John Eder’s properties, outlined in red, were acquired by the Town in 2021 to limit their use to “conservation and passive recreation.” They abut the Old Colony Nature Pathway and Conservation Land 4, at 92 Atkins Mayo Road. The dotted outline shows what had been the location of Eder’s house.
Eder Property (Provincetown Conservation Trust). After the death in 2019 of John Eder, as his house at 86R Atkins Mayo Road burned down in a furious blaze, his heirs wrestled with the future of his two properties at the end of the road. “I tried to think who could live here and who would he kind of like to live here, and I couldn’t come up with anyone,” Mischa Richter, one of Eder’s adopted sons said, “so I thought, well, the squirrels and the foxes and the turtles and the wetlands here, and that made the most sense.”
At Town Meeting in May 2021 — held outdoors in the parking lot of St. Peter’s Church as a pandemic precaution — Provincetown voters approved spending $300,000 to acquire Eder’s 0.17-acre parcel at No. 86R (on which his house stood) and the unimproved 0.52-acre parcel at No. 88. They further authorized the Select Board to convey to the Provincetown Conservation Trust a restriction in perpetuity limiting the use of those lands to “conservation and passive recreation.”
The acquisition was recommended by the Town’s Open Space Committee in part because the wetlands and wooded upland at 86R-88 Atkins Mayo Road abut the Old Colony Nature Pathway and Conservation Land 4, at 92 Atkins Mayo Road, which is owned by the trust. This contiguous cluster would expand what is known as the Provincetown Greenway, the committee said, “a swath of Atlantic white cedar swamps and forested dunescape.”
Eder is not to be forgotten. In a video urging voters to approve the land acquisition, Richter noted that he and the craftsman Nathaniel McKean were discussing the possibility of building an entrance arch composed of some of the many objects that Eder had salvaged and incorporated into the fantastic fences, sculptures, and signposts around his land.
86R Atkins Mayo Road on the Town Map, showing property lines.
88 Atkins Mayo Road on the Town Map, showing property lines.
Also at this address
• Main house.
¶ Last updated on 4 January 2022.