conch cottage then...


Brasil, Barbados, and a parrot named Joe...

I have had the great good fortune to make the acquaintance of the original owners’s granddaughter and a great-granddaughter, and they have shared many of their memories of Conch Cottage.

Here are some of them, in no particular order:

  1. the daughter of the first owner lived in Brasil and Barbados for some time and would fly back to Avalon for the summer, arriving by seaplane with her parrot, “Joe.”  Joe would sit in his cage on the front porch and talk to people walking by.

  1. the watercolors on the walls, the kitchen tiles, the conch shells in the house were all brought back from Barbados, and an old map of Brasil on the wall marks her time there (currently all being matted and reframed - back up in fall 2013).

  1. once, in the 1930’s or 40’s, the original owners rented out the cottage for a year and returned to find that the renters had turned the house into a Chinese restaurant.

  1. the house has changed color over the years from the original unpainted wood to yellow, dark green, “conch shell pink.” and now gray (in keeping with tradition, we will be painting it a different color some time soon..).

  1. the daughter of the first owner was known for her cocktails on the porch, where she and her friends and family would play gin rummy and enjoy gin and tonics.

So, the next time you sit on the front porch, raise a glass to the family who built Conch Cottage and lovingly tended it for so many years. the late 1890’s, a Southern California man with an orange ranch in Duarte and a love of deep-sea fishing off the Catalina coast, bought a piece of property in Avalon.  He and his wife built a house on it in 1898.  The house stayed in the

family for nearly 100 years, passed from father to daughter and then granddaughters, before being sold first in the 1980‘s and then to the current owners in 1996.