West Tisbury forecloses on State Road house

A sideview of the house at 1034 State Road West Tisbury recently acquired through foreclosure. Alley's can be seen in the background through trees.— Rich Saltzberg

Town counsel Ron Rappaport informed West Tisbury selectmen Wednesday night the town owned 1034 State Rd., based on a November Land Court foreclosure decision.

The property, which consists of a house and barn, is across the street from Alley’s General Store and beside the West Tisbury Free Public Library. Three years worth of taxes are owned on the property, according to treasurer and tax collector Kathy Logue. As of Thursday, a lien against the title of the property amounts to $14,546.64, Logue wrote in an email to The Times. The current year’s taxes, plus Land Court, attorney, and recording fees bring the total amount in arrears to approximately $18,200, she wrote. The owners of the property, Donald Roderick Welles III and Alison Bryant Hammond, were not present at the selectmen’s meeting.

Rappaport told the board that by law the owners have a year to make financial amends and recover the property from the town. Despite its ownership of the property, he advised the town there were risks in doing anything substantial with it for the next year, because it could be legally undone should the owners pay what they owe.

Logue told The Times it had been a challenge to unearth valid telephone numbers and addresses for the owners, and thus far, the reasons why the taxes haven’t been paid are unclear.

“They have not offered reasons on the rare occasions I have had contact with them,” she said.

Town foreclosures aren’t unprecedented, Logue said, but she could not recall any instances of foreclosures on real estate with buildings, only vacant land.

Town administrator Jennifer Rand told The Times she ventured over to the property Thursday with building inspector Joe Tierney and a police officer in order to examine the buildings and turn off the water. A Jeep with Massachusetts plates in the driveway of the property is slated to be removed, she said.

The assessed value of the property is $544,800, according to its assessor card.

The selectmen gave no indication of what their plans may be for the property, should the town maintain ownership.

Welles and Hammond could not be immediately reached for comment.


  1. There has got to be more to this story?!?
    Why couldn’t someone loan Alison the $15,000 to sell it for $500,000?!?!?
    Alison contact a broker. Couldn’t any reputable real estate person help them? Great location so I would think it is under assessed, maybe $700,000 is more like it?

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