In 1966, Mary Jane and Jerry Gibson purchased Homer Smith Cottages with the help of five of their friends who loaned them money for a down payment. With four small children, many of their friends thought this was a crazy idea, as the 10 cottages were in various states of disrepair. However, after buying them, there was no turning back. Almost 50 years later, the 10 cottages have been reduced to 8 with only 6 being rented; however, most of the families have remained the same, with a few who even rented from Homer Smith. In fact, many of the families that started coming in the 1960’s are still coming, and so are their children and grandchildren.
Initially, the cottages were run by Mary Jane and Jerry while living on Bearses Lane in Eastham during the summer months. In the off-season, running the cottages was a bit more challenging, as they commuted back and forth from Belmont, MA.
As retirement approached, Mary Jane and Jerry decided to renovate the “old cottage 7” into their year round home and sell their summer home on Bearses Lane. After years of living on the Pond, Mary Jane and Jerry decided to buy a beautiful home in Eastham on the Cove overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and rented out “the Pond House”.
In 2005, Mary Jane and Jerry’s son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Amy, moved from Albany, NY to the Pond House to help run the business, where they continue to reside today with their two boys, Connor and Tyler, and their black lab, Coty (Gibson Cottages official greeter).
In 2013, Mary Jane and Jerry decided to renovate the “old cottage 8” into a year round home and sold their house on the Cove. Sadly, in February of 2015, Jerry passed away, but Mary Jane continues to reside next door to Mark, Amy and her grandchildren, where she is able to look out her front window everyday, admire all of her family’s hard work and accomplishments and watch the most amazing sunsets over Depot Pond.
Jerry will always be remembered as the man with the “crazy idea” who loved Eastham and worked tirelessly to create a place where so many people are able to build and maintain long-lasting friendships with other families.