When you think of a summer cottage, you probably conjure up the image of a cozy vacation home tucked away on a lake or shorefront somewhere. So we can't really fault the sellers of this week's eBay pick for referring to the 36-room mansion offered in this advertisement as a "cottage."
This week's offering comes from woods_elf of Bar Harbor, Me., with a store known as The Paper History Company. The advertisement lists the palatial dwelling as sitting on four acres with extensive views of Long Island Sound. It also has such luxuries as "electric heat, hot water heat, [and] city water."
"It was originally published in a 1904 issue of Country Life in America Magazine, and is typical of the many such early real estate advertisements that were found in each issue of that publication," The Paper History Company wrote to me.
A 36-room mansion might seem a little opulent for a magazine whose topics included poultry and gardening, but it did extend into more monied pursuits like sailing. Published by Doubleday, Page and Co., the company said Country Life in America was launched at the start of an "out-of-door movement" and was soon followed by The Garden Magazine and Farming.
The magazine had plenty of advertisements for New London cottages to rent, and in a 1916 issue it named the "Westomere" home of George S. Palmer as one of the best dozen country houses in the United States. Meanwhile, it seems William S. Anderson was a prominent New York realtor whose Mount Vernon firm was only a couple of years old at the time of this advertisement; Anderson died in 1934.
Plenty of shorefront cottages met their doom in the Hurricane of 1938, but do any readers happen to recognize this one?
The original advertisement is two-and-a-quarter by two-and-three-quarters inches and in good condition, "ready to be trimmed, matted and framed" as The Paper History Company puts it. The starting bid is $12.98, and shipping and handling is free. The auction ends at about 5 p.m. on Friday.