O’Neil Cottage- Chapel Grove
History and Style:
The O’Neil summer cottage was built in the late 1930s by Joseph McBriarty. The McBriartys were part of the Catholic community that summered in Chapel Grove. Like most Catholic vacationers in this area, they were in walking distance from St. Bridget’s Church and wharf. The cottage is now owned by Eileen O’Neil. It is a two-story building, and the top floor has a slanted roof ceiling. Much of the original structure remains, but the front and back porch have been renovated and insulated. The original wood stove was removed, and during the removal process a letter was found in a bottle written by Joseph McBriarty dated July 13, 1938. It was found exactly 67 years after the letter was written by Eileen O’Neil. A description of the letter by Joseph’s youngest daughter follows:
June 8, 2007
This note was found when Eileen (O’Neil) Randles was tearing down the chimney of the house that my dad (Joseph D. McBriarty) built in the 1930’s (35-40?) or so. It was in a bottle and written on an envelope. She found it on the exact date July 13, 2005. 67 years later. The words we can make out say- Weather still pouring rain. Mary (Gillen) who was 10 years old at the time remembers the day he built the chimney and how he had to wait for the rain to stop before he could continue building it! Very neat to get a letter from my dad 37 years after his death - Joan McBriarty Howlett
Currently, the exterior deck is being renovated.