The House at Lobster Cove: The Hidden Life of George Nixon Black


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Wednesday, May 9, Reception 6:00 p.m., Lecture 6:30 p.m.

Otis House, 141 Cambridge Street, Boston, Mass.

The life of George Nixon Black was exceptional for a gay man in the nineteenth century. He was Boston's largest taxpayer but had little interest in civic affairs. His dining room overlooked Boston Common yet he never entertained. Black's great privilege contrasted with his awareness that his sexual orientation represented a danger. His happiness is remarkable and his secrecy understandable. While Black was probably content to slip unnoticed into history, Kragsyde, his house at Lobster Cove in Manchester-by-the-Sea, had no such fate. Now demolished, it was adored by architects and scholars, and appeared in many publications, from the time it was built in 1883.

Historic New England and the History Project welcome author Jane Goodrich for a special talk on this elusive Boston bachelor and the two great loves of his life: Frank Crowninshield, a Boston blueblood, and Charles Brooks Pitman. Discover how Black managed to live a successful life for which nineteenth-century society had no template. Learn more about Kragsyde, the house that sheltered and shaped him, and continued to tell his story long after both were gone.

Come early for a tour of Otis House, every half hour beginning at 11:00 a.m. (Tour admission not included in event ticket price.)

$15 Historic New England and History Project members
$20 nonmembers

Advance tickets required. Please call 617-994-6679 or buy online. History Project members must call to receive discount.