Winter 2006

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Freedoms of Nantucket
Joy, Love, Peace
December 2006
Greetings Nantucket Lovers!

“How far that little candle throws his beams. So shines a good deed in a naughty world.”
Shakespeare: “The Merchant of Venice”


Our Gift to You: 2007 Calendars Available Now

Do you ever find yourself asking everyone “what day is ‘today?'” Or worse, “what date”? As if we can remember one more thing. Well, now you can find out for yourself. Easily. Last years calendars are back. It’s with a new date of course. We just thought we’d help. So we ordered plenty of calendars for all our past, present, and future guests.

They come in handy, and there is no cost. To receive one all you have to do is e-mail us your name and address at


Staff Highlight: the innkeeperette

When JeanE and Gerry fell in love and decided to get married, they wanted to be together (an impossible feat in her position with a small start up company, with prime responsibility for all marketing “East of the Mississippi”). They chose to look for a project in which they could create a vision of their own. Becoming the innkeepers of the Century House with its historic place as the oldest continuously operating inn on the Island – and one that had fallen into disrepair- became their baby.

But after fifteen years of 100% togetherness, they agreed that Gerry, ever the quintessential Innkeeper, would run the Century House and JeanE would revert to her love of real estate – and become a full time broker in Palm Beach, Florida (augmenting her part-time broker activities in Massachusetts since 1974). So JeanE, known to many as Jean Ellen rediscovered who she is, and that indeed is a privilege allotted to those who seek to live who they are.

And…A perfect win/win situation with Jean Ellen commuting to Nantucket throughout the Season. You may visit her website at More about her passion

~ Give the gift of Love ~
Surprises. They come in different sizes, shapes, or forms. Their value is priceless. And they are never forgotten. A gift certificate to Nantucket Island is the perfect surprise to celebrate the one you love on any occasion. The Birthday, Anniversary, Wedding, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s or a Holiday Celebration on Nantucket Island is the memory of a lifetime. Nantucket is like no other…Come and discover its beauty, its hidden treasures and take back its secrets. Please note: If the gift certificate is purchased prior to 31 December 2006 we will honor the Season 2006 rates when the reservation is placed. The dollar amount specified on the gift certificate, may be applied to any three or more night weekend stay or two night weekday stay at the Century House. It may be used between 15 May and 15 October 2007. Rush Delivery Available. If you would like to purchase a special gift for someone this Holiday Season, please call 508-228- 0530 or e-mail us at


A Nantucket Afficionado, A Palm Beach Lover

With this issue we are featuring Mrs. Leonora W. Rocca, a resident of both Palm Beach, FL and Sabillasville, MD. Among her many former homes was “Hickory Hill”, purchased by Robert & Ethel Kennedy.

Her international traveling, began at birth with her Father’s appointment in the Diplomatic Service to Ambassador Extraordinaire with unlimited powers by President Woodrow Wilson. This position eventually resulted in her Father creating our U.S. Customs Department. During her life she has wined and dined with many Dignitaries throughout the world. Mrs. Rocca came to know and love the Century House through her acquaintance with JeanEllen and Gerry during her winter 2004 stay in Palm Beach. Excited about another new experience, she vowed to journey to our beloved Island in the near future. After her visit in the Summer of 2006, Innkeepers Gerry and Staff received this touching and appreciative letter:

P.S. Did we forget to mention that she is a very, very young 98?.

“Dearest Inn Keepers, Oh my, what a delight and unexpected pleasure! The warmth and ambiance of your Bed & Breakfast greeted me like a warm fireplace on a cold winters night. Your personal touch and attention to every detail made my stay simply delightful. I know a more lovely place cannot be found in all of New England. JeanEllen and Gerry, Thank you! Charming island, gracious hosts and warm memories to last a lifetime. one could not ask for more. Therefore, you can be sure I’ll continue to visit each and every year for the rest of my life. Sincerely, Leonora W. Rocca



NEWS FLASH: “Arrival Nantucket, 1918” painting becomes a cover

Artist in Resident Russ Kramer (Artist-in-Residence, Summer 2006) recently was honored with his painting of “Arrival Nantucket, 1918” becoming the cover for Obed Macy’s 1835 book A HISTORY OF NANTUCKET.

A jewel of a text, the book offers the reader a window into the daily life of the Islander from 1602 through the mid 1850’s. The reprint is published by Hailer Publishing of St. Petersburg, Florida and a copy can be obtained by contacting James E. Hailer at

Consider this one of your “Nantucket Discovery Gifts” and a connection with the Century House as the the author was related to Peleg Macy, the owner of the land upon which sits the Century House, acquired by Captain Calder in 1833!


More about Russ Kramer Artist



In This Issue…

Little Known Treasures:The Scalloping Adventure on Nantucket

Scallop:a shell of any of various marine bivalve mollusks of the family Pectinidae, with circual or fan- shaped shell valves.
 Little Known Treasures:It is this edible flesh of these mollusks that has become the quest for many guests who ask Innkeeper Gerry, “Where can I get Nantucket scallops for dinner?” So famous is this sweet, delicate treat – a taste so unlike any scallop in the world (there are over 400 varieties) and sadly the answer is usually “nowhere” as the Commercial Scalloping season is November 1-March 31, when the Century House is closed.However, in October of each year there is a special opportunity for recreational scalloping and the Century House may offer an adventure in scalloping to celebrate in 2007, so stay tuned…

As for the process, using pushrakes or dipnets (dredges if commercial permits) along the harbor while wading, diving or snorkeling, the scalloper painstakingly gathers the scallops into the container. Now imagine a bushel of these gems – shells intact – going off to the “shucking shack” where one deftly splices the shell to abstact the “flesh”. Innkeeperette JeanE did this one fine October day with her sister Joanne – who’s Harbor Front Cottage was once used in the early 1900’as a shucking shack- and discovered that the bushel’s yield was miniscule!!!! Enough for a dinner for two at best.. No wonder scallops are so dear!

With the yield of approximately 117,000 bushels harvested in 1980-81 reduced to 5,500 in 2005 and Season 2006 predicted to be lower than previous year, one questions the impact of environmental changes on our coveted Nantucket Scallop and Scalloper. And one needs to remember that the commercial venture is held in bitter cold, raw, barren winter weather so watch for the “easy living” alternative in October, 2007!!

Quick Links…


voice: 508-228-0530

Historic 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.

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