Many homes in Coronado have had several generations—some three, four or more—keep the premises within the same family for decades. This is true of the single-story clapboard Craftsman Bungalow originally built in 1904 at 941 G Avenue. Set back from the sidewalk by a low white picket fence, the shaded lawn boasts a curved walkway leading to a porch with a multi paned glass front door flanked by large windows. In October 2004, the home became the 45th residence designated historic by the Coronado Historic Resource Commission and proudly displays its plaque on the front door.
Starting in 1936 the first generation of the family to occupy the home was renowned portrait painter Mary Parrish McCartin, a 1917 graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. Married to Lt. Cmdr. Edward F. “Mac” McCartin, USNA 1918, Mary traveled the world before settling in Coronado. She put aside her paintbrushes to raise her daughter Ann for several years before beginning her career as a portrait painter of many well-known personages including Admiral Ernest J. King, Commander in Chief of the US Fleet, as well as numerous Navy Juniors. Her talent was attributed in part to her father William Dana Parrish who had studied under John Singer Sargent and William Chase, and who had operated his own art academy. Parrish, widowed in 1937 in Massachusetts, joined Mary in Coronado, making two family generations living in the home.
Following Mac’s death in 1939, Mary commissioned John Washington to build a Studio with a wall of north facing windows in the backyard, the perfect setting for the father/daughter artist team. Built for $600 in 1940, the rentable Studio cottage today displays several of Mary’s and Will’s paintings (the Coronado Museum exhibited their works in 2006). In 1942 Mary and 14-year-old Ann left Coronado for the East Coast; the home was rented out although the Studio remained Mary’s winter residence with her second husband Joseph L. Marshall of Lewes, DE from 1947 to 1971.
During a whirlwind romance in 1948, Ann met and married Henry Drexel Patterson II in Lewes, raising their children Sherry, Drexel and Dana, first in New Castle and then in Wilmington in 1965. By the mid-1970s, Ann and Henry, who were then living in the Virgin Islands, spent part of the year in the Studio while the front house remained leased. Fresh out of Pratt Institute’s architecture school in 1978, Drexel helped Henry make long needed improvements to the house, removing a wall between the two front rooms, updating finishes, adding a tiny bathroom, and reconfiguring the rear roof line. Lorton Mitchell, a freshman architecture student, worked as their framing carpenter.
Ann and Henry permanently moved to Coronado in 1985 becoming the third family generation living in the home. They reconnected with Ann’s many childhood friends, and together enjoyed gardening, dancing and entertaining neighbors and Navy friends of her parents. They gradually became active in the historic preservation of Coronado for the next 20 years until Henry’s death in 2005.
The Patterson adult children (the family’s fourth generation) often visited during summer vacations. Daughter Sherry Thevenot traveled with her children Laurent and Elisa from France, while daughter Dana Patterson Lopez vacationed with her children Guinnevere, Rainbow and Jasmine Starlight from Tucson. Son Drexel, with wife Susan, moved from the Virgin Islands in 1989 and resided for a time in the Coronado house.
When Ann passed away last August, the house was gifted to her three children in the hope that they would regard the property and Coronado with the same love and devotion she had held during her lifetime. This led to the heirs discussing options about selling the property, likely to developers, or keeping the home in the family. The solution: Dana and Sherry sold their shares to Dana’s daughter Guinnevere and her husband Nathan Kappler. The two have stepped forward to carry on the multi-generational tradition and thus become the fifth generation of family owners.
Owning the property with her uncle Drex and husband Nate, Guinn is proud that the compound is staying in the family and will be preserved for her own children (Jorah, Braelyn and Everett), and perhaps even future grandchildren when she and Nate retire, making seven generations of a family in the home.