trip advisor

Fall 2010

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Nantucket Bulletin:

Comings and Goings in and around Century House


In this issue:

Innkeeper’s Corner:

Tesla, the new electric roadster

Fall Happenings

Innkeeper’s Corner:

Change Time Passages yet Fall Features Remain the Same


Lower Main Street, was paved in 1837 with cobblestones, a naturally rounded paving stone brought here from Gloucester, MA where they had been stockpiled after serving as ballast to stabilize ships’ cargoes. They then were used to firm up the gravel surfaces of the streets and by ways of Nantucket so that heavy whale oil laden carts could move over the consistently muddy passages from the commercial wharves. Many roads leading from the harbour were paved with cobbles, later some Belgian block was also used as on North Water Street which becomes Cliff Road, however cobblestones and ashes mixed with gravel were the major materials used on Nantucket streets until asphalt began to appear.

The use of ash can be seen where we note the request from Captain Robert Calder (Century House Innkeeper) in his capacity as Surveyor of Highway in 1860. See below.


Innkeeper Gerry has long held the believe that the beginning of Cliff Road had also once been a cobblestoned street. He was proven correct as the cobblestones have resurfaced when Cliff Road was repaired. North Centre Street behind Century House was also cobblestoned with tracks for a horse cart to pull up baggage and supplies to Sea Cliff Hotel located further Northwest on Cliff.  In today’s world the cobbles would be very useful as they would slow down automobiles, once banned on the Island and allow for water seepage to and to the continued support of the clay cliff bluff. By the way automobiles were banned from Nantucket mostly because of the noise and the reaction of animals to the noise. The Tesla would not have caused this noise.  See Story below!

Tesla, the new electric roadster

Fast Forward to Summer 2010 when Century House hosts guest Don MacNeil and his electric TESLA “Evolve”, the new electric roadster. 

Engineered for both performance and efficiency, the zero-emissions Roadster can drive 245 miles per charge and accelerate to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. With only 1200 “Evolve”s in the world, the Roadster was our first “plug-in” Century House guest! Pictured above Tesla awaits Don to instruct CH guests before they took it for a spin around the Island! Rumor has it that the car can go up to over 125 mph in a matter of minutes – not that our CH Guest would know!

Good thing the highway of Milestone is not cobblestoned!!

Fall Happenings

(photo by Terry Pommett) Fall brings its own special traditions on Island and some of our favorites are listed below:

Walking Tours including  “Moby Dick and Nantucket” discovering the ties both factual and mystical that bind them; “Great Writers on Nantucket” recalling Melville, Steinbeck and Hemingway from the past. Why not add the present day of Nat Philbrick, Elin Hilderbrand, Nancy Thayer, Sara Chase Cary Hazlegrove to name a few.

Water Excusions including “Seal Cruise” exploring the outer island of Muskeget; “Whale Watching” observing Humpback, Finback and Minke Whales in their natural habitat; other sightings include White-Sided Dolphins, Seabirds, Sea Turtles, Ocean Sunfish and Basking Sharks on this thrilling off-shore adventure.

Nature Walks including Marine Ecology Field Trip collecting and identifying fish, crabs, shrimp and other marine life as part of the Maria Mitchell Aquarium biodiversity study of life in Nantucket Harbors; Bird Watching;  anf Family Nature Walks from the UMass Nantucket Field Station.

Restaurant Week starting Monday,  September 27, when participating restaurants present their fare at reduce fix pricing for lunch and/or dinner; always a favorite with Century House guests;

Cranberry Festival Saturday, October 9,2010 highlighting the crimson red cranberries being gathered from a flooded bog on a cool, crisp Autumn day. Held at the beautiful Milestone Cranberry bog, this traditional New England harvest celebration features fresh Nantucket Cranberries, children’s events, sheep shearing demonstrations, live music, hay rides and delicious food. Presented by the Nantucket Conservation Foundation.


Century House Fall Artist in Residence Program September 12 – October 8, 2010 will again this Season feature the Thursday night “Art on the Piazza” festivities where visiting artists meet and greet fellow guests, neighbors and friends.  Easels are set on the veranda, paintings displayed, wine, seltzers, and snacks complete the ambiance.  At time of Century House Newsletter distribution, this Fall Artists include:


Ken Knowles

David Schock

Christopher Wheat

Carolyn Blaylock

Renee Lammers

September and October Events

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.

Century House • 10 Cliff Road • Nantucket • MA • 02554