Residence of J. F. Reynolds, Paradise Cliff, Rockport, Mass., c. 1908

Earlier this year, I posted a series of three views of Eden Road near Loblolly Cove that referred to Reynolds Rocks. Having never heard the name, I asked readers for information. A reader named Margot explained that Reynolds was the man who developed that area around the turn of the century. He was responsible for a development of shingle cottages on Athena Way called Paradise Cliff, she said.

Now, here is a postcard showing the home of J.F. Reynolds at Paradise Cliff. This house no longer stands; it was replaced by another house in the 1950s, and that new house has been further renovated in recent years. The location is 34 Eden Road, right where the road turns sharply, just above the bit of coastline known as Flat Rock. The new house was built to blend into the rocks, but if you look at it carefully, you can see that its foundation stands on the same rock seen in the lower-left of the postcard above.

From what I can find out about Reynolds, he was an artist who lived for a time in the South End of Boston. He lived in a building at 110 Tremont St. called the Studio Building, which housed artists’ studios, theater companies and other businesses. In December 1906, a fire heavily damaged the Studio Building and, in its wake, many of the artists who lived and worked there had their works stolen or vandalized. A 1918 directory of Boston businesses lists him as an artist and still at 110 Tremont.

I found a 1903 magazine advertisement in which Reynolds advertised the rental of what may have been this cottage. It said:

Cottage of 7 rooms and bath; town water, electric lights. high ground, fronting Thacher’s Island and ocean; wide piazzas; rent $350. J.F. REYNOLDS, 110 Tremont St., Boston, Mass.

By 1905, Reynolds started advertising lots at Paradise Cliff for sale at 1 cent per foot or “exchange for South End property.” A Sept. 7, 1905, ad read:

Paradise Cliff. The finest granite shore on the coast of New England in lots to suit, at 1 cent per foot and upward; 3000 ft of shore facing Thatcher’s Island, high ground, with good roads, town water and electric lights, select neighborhood and reasonable restrictions; 70 minutes from Boston, very low rates for building, will exchange for South End property; booklet for a stamp. J.F. REYNOLDS, Rockport, Mass.

By 1910, Reynolds was advertising for sale three houses. An Aug. 4, 1910, described them as having “all improvements, ready furnished and prices right.” Again, he offered to trade “for city property.”

That was the last I could find about Reynolds or his real estate. If anyone knows more, please feel free to add it in the comments below.

This postcard does not identify its publisher. It is postmarked, but the date of the postmark is not legible. The stamp is Benjamin Franklin 1 cent stamp issued in 1908, so I estimate this postcard to have been published around that year.

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