‘Surf Song,’ Point du Chene Avenue, Pigeon Cove, Mass., c. 1918

At the time of this picture, Surf Song, located on Point de Chene Avenue in Pigeon Cove, was the summer home of Mr. and Mrs. Frederic H. Ripley and their daughter Grace. Mr. Ripley was the principal of the Prince School at the corner of Newbury and Exeter Streets in Boston. Reportedly, he was a direct descendant of Mary Chilton, who was said to be the first European woman to step ashore from the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock.

Ripley was nationally known, at least in education circles, for having co-edited the Natural Course in Music in 1895, a book that was seen as a major advance in the method of teaching music in schools. In December 1917, he gave a paper to the Music Teachers’ National Association annual meeting in New Orleans in which he explained the theory behind his book and his approach to teaching music.

Ripley retired from the Boston schools in 1923 and died in 1941 at the age of 86. His obituary in the Boston Daily Globe said that his music books “are now in schools throughout the world,” and that, in his later years, Mr. Ripley regularly visited Munich, Germany, to take part in Mozart and Wagner festivals there.

The house pictured at right is, I believe, the same house today, although with some modifications. Located at 1 Point de Chene Avenue, it has the same, distinctive A-shaped roof, chimney and dormers on the right side. As you can see, the left side has been modified, as has the porch. Zillow lists this house as having been constructed in 1880.

This postcard was published by the Rockport Photo Bureau. It is undated but appears to be from approximately 1918.

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7 Responses to ‘Surf Song,’ Point du Chene Avenue, Pigeon Cove, Mass., c. 1918

  1. Faye says:

    Lots of us attended nursery school there, Surf Song Nursery School with Mrs. Moginot. Times are different, a friends child who goes to nursery school now is learning spanish. Our greatest accomplishment n nursery school was learning to skip!

  2. Mary says:

    My sister, brother and I all went to Surf Song Nursery School in the early 60s. I was friends with Mrs. Moginot’s granddaughter through high school, and I think the school was still running through the mid 70’s. I remember skipping around that playroom with the fabulous water view and planting pansies in pots for our Mothers on Mothers’ Day. And the elder Mr. Moginot would stop in and sing Beatles songs with us. And every year we all did a group school picture sitting on rocks on the water side of the house.

  3. Jane Moginot says:

    During WWII it was a coast guard station, no central heat but 2 fireplaces and a oil heater which caused burns on the hard wood floor,still there. One fireplace is fantastic, built with red brick to the top of the celling. The floor has matching red tile. the house was eventually converted into a 2 family and rented out during summers. There were still empty stalls for showers and toilets. The Moginots purchased Surf Song the 50’s). Aline (Mrs Moginot) began a nursery school featuring folk dancing, singing, art, stories, free play,and dress ups. The house was destroyed by fire 1985 one week before Xmas. For some quirk in the weather there was no wind as usual and the neighbors were spared. The house was rebuilt as shown and sold in 1998. We were a wonderful household of teachers.

  4. c pinar says:

    I am “doing” research on Frederic H. Ripley and would like any information on him, his family, and his work in music. Thank you. naturalmusiccourse@yahoo.com

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