main Street for the Coffins and the “Three Bricks” at 93, 95 and 97 Main Street for Joseph Starbuck.

In 1849, twenty-two Nantucket incorporators formed a California mining company and appointed Capen treasurer. He bought a ship and sailed with it to San Francisco. But the business lasted only four months, and Capen returned to Nantucket, where he learned his son Warren had died while he was away. With few work opportunities on Nantucket, Capen moved his family to Connecticut in 1863.


Excerpted from On This Day In Nantucket History
By Amy Jenness
The History Press
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The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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