In newsboy cap and necktie, the teenage Lewis J. Rabbitt posed in front of his home at 35 Bradford Street around 1912. He was flanked by his father, Joseph Rabbitt, and his mother, Josephine Rabbitt. The girl in front was Celia Anthony. The man in the vest was probably Johnny Perry, Celia’s father. [Josephine A. “Bunny” Rabbitt / Facebook / My Grandfathers Provincetown / 11 July 2015]
A 1910 street atlas showed Joseph Rabbitt’s home, set on an ample yard stretching from Montello to Conant Street. The compiler of this atlas misspelled many property owners’ names, and rendered Rabbitt as Robberts. [Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum]
In the 1930 census, three Rabbitts lived at 35 Bradford Street. [“1930 United States Federal Census for Lewis J. Rabbitt” / Ancestry.com]
In the early third of the 20th century, the Rabbitt family had a large house on what is now the site of the Mussel Beach Health Club. Paterfamilias was Joseph Rabbitt (1851-1935), a native of the Azores, who lost his right arm on a whaling expedition. Around 1881, he had married Josephine Sears (1860-1933), who was born in Provincetown. She was active in the American Legion Auxiliary and the Visiting Nurse Association. Three of their five children survived to adulthood: Lewis Joseph Rabbitt (1899-1947), Emma Rabbitt, and Annie May (Rabbitt) Brown. Edwin Rabbitt died in infancy and Cora Agnes Rabbitt died as a teenager. Lewis was living at home when the 1930 census was taken. He acquired the property in 1935. That year, Seamen’s Savings Bank foreclosed on the mortgage. Manuel and Mary P. Cabral won the house in a 1937 auction, for $845 — nearly $18,000 in today’s dollars. “The Cabrals obtained it from the town for unpaid taxes while my father was in the hospital in Connecticut for surgery caused by war wounds,” Josephine A. “Bunny” Rabbitt said. The Cabrals lost no time redeveloping the parcel as the Bonnie Dune restaurant.
Josephine A. “Bunny” Rabbitt wrote on 1 August 2013: This property, which was the Bonnie Doone, was my family’s property for three generations; owned by my grandmother, Josephine Rabbitt, and then my father, Lewis Rabbitt. The Cabrals obtained it from the town for unpaid taxes while my father was in the hospital in Connecticut for surgery caused by war wounds.
¶ Last updated on 18 January 2023.
• Lewis Joseph Rabbitt (1899-1947)
Find a Grave Memorial No. 125866621.
35 Bradford Street on the Town Map, showing property lines.