Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Happy New Year and welcome to the long-awaited 2021!


As we welcome the long-awaited 2021, with renewed hope for a safer future, we look forward to a ‘new normal’, one in which an excursion to a romantic inn on an idyllic island in the most authentically historic part of the United States for a grand adventure is a first step in healing the scars of 2020. 

Come home to historic Nantucket- a magical island, 30 miles out to sea and one of the easternmost points of the Americas.  We promise, after a few hours, of inhaling the island’s pristine and salty air and relaxing into the warmth and beauty of the Martin House Inn, you will melt into the tempo and gentle pace of the island community and feel a bit as though you have never worked for a living.  Whether you come in our quiet season or in our high season, there is always much to see and do.

The island is rich with history.  Able to boast the largest concentration of Native American names of places in the country, Nantucket, in the Wampanoag dialect, means “far away land”.  Nantucket Island was considered the Whaling Capital of the World from 1800-1840 and, at its peak had 88 whale ships at sea, all around the world, resulting in a per capita wealth for the time that would rival Saudi Arabia’s today.  It was during this period that the Martin House Inn was built by sea captain and gentleman, Nathaniel Sherman for his bride Hepsabeth.  Situated in the heart of Nantucket’s famed “historic district”, this resplendent 1803 mariner’s mansion will take you back to a romantic place and time when the new world was still being discovered and America was hardly yet a notion.  And to a place in time when women ran the island businesses while their husbands were away at sea, whaling.  At the time the inn was built there, Centre Street  was known as Petticoat Row, where all the proprietors actually wore petticoats and kept the island businesses and economy thriving.  The Great Fire of 1846 destroyed much of the island’s business district and the wharfs.  The Great Fire, the discovery of oil in the United States and the dwindling demand for whale oil, the silting up of the harbor, and the discovery of gold in California in 1849 all marked the end of the whaling era prosperity in Nantucket, and the beginning of an economic depression that lasted until tourism replaced whaling as Nantucket’s economic base.  2020 tested that economic base, but Nantucket is resilient and enters 2021 with arms and doors wide open.

Other interesting facts about the island’s history and things to do during your stay include:

Nantucket was home port to two ships that were involved in the Boston Tea Party:  the Beaver and the Dartmouth, owned by the Rotch family, whose offices were located at the foot of Main Street in the brick building now call The Pacific Club.


Herman Melville based his novel Moby Dick on the true and tragic tale of whale ship Essex.  This Nantucket ship was whaling in the Pacific off the coast of South America in 1820 when it was rammed and sunk by a sperm whale.  Melville received his information from Owen Chase, a Nantucket resident and a mate on the Essex and one of only eight survivors, who kept the ship’s log. Our local author

Nathaniel Philbrick chronicles the history of the island in The Heart of the Sea, which is now also a motion picture.


Nantucket is an island, a county, and a town.  It is the only place in America with the same name for all three.


Nantucket’s year-round population is ~11,327 (2018), but its summer population soars to over 50,000.


Nantucket has over 82 miles of pristine beaches, only about two miles of which belong to the town.  The remaining beaches are owned by private non-profit organizations and landowners who graciously open them to the public.


Nantucket has more than 35 miles of bicycle paths


Nantucket is 3 ½ miles wide and 15 miles long in size.


Nantucket is usually 10% cooler than the mainland in the summer and 10% warmer in the winter because of its proximity to the Gulf Stream.


The highest point on the Island is Folger Hill at 109 feet above sea level, followed closely by Altar Rock at 108 feet.  Altar Rock is one of 3 major areas that comprise the Middle Moors.  The other 2 are the Serengeti and the Pout/Poot Ponds.


Nantucket Memorial Airport is the second busiest commercial airport in Massachusetts after Logan International in Boston.


Nantucket has several noted museums and galleries, including the Maria Mitchell Association and the Nantucket Whaling Museum.

Nantucket is home to the Theatre Workshop of Nantucket, Nantucket’s longest running professional theatre, since 1956.  It is also the home to the Dreamland Theatre and the White Heron Theatre, and to the Nantucket Community Music Center.


Nantucket is a haven for writers, including Nat Philbrick, Elin Hilderbrand, Nancy Thayer, Jodi Picoult, Alice Hoffman, Barbara White, Cary Hazlegrove, Liza Gershman.  John Steinbeck even came to the solitude of Nantucket’s easternmost shore in Siasconset to work on his greatest novel, East of Eden.  He declared his adopted east-end enclave to be "a beautiful place and the most peaceful I have ever been." (Hartford Courant)


Nantucket is known worldwide for its outstanding culinary offerings and sports a plethora of restaurants from family-fun to fine dining. Cisco Brewers, an award-winning brewery and the maker of Notch, was established on the island.


Nantucket is famous for its many wonderful festivals- Daffodil Festival, Nantucket Wine Festival, the Luna Festival, the Figawi, the Nantucket Book Festival, the Nantucket Film Festival, the Nantucket Comedy Festival, the Nantucket Dance Festival, the Nantucket Yoga Festival, the Boston Pops, the Nantucket Project, the Cranberry Festival, and Christmas Stroll.


Nantucket boasts three award-winning golf courses.


Nantucket offers a multitude of water sports and fishing and boating excursions.


Nantucket features cobbled streets with one-of-a-kind shopping, including artisan offerings, beautiful clothing, and many jewelry stores and art galleries.


Above is just a sampling of Nantucket’s offerings. Even when gatherings are limited, the island is rich in culture and nature.  With multiple beaches, bike paths, parks, golf courses, and Conservation trails, theatres, restaurants, book stores, and our veranda and serenity gardens, the island offers something for everyone. 

The Island is also known for its conservation and Land Bank lands and trails.

The Martin House Inn team looks forward to welcoming you in 2021, and to being a part of your island adventures. Here's to creating memories that will last a lifetime!

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