Visions of Nantucket: Cottage Cities that Never Were

What role did real estate play in the creation of Nantucket as a summer resort? In this exhibit, we present a selection of late 19th-century maps designed to promote a new form of residential development—the cottage city.

Crafted by on- and off-island real estate speculators, the plans offer visions of curving avenues, seaside attractions, and thousands of lots for sale. Few of which sold. Why? Explore and see how the cottage craze spread to every corner of the island and laid the groundwork for future Nantucket communities. 

Learn more about Hadwen House, at 96 Main Street, here

Lead image: Map of Surfside, 1873. MS1000-5-3-11. 

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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