The History of The Lighthouse Inn

A getaway to the Lighthouse Inn doesn’t just deliver some of the most postcard-perfect accommodations and hospitality in all of New England: You’re also enjoying some wonderful history here along the magnificent shore of Nantucket Sound.

The West Dennis Light & the Lighthouse Inn: Decades of Service

Last year marked our 80th anniversary here at the Lighthouse Inn, though the beacon in question—originally known as the Bass River Light and today called the West Dennis Light—claims an even more venerable pedigree.

The red tower on Wrinkle Point at the mouth of the Bass River first flared into action in 1855, its construction made possible by oxen teams hauling materials in across the farflung salt marshes and sand dunes. The opening of the Cape Cod Canal in 1914 ushered the Bass River Light into decommission, and it long stood dark; in 1989, however, to mark the 200th anniversary of the U.S. Lighthouse Service (aka the Coast Guard), it was reactivated to flash its proud white light every six seconds.

Following the original retirement of the Bass River Light, William H. Brown of West Dennis purchased the land. A few years later, he sold it to Harry Noyes, the price being “$1 and other valuable considerations.” Noyes, who ran New England Buick in Boston, upgraded the lighthouse property for use as a summer estate: renovating the Main House, converting the stable into the Guest House, and constructing the Carriage House and Lodge.

Five years after Noyes’s death in 1933, a new owner took possession of the lighthouse spread: developer Everett Stone. His original idea was to improve the site and sell it, but in the interim, his wife Gladys decided to open the place to overnight lodgers to help cover the mortgage. So many of the guests expressed interest in returning that the Stones scuttled their initial plans and threw themselves into running the Lighthouse Inn.

Son Robert managed the dining room—opened on account of the dearth of local eateries at the time—and ended up marrying one of its waitresses, Mary Packard. Robert and Mary eventually came to manage the Inn, Gladys assisting for decades after Everett’s death before she retired.

Now a third generation of the Stone family runs the beloved Lighthouse Inn: Robert and Mary’s son Greg and his wife Patricia. (Robert passed away in 2004, Mary in 2016.)

Stay in a Piece of Cape Cod History at the Lighthouse Inn

There’s timelessness in the Lighthouse Inn experience: the history of the buildings and the time-tested West Dennis Light, for sure, but also the reliably excellent service we provide our guests—the same warm-hearted hospitality that the Stone family has shown the Inn’s visitors since 1938. Come experience that venerable hospitality—and soak up the maritime grandeur of Cape Cod’s south shore, another thing that hasn’t changed over the decades—on an idyll at the Lighthouse Inn in 2019!

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