ONSET

TOWN AND STEAMBOAT WHARVES, 1920s

 

Curt Teich & Company, photographic template, 1920s.


This photograph was made as a template for the production of picture postcards by Curt Teich & Company, at one time the world's largest manufacturer of both picture and advertising post cards. The view from Bay View Grove at the corner of Onset Avenue and South Boulevard depicts Town Wharf in the foreground and the original Steamboat Wharf in the background. The wharves were replaced with the current town pier in 1936.

 

 

 

 

 

POINT INDEPENDENCE POST OFFICE, 1930s

 

 

Post Office, Point Independence, Mass. postcard, E. D. West Co., South Yarmouth, MA, publisher, c. 1930s. 

 

In 1923 True S. Hill was appointed postmaster on March 8 for the new office at Point Independence, purchasing the block seen here at 146 Onset Avenue in 1927 to fill the purpose. Mrs. Elizabeth C. Hall and Kenneth L. Seaver succeeded Hill but likely due to declining war-time receipts, the post office was discontinued on June 17, 1942, and mail re-routed through Onset.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WICKET'S ISLAND, 1880s 

 

Wicket's Island, photograph, 1880s

 

Long a prominent landmark in Onset Bay, Wicket's Island attracted both Spiritualists and tourists bent on recreation. In 1882 Dr. Abbie Cutter, a Spiritualist and “eclectic physician”, opened a Spiritual Institute and Home for the infirm on the island. “Hundreds of people have of late visited this novel institution and pronounced it one of the loveliest localities in this section”. While Wicket’s Island offered standard tourist activities like fishing, boating and bathing, more unusual were the séances held in the Cutter mansion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curt Teich & Company, photographic template, 1920s.


This photograph was made as a template for the production of picture postcards by Curt Teich & Company, at one time the world's largest manufacturer of both picture and advertising post cards. The view from Bay View Grove at the corner of Onset Avenue and South Boulevard depicts Town Wharf in the foreground and the original Steamboat Wharf in the background. The wharves were replaced with the current town pier in 1936.

 

 

ONSET BEACH, 1920s
STEAMBOAT WHARF, 1890s

Steamboat Wharf, photograph, early 1890s.

 

The wharf built by the Onset Bay Grove Association in 1878 served as an embarkation point for passengers who enjoyed delightful excursions aboard steamships like the Island Home to destinations along Buzzards Bay and Nantucket Sound. Visitors arriving at Onset by boat arrived here at the wharf as well. Alongside Island Home is a smaller steamer.

 

In front of the wharf is Phillip's Landing or Wharf, two floating stages connected to the beach by a gangway over the water.

MADAME DISS DEBAR, 1880s

Spiritual medium Madame Diss Debar (Ann O'Delia Salomon), photograph, 1880s.

 

The flamboyant Madame DIss Debar was the most notorious medium practicing at Victorian Onset, though her flair for the dramatic had severe consequences, including a stint in prison. Houdini termed her "one of the most extraordiy fake mediums and mystery swindlers the world has ever known."

PARKING AT ONSET, c. 1930

Parking Space and Piers, Onset Bay, Mass., postcard, c. 1930.

 

Parking is not a recent challenge at Onset as is apparaent from this 1930s-era postcard. Visitors clearly had no compunction about parking wherever was convenient, including the foot of Bay View Grove. Grading of a portion of Prospect Park in 1932 as well as the creation of a public lot on Union Street in the last quarter of the 20th century helped alleviate the situation. Hotel Onset, now Bayside Onset, is visible through the trees at the left of the image. The building at the end of the wharf is Kenny's Saltwater Taffy.