27 Dec 2011

Nantucket Families

Nantucket Families

Remember the opening scene from the 70’s sitcom All in the Family? Archie and Edith Bunker sitting side by side at the family piano singing “Those Were The Days” at the top of their voices. The show was crass, politically incorrect and mostly inappropriate…but we tuned in each week because it made us laugh and we found something charming – and a little familiar – about this somewhat dysfunctional family living under one roof, doing life together. Even when Archie was mocking Edith or tossing insults at “Meathead” there was a sense of how much the family loved each other.

It’s that time of year when many of us pause to reflect on those things that really matter. For most of us, family tops the list. We gather our relatives together to reconnect and celebrate the season. If we’re lucky, we get some quality one-on-one time with each of them to toast their successes, share some laughs, shed a tear or two and let each one know they are loved.

Nantucket has been gathering families together for generations. Relatives celebrate their annual reunion with a clambake on the lawn. A bride walks down a rose strewn path to the beach where families and groom await the Nantucket nuptials. Grandparents rent a large summer home (or several!) so the whole family can share their vacation together. Frequent island visitors decide to make a permanent investment in Nantucket and purchase their first island home. Current homeowners look to the future and make a “generational investment” in property abutting theirs. Virtually every home purchase we help facilitate has one common priority; how will this property work for the family – now and in the future?

I love hearing stories from Nantucket families about how they got here and what their family history is. For some, they can track their lineage back to the first settlers on the island. For others, their parents or grandparents purchased a summer home here years ago and they grew up vacationing on the island since infancy. Some are lucky and inherit the family home. Others desire to start their own family legacy and make a purchase they can pass along to their kids. Still others have a history visiting the island but are just now becoming proud homeowners themselves. I was in one of our rental homes recently admiring all the new updates the owners had done. I was particularly intrigued by some beautiful “vintage” black and white photos that appeared to be shots taken on the island. The owner smiled and informed me the photos were of her parents who had honeymooned on the island in the 40’s. Their family legacy of enjoying the island continues as this couple begins their own Nantucket adventure.

What’s your family’s Nantucket story? Did your ancestors help create some of the very fiber of the island? Perhaps you’re a new homeowner and delighted to begin creating a lifetime of memories for your family members. Or maybe you’ve vacationed here once or twice and can’t wait to bring your family back next year. Whatever your story, make plans now to gather your loved ones together on the island. Future generations will someday reminisce about your family’s Nantucket experience and may even sing from the tops of their voices…

…”those were the days.”


 Shellie Dunlap







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