Village to summer place to rich suburb

surf "Surf, Cohasset {Mass.}, by MAURICE PRENDERGAST, painted around 1900, by which time the small town -- really a village --  had become a much-loved summer place for the affluent of nearby Boston and the shoe-manufacturing area in and around Brockton to the south. The Old Colony Railroad made it very easy to get to.

It has a rather famous drive on Jerusalem Road along the top of low bluffs overlooking Massachusetts Bay. That road becomes Atlantic Avenue, which ends at the town's beautiful if overcrowded harbor, dominated by a mansion that used to be owned by the family that controlled Dow Jones & Co.

The main drawback of  Cohasset as a summer place is that the water is quite cold -- struggling to get to the mid 60s in the middle of summer -- and so is uninviting to swim in. And, of course, real estate is astronomically expensive. It has become one of America's richest suburbs.

The trains disappeared after the late '50's for decades, but now are back.  The Fidelity and bio-tech executives can thus pleasantly read their copies of Barron's  to and from work in downtown Boston.