Q: Quarterboards

Cape Cod Home  /  Annual Home 2020 / ,

Writer: Allyson Plessner

Chatham Sign Shop

Chatham Sign Shop was founded in 1989, built on the ambitions of Bob Lacy and his particular affinity for the nautical, storied history of quarterboards. Traditional quarterboards were crafted to hang on a ship’s quarter. Today, the art has evolved into custom signs that hang on homes and businesses, marking street numbers, house names or perhaps even a family moniker; the creative possibilities are truly endless, and the touch of maritime history that is intrinsic to each sign make them the perfect embellishments for the coastal towns of the Cape.

“When we opened in ’89,” says Lacy, “I bought a computer and a vinyl cutter.” At the time, there wasn’t a lot of computerized sign making happening, putting Lacy and Chatham Sign Shop well ahead of the times. “The funniest sign I can remember making was for a newlywed couple,” says Lacy who has hand painted and carved countless signs in his 30 years of business. “They were both divorcees, so their quarterboard said ‘Eat, Drink, and Re-Marry.”

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Allyson Plessner

Allyson Plessner is a former editorial intern for Cape Cod Life and now works for the publication as a staff writer and digital media coordinator. Born in Florida, Allyson has been a lifelong summer resident of the Cape. She is a recent alumna of the College of Charleston, located in Charleston, South Carolina, where she completed bachelor’s degrees in both English and Spanish. In her free time, Allyson is an avid sailor, beach-goer, and—like her fellow Cape Cod Life colleagues—a dog-lover.