Queen Anne I, of England, and Cape Cod go synonymously in New England lore. Without her, the Puritans would not have even made it over here. The first road crossing the Cape from Sandwich to Eastham was named after the benevolent Queen. Remnants of the road still exist and still bearing her name. You can find them in some of the older villages. You guessed right, we are on Chatham’s portion of this old coach road and proudly share its name since 1874.

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Built in 1840 as a wedding present for the daughter of clipper ship Captain Norman Howes, it originally became the first parish house of the “First Congregational Church”, when Captain Howes’ daughter married a minister.

In 1874, the Taylor family from Maine bought the property and started to operate the “Queen Anne Inn”, adding the original, then smaller north wing to the building. The Taylors were the first who actively promoted Chatham and the Cape as a vacation destination. They organized large hunting parties and fishing trips, luring many mainlanders to the Outer Cape.

Pen and ink illustration from the late 1800s of visitors to Chatham rowing, sailing, walking the beach.

At the end of World War I, the Taylors sold the place to the Swan family, who then operated the Inn with their children until 1972. The Swans enlarged the north and added the south wing. They gained an excellent reputation and made the “Queen Anne” one of the Cape’s landmarks. The Swan family preserved the original Victorian character of the Inn and did not give in to the styles of the 50’s and 60’s. In this period, the “motel culture” took over the hospitality trade and the place was not much in demand. Sold under duress in 1972, the Inn, within a summer season, lost all its remaining clientele and became the “central dormitory” for seasonal workers in Chatham. Very soon the old rambling inn was in a desolate situation.

In 1979, it was saved just in the nick of time when it was bought by Austrian born hotelier Guenther Weinkopf. Over the years, the original Victorian style and ambience was restored, reflecting the elegant simplicity, so much desired by the puritan-oriented lifestyle of the New England Yankees. A few of the antique furniture pieces still can be found in the Queen Anne, never having left the place for over 100 years.