Residence of C.W. Seamans, Pigeon Cove, Mass., c. 1912

When C.W. Seamans died in his Pigeon Cove summer home on May 30, 1915, his obituary in the Boston Daily Globe described him as “one of the men chiefly responsible for the universal use of the typewriter.”

Seamans started his career as a clerk for E. Remington & Sons in Ilion, N.Y., a company known at the time for firearms and sewing machines. Around 1870, the company acquired the right to manufacture the first patented typewriter (and the device that introduced the QWERTY keyboard). Remington began manufacturing the “Type-Writer” in 1873 and then, in 1878, introduced the first typewriter with a shift key for upper- and lower-case letters.

That same year, 1878, Seamans became Remington’s manager of typewriter sales. In 1882, with Remington’s encouragement, he organized a separate company to manage sales of the Remington typewriter. In 1893, that company became the Remington Typewriter Company, with Seamans as its general manager. In 1893, it became the Union Typewriter Company, with Seamans as its president until 1910 and then the chairman of its board.

Seamans built his home where the Pigeon Cove House once stood.

For at least 15 years before he built this house, Seamans was a regular summer visitor to Pigeon Cove, staying each summer at the Pigeon Cove House. After a January 1903 fire destroyed the Pigeon Cove House, Seamans bought the property where it had stood and built this house, which he called “The Elms.” His obituary described the house as “one of the finest summer homes on the North Shore and a showplace of the town.”

The Pigeon Cove House was located between Phillips Ave. and what is now called Granite St., at approximately the point where Phillips today intersects Lacrosse Ave. I do not know precisely where the house was. I do not see anything there today that resembles the building in this picture.

Seamans was generous to the town of Rockport, according to his obituary. He paid out of his own pocket to have about a mile of the main road through town macadamized — an early form of paving using crushed stone, and he donated an automobile to the town, which the town used as an “auto chemical” — a vehicle used in fire fighting.

Seamans died in this home, just eight days after arriving in Pigeon Cove for the summer.

The postcard was published by Rockport Photo Bureau and printed in Germany. It is not dated. Given the caption describing it as the residence of Seamans, it seems fair to assume it was published before his death. Other markings on the reverse side of the card are consistent with cards produced by Rockport Photo Bureau between 1910 and 1915.

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6 Responses to Residence of C.W. Seamans, Pigeon Cove, Mass., c. 1912

  1. Nick Dello Russo says:

    I think this may the big brick house on Phillips Ave. The house was originally clad in wood and later changed to brick. The wood porches are gone and have been replaced with additions but the basic structure looks the same. I live across the street from where the Pigeon Cove House was.

  2. Sue Bonior says:

    Is this the property that Phil & Joanne Ackerman purchased 20-30 yrs ago?

  3. Russell Anderson says:

    This picture of Charles Seamens home is in fact the property of the Ackerman family.
    After Mr Seamans died the property eventually became known as the Pigeon Cove Inn. It was
    later converted to a appartment complex and now as condos.
    I also believe that the property refered to as the Pigeon Cove House became the beginning
    structure for the current Emerson Inn–Being moved from its former location. The structure that sat in the triangle of Phillips Ave , Mt Locus , and La Cross Ave. was known
    as the Ocean View House which was demolished in the late 40s or early 50s.
    There was also a building on the parcel where 225 Granite St is located which burned in the late
    1930s . That structure was never rebuilt. The current home on the site now was built many years
    later.

  4. Amy S. West says:

    My grandparents Marion and George Beverley owned the Pigeon Cove Inn at 227 Granite Street in the 1940s-60s. It was passed down to my mother Gail Beverley in 1965. My Mom owned the house until the mid 1970’s when she was swindled into selling it. She was a single parent with three young daughters and not much income. My sisters and I have many fond memories of that house. Recently I went to an open house of one of the condos and was not in the least bit impressed by how the owners broke up such a magnificent building. The long narrow corridors where fine as an inn, but as a condo complex?

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