The Little Pink House on 15th

by Dorothy McMonagle Kulisek

If the kitchen is the heart of family memories, then the Porch is the soul.

circa 2022
  1. 1950s

Sitting on the front porch of “The Little Pink House” on 115 W. 15 Ave., reminiscing with Dan Brady and his parents, I was thrilled to be a part of sharing the stories that little house has inspired.

After posting the Little Pink House on my Facebook and Instagram pages, we reflected on the good memories their home inspired. Those memories will never be replaced, he said, but memories are even sweeter when shared with someone intrinsically connected to that time and place.

Dan’s Aunt Bev (Eleanore’s sister) joined in on the reminiscing, vividly remembering her carefree, summer days, walking to the beach with her grandfather, picking up surf clams and eating them right out of the shell.

The sea was an integral part of their Irish family, who emmigrated to West Philadelphia from Donegal.

Beverly can still hear her grandmother’s wise advice to “take a dip in the ocean!” for almost any problem that arose. Simple but effective, for as every seasider knows, saltwater really does possess magical healing powers.

They found their way to this barrier island circa 1930, purchasing the home on W. 15th Ave. and beginning their magical story by the sea.  Like so many other Wildwood homes, theirs has been passed down from generation to generation, with nearly 100 years of stories to tell.

As legend has it, Dan’s great grandparents, Liza & Jimmy Stewart, were believed to have purchased the house in 1931. Liza and Jimmy had 5 girls that were completely doted upon.  His grandparents, William & Margaret Leek, were married in 1935 at the church which still stands on 18th & Central Aves. and had their reception in the backyard. William and Margaret had 3 girls.  Dan’s parents Eleanore & Jack Brady also honeymooned at the cottage in 1956 and have 4 children. 

As the story goes, Liza borrowed money from a neighbor (until her husband took the train down for the weekend) to purchase another house located across the street at 106 W. 15th Ave. That house, (next to the Suitcase Motel) which initially sold for $1,000 in 1905, is still in the family, belonging to their Granddaughter Beverly.  Both cottages were passed on and shared among William & Margaret’s daughters, who proudly continue the sweet, simple tradition of living life according to the tides; with beach days, boating, crabbing and just sitting on the porch.

106 W. 15th Ave. (next to the Suitcase Motel) which initially sold for $1,000 in 1905, is still in the family, belonging to their Granddaughter Beverly

Simplicity of summers at the seashore has always been the essence of both their cottages. The family never spent much time inside, but rather in their big yard, which is actually an empty lot next to

115. Eleanore said, “Between gardening and cleaning fish, it was an all day affair.” Necessary chores aside, those hold as many memories as the walls within their cottages, with the salt air and seabreezes gently reminding them they were always home.

Dan and brother-in-law Steve Binn have done all the work to upgrade and maintain the home, with lots of blood, sweat and beers to make their little Pink House the Belle of the Block that regally stands today!  The comments that followed the Wildwood Sun post totally overwhelmed and rewarded Dan for what has truly been his labor of Wildwood love.

Often, while Dan is working on the house, a butterfly will appear, as if by magic, announcing the presence of a family member who has passed on. One strong presence he feels is that of his Great Aunt Betty, encouraging him to keep going.  Dan said, “I hold onto the past in my heart, and it only takes the appearance of a sole butterfly in the yard to remind me of my roots here, as well as the history your publication brings to light for so many.” Dan’s own family makes the 6th generation in the house. His love for this special place has made him not care to go anywhere else but here in the Wildwoods for vacation.

Such is the sweet, simple life by the sea, where Heaven and Earth magically meet.

Our Wildwood was Once Theirs
As true Wildwood lovers know, the magic of our little slice of seaside heaven transcends time and space as its memories are passed on from generation to generation as shown here for the Stewarts & the Leeks 
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