Janet Nelson, 89
Janet Nelson, 89, former owner of Cutting Cottages, passed away on June 16 in her hometown of Southern Pines, North Carolina surrounded by her family. She first visited Block Island in the 1940s as a teenager from Worcester, Mass. on family vacations to visit other Swedish families. She fell in love with the island and returned every summer during her high school and college years, working at various jobs.
In the early 1950s Esther (her mother) and Webb Cutting purchased land and an old house on Corn Neck Road. They had so much company from Worcester, that they converted the garage into a cottage for their friends to stay in. They built more and more cottages and it eventually became Cutting Cottages. Many of their guests purchased homes on the island from having their first taste of the island at Cutting Cottages.
In the late 1970s Janet and her family took over the business after the passing of her mother. Many friendships were formed, and they always looked forward to seeing friends from year to year. After selling the cottages in the late 1980s, she and her husband Walt built a home and continued to spend half the year on Block Island. Mornings were spent working in their beautiful gardens, and late afternoons on the porch enjoying the beautiful view. The running joke was they could watch the sun rise over the ocean, and if they sat long enough, they could watch it set over the harbor and never have moved. Their love for the island is shared by their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Upon selling their home, Janet continued to visit the island until she was no longer able to travel the long trip from North Carolina.
A Memorial service was held on Saturday, June 18 in Southern Pines. Memorial gifts can be made to the Block Island Nature Conservancy or the Block Island Medical Center.