The holidays may be over, but the joy of Fairhaven’s Historical Society’s 2017 Holiday House Tour is still being savored. For those wishing that the holiday spirit would linger year-round we offer a recap of the event, the unique properties showcased, and the positive impressions created.
As in the prior two years, the properties on the tour were not revealed until the day of the tour. And, for the 2017 Holiday House Tour the stars aligned with demand for tickets outstripping supply and a mad dash to print more brochures.
A total of five homes and two organizations were on the agenda for the three hours of viewing. With no time to waste, everyone made a bee-line to locations marked by bobbing balloons. Suddenly the town was alive with dashing crowds, holiday laughter, and seasonal décor that graced homes both inside and outside. A festive and infectious happiness encompassed the town for locals and visitors alike — some as far away as Boston descended on Fairhaven’s streets.
“By all accounts the tour was a resounding success”, said a very pleased Enrique (Ricky) Goytizoyo, president of the society. “It sets a new benchmark to surpass for the 2018 tour.”
What follows recounts the ambiance created by present-day property owners as they graciously invited the community into their homes and work spaces. For a detailed description and history of the properties showcased look for the brochure posted on the Fairhaven Historical Society’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Historical SocietyFairhaven/
Max and Karen Isaksen
One of the most impressive businesses, and perhaps the biggest in town, the Fairhaven Shipyard opened their doors to welcome the community. So many people were delighted to breach the imposing stone building for an insider’s tour of the inner workings that make the place hum. As a full-service shipyard, all manner of repairs on all size ships from massively large to wooden historical ships like the Mayflower II are undertaken. In addition to repair, restoration and ship building they are known far and wide as the masters of everything marine. A focal point in their office space is a huge compass mounted floor-to-ceiling which was lifted from what used to be a design embedded in the floor boards. Clearly the shipyard is going in the right direction.
82 Fort Street
The Jayson Residence
Nearby and also along the Acushnet River’s shoreline, a treasure of a home was tucked away just waiting to work its magic on all who entered. Its outside beauty visible from the water was reflected by its interior with a full sweep of glass to take in the ever-changing water views. The decor was totally sophisticated yet decidedly comfortable and imbued with warm woods and bold nautical themes. This home is a stellar everyday retreat for boating aficionados. One where seafarers and land lovers can be continuously awed by the natural beauty outside or hunker down for stormy weather with every cozy, creature comfort.
55 Green Street
Home of the Cabral Family
This important cape style home’s big — really big — surprise was a majestic Nativity scene that encompassed the full width of the living room. More than a manger or a crèche, it encircled and showcased the entire town of Bethlehem with all the elaborate goings-on at the time of Jesus’s birth. Luis Duffy’s creation, which he assembles and embellishes every year, has evolved from a family tradition into a stunning masterpiece and nothing short of museum quality — truly a sight to behold.
52 Center Street
Home of Marie and Henry De Pina
Charm and worldly sophistication are the words that describe the 1840’s home of the De Pinas. Toiles, paisleys and American traditional accents mixed perfectly with the global elements reminiscent of the China Trade. The walls throughout the home were boldly colorful and layered with various coats of slightly different hues intentionally to enhance the depth of the richness of the final color. And underfoot were magnificent oriental carpets. The New England charm continued throughout the landscaping with a rose arbor and white picket fence. This home was wonderfully inviting, homey and … perfectly idyllic!
41 Union Street
Home of Howe Allen and Tim Evans
Modestly named “Fairview” by its owners, this home commands some of the most historic views in town. It is situated directly across from the south doors of the Unitarian Memorial Church and blessed by the openness of Lady Fairhaven Park to the east. The home once belonged to a piano teacher. Thus, it is fitting that the pride-of-place is dedicated to a melodious piano which Tim joyously played as visitors paraded through the home. They stopped to take in the next vision while marveling at the decor and musing about adopting the color and decorating schemes.
123 Green Street
The Casey Residence
Befitting the owner’s profession as a therapeutic masseuse, this home was an oasis of soothing neutral color that signaled a calm serenity throughout. At the same time, it was this very relaxed, stress-free environment that refreshed and paradoxically energized. It was mindfulness with mission which could be evidenced by friendly family support. The warmth was palpable both from the greeters and the glow of several original fireplaces.
In the kitchen, the owner’s ebullient and affable father, Jim Casey, was on hand to point to the wonderful outdoor entertainment area as well as the immaculate basement restoration. Dressed to the nines in a top hat, vest and spit-polished shoes he was certainly a show stopper — wowing and welcoming everyone with his good-hearted nature and stylish attire.
32 Washington Street
The Northeast Maritime Institute’s College of Marine Science
Angela and Eric Dawicki
Behind the soft butter yellow exterior this stately building was a beehive of energy and professionalism — a true credit to Fairhaven’s history of entrepreneurial innovation. The owners captivated visitors’ attention by recounting the extensive history of the building. Visitors, in turn, were equally intrigued and impressed by the current operations the building housed.
As an accredited school for mariners, the school is training the next generation to confidently and capably take to the waterways of the world. It also provides continuing education for seasoned mariners. On the lower level are several state-of-the-art full bridge training simulators where operators can expertly navigate any port in the world. All manner of situations from foul weather to pirate attacks can be modeled and successfully managed. Both time-honored navigation techniques as well as the latest requisite technical know-how prepares students with a more circumspect understanding and solid educational advantage — ready to be applied in any real-world situations.
The building also houses the Joshua Slocum Reading Room. A high ceiling room with floor to ceiling bookcases that hold an extensive array of nautical books. The space, with its long table and ample seating also hosts meetings and outreach to all manner of community and world-wide initiatives.
Along one of the spacious corridors is an expansive glass showcase several shelves high that holds an amazing collection of shells — thousands actually — labeled from around the world. Above the cases large ship paintings grace the walls and hint at the history of ships suggesting the continuous march of progress navigating the world’s seas.
Fairhaven residents have noticed that march of progress with the progression of college students traversing Northeast Maritime’s various campus sites here and think how fortunate we are to continue the legacy of nautical education. Fairhaven, once the center of the crossroads of the world is now providing a new world of opportunity and expertise to students and the community through its “world class” Northeast Maritime Institute.
Thank you for allowing us into your homes
At the end of the day, Ricky expressed his gratitude to the generosity of all the residents that have opened their properties for the last three years to benefit the continuing work of the Fairhaven Historical Society.
“At the society,” he said, “we aim to showcase all that is special about Fairhaven — preserving its historic past, participating in its dynamic present and preparing a solid foundation for future generations to build upon.”
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