I was looking into the Fine Arts Colony at Montara when I read in a 1900s issue of the “Coastside Comet” newspaper that a cottage called the Van Suppe Poet & Peasant Cottage was for rent. We’re talking about nearly 100 years ago. The man who took the ad out listed conditions: if you wanted to rent the Van Suppe Poet & Peasant Cottage in Montara you had to be an artist.
The contact person in the ad was Chauncey McGovern.
I knew who Chauncey was–I had come across the locally famous handwriting expert’s name while researching the unsolved murder of wealthy Sarah Coburn in the tiny village of Pescadero in 1919.
The 19th century Austrian composer Franz Von Suppe died in the late 1890s.
I discovered that the Von Suppe cottage still stood and pianist/free lance writer Mikie Benedict lived there. She had inherited the historical home from Howard Gilligan, a unique artist who made Montara his home.
Above: Harold Gilligan self-portrait, courtesy Mikie Benedict.
…to be continued…