Carpenter’s grandfather, the first John Mason Carpenter, purchased the land along with four fellow Marlborough residents in 1899 for $75. The friends built the bunkhouse in 1901. It could be considered one of the first timeshare properties. The five men, either together or at separate times, would drive three hours to West Dennis in the days before highways could slice that journey in half. Their passion was hunting and fishing, and there was ample opportunity to do both at this unspoiled, isolated spot. “He was a real sportsman,” Carpenter says of his grandfather. “We had some of his guns and rifles when we were kids. He owned some beautiful shotguns.” When the sun set, the men gathered around a long kitchen table, broke out the cards and the beer, and told stories late into the night.

Room with a View Room with a View

Shares in the club were passed down through the generations when the original owners died. The first John M. Carpenter passed away in 1914 and his share went to his son, John M. Carpenter II, who began traveling to the bunkhouse twice a year for four days in the spring and fall. The owner of a haberdashery he would lock the doors of his business on late Saturday night and depart for Cape Cod early Sunday morning. He would return to Marlborough with a bird in tow, a messy clean-up proposition that greatly displeased his wife, Florence. But shooting brant was no longer a priority by the late 1930s. “They didn’t take the guns anymore, just beer and a deck of cards,” his son recalls.

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Lou Sullivan is a frequent contributor to Cape Cod Life Publications.

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