trip advisor

Fall 2007

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Freedoms of Nantucket
Little Known Treasures

September/October 2007

Dear Nantucket Lovers:
All good things must come to an end.  So we can take a rest, come back refreshed and do it all over again, bigger and better.  During the 2007 season we presented our new guestroom, the Black Orchid, we hosted a 07.07.07 wedding, made new friends, caught up with the old ones, we went live on Martha Stewart Living Radio Show and many other adventures.  We hope those of you who stayed with found a home at the Century House.  Those of you who keep coming back, thank you for eating our berries, telling us a joke or two, and most of all being a part of us.  You are now a fixture just like the furniture (no we’re not comparing any of you to our couch), like the memories forever embedded between the historic walls of the Century House.  Nantucket – a perfect vacation destination.
In This Issue…
Nantucket Baskets
On Martha Stewart Living Radio
Cranberry Festival

Nantucket Baskets 
Nantucket Basket, Baskets

Weaving Baskets. Nantucket Style.  Discover the Freedoms of Nantucket by learning about the many forms of artistic expression on Island during the Annual Fall Art Festival from September 29 through October 7.  

This issue features the Nantucket Lightship Basket whose history can be traced to the mid 1800s on Nantucket Lightship vessels; these boats served, essentially, as floating lighthouses on the island’s South Shoal.  The craft resembled barrel-making so it was easy for the sailors who had nothing to do during their frequent “down time” -to pick up. According to Susan & Carl Ottison, (brilliant weavers and dear friends of the Innkeepers).  “the basic construction is the same.”  The weaver starts with a circular base, pushes the staves (the vertical wooden strands) into the base, then weaves the horizontal strands in and out of the staves. “Every basket is a one-off thing. You can tell the difference of any basket maker, the style of the weaving, the shape of the handle.”  Most island basket weavers attribute the overwhelming popularity of this native craft popularity of this native craft to Jose Reyes, who, in the late 1940’s decided to add an embellished ivory lid and a handle to the woven case, transforming it into a purse.  While many have copied the basket, the prestige of owning a Nantucket woven basket  is invaluable in its status. Discover the freedoms of Nantucket by learning more about this historic craft at the Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum , conducting special events during the Nantucket Arts Festival.   

On Martha Stewart Living Radio
Martha Stewart Living RadioYes!!  We could not believe it either:  the famous Martha Stewart Living Radio show asking us how we make beds?  So we agreed to go on the show LIVE to teach them a thing or two!LISTEN TO IT HERE   

Cranberry Festival/Artist Featured
Cranberry Festival 2007 Season

Ironic, how the Century House, art and Nantucket Island have recurring themes. During the early days of the Artist in Residence Program,  a young artist by the name of Paul Arsenault did a brilliant oil of Front Street Sconset which put a new spin on one’s vision of the lane which in subsequent years has been caught by many another artist.  More recently, the Century House Fall 2006 Newsletter highlighted the world-famous Eastman Johnson whose magnificent oil Nantucket Cranberry Harvest Innkeepers Gerry and JeanE discovered on the wall of a private museum in Balboa Park, San Diego, CA  Johnson painted the work while living on Nantucket up the road a piece from the Century House.
Fascinated by the subject matter and Nantucket Fall environment, Artist In Residence, Gene Green  is now following in Johnson’s footsteps to capture the cranberry scene in his soft impressionist delivery.  Join us for the Cranberry Harvest the first two weeks of October 2007 and experience both the Art Festival and the Cranberry Harvest

Century House 

The historic Century House dates back to the Cliff Road land purchase in 1833. According to research performed by Edouard A. Stackpole, renowned Nantucket historian and former director of the Peter Foulger Museum, a member of an old Nantucket family of Scottish roots, Captain Robert Calder, built the Century House. Over the years, Capt. Calder took part in several long, successful voyages to hunt whale, and eventually completed the construction of the house in the early 1840’s. It is said that Capt. Calder chose this site because of the privacy, the ocean breezes, the views, and the genuine serenity the location provided in the 1840’s and still exhibits today. According to Mr. Stackpole, the Century House is the oldest continuously operating guesthouse on Nantucket Island to date. Visit for details. Season begins May 15 and ends October 15.

Celebrating   175 Years.. 

Hidden Treasure: Nantucket Atheneum and
Century House

 Question: What do the Century House and the Nantucket Atheneum have in common?

Answer:  they are both in the same age bracket — the Nantucket Atheneum having opened its big double doors 172 years ago and the Century House entering its 175th year (Season 2008 )of serving the Island Traveler.  “We have a hunger of the mind which asks for knowledge of all around us, and the more we gain, the more is our desire; the more we see, the more we are capable of seeing.” Maria Mitchell, Atheneum’s first Librarian (1836-1856) and the first astronomer (see article here).
The stewards know that the library is more than just an impressive and historic building; not a temple nor shrine to preserve the past, but a dynamic gathering place of ideas sparked by the information and the stories available within its walls.
In keeping with the traditions of the 19th and 20th centuries when speakers such as Frederick Douglas, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau spoke in the Atheneums’ Great Hall, the Atheneum has continued to offer world class lectures including speakers such as David McCullough, Senator Bill Frist, Katie Couric, Lesley Stahl, Tim Russert and just this August 15 2007, the astute GE ex-corporate and business gurus Jack and Suzy Welch,  Business Week Columnists and Authors of Winning. 

Discover the freedoms of Nantucket! and enjoy the luxury of strolling just a few blocks down  down the cobblestones and attending one of these prestigious lecture series in the intimate setting of Historic Nantucket.  No traffic nor crowds to fight, just the simple pleasures of   Island  breezy living.
By the way, the Atheneum also owns an exceptional special collection of island-related artifacts and artwork.  From whaling ships’ logs to records of the town dating back to 1688, the special collection provides a window to the past centuries on Nantucket .

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Clam Chowder Contest!!!
Nantucket is best known for its seafood and more so, the best chowder this side of the world. 


2:00 pm – 3:30 pm


Taste a variety of chowders created by some of Nantucket’s best chefs and vote for your favorite chowder! $5 per person. The Chowder Contest takes place in the Grand Union Parking Lot under a tent, at the end of Main Street.

Quick Links

September Specials.  First come. First serve. 


Make your way to Nantucket this fall.

two or three night stays. taxes not included.
Offer Expires: September 30