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People and Places

Shearer Cottage

In 1903, Charles and Henrietta Shearer bought a house in Oak Bluffs and started a laundry service for white vacationers. Nine years later, in response to demand, they opened their house as an inn for African American visitors. Over the years, luminaries like Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Harry T. Burleigh, and Lionel Richie and the Commodores stayed there, and the Cottage became a social center of the black community in Oak Bluffs. The descendants of the Shearer family still run the cottage today.

 

People and Places