Hotel Wentworth Opens in 1874
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Written by Vintage News

Wentworth Hotel

“The Wentworth”

The Daily Evening Times
June 15, 1874



Not seen since 1874, this complete newspaper article offers little-known details about the opening of Wentworth by the Sea 130 years ago.Read the complete transcript and see rare photos from "Wentworth by the Sea: The LIfe and TImes of a Grand Hotel".




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EDITOR'S NOTE: THis is an original account from an 1874 newspaper. The article was recently discovered by historian Richard Winslow and contains information not included in our hardcover history of the hotel. It is reprinted here for the first time since 1874. The rare early photos did not accompany the article, but are courtesy of the Portsmouth Athenaeum and Matthew Thomas.

No spot of its size upon the Atlantic coast, can boast of more historic interest or greater attractions in local beauties, than New Castle. But few of our residents, however much acquainted with the village of New Castle, are familiar with the attractive points on the southerly shores of Great Island, and it has remained for Mr. Daniel E. Chase, a native of New Hampshire, to demonstrate the attractiveness of this spot soon to become famous as a summer resort.

Wentworth HotelMr. Chase, while sojourning on the island last summer, was struck with the beauties of the southwest section of the town bordering upon Little Harbor, and foresaw, with a sagacity that has characterized his former business operations, its capacity for a spacious and commodious retreat for summer visitors. He accordingly purchased about forty acres of land, including the site of the hotel, the construction of which he began last season, and hardly had the preparations for building commenced, ere every one wondered that it was not done years before. The new hotel is called “the Wentworth.” It is a well-built and admirably planned house, constructed under Mr. Chase’s supervision by a master builder from Somerville, Mass., with an extensive hall and office, large general parlor, reading room, reception room, &c., on the first floor, with a cheerful and well-lighted dining room capable of seating 400 guests. Around three sides of the house is a piazza fourteen feet wide, allowing guests even in an easterly storm, a comfortable spot under shelter to watch the “ramp and roar/Of wild waves dashing on the shore.”

The peculiar attractiveness of the in-door arrangements at The Wentworth is, that every room, north, south, east or west, has an equally extensive and enjoyable prospect, so that one is at a loss to indicate which room he would prefer to another; all is fact having from their windows views of the sea, land and river, unsurpassed by any like establishment we have ever visited.

CONTINUE with 1874 Hotel Report



Wentworth House

The Wentworth has all the modern conveniences of a well-appointed hotel, for cooking, washing and other arrangements. It is lighted by 130 gas burners; the gas being supplied by one of the Springfield Gas Machines; gas being introduced into every room in the house.

wbsbooklink.jpgThe great desideratum of such a place is pure water. Many a sea-side visitor has become sick and found the cause was that the kind of water drank did not agree with them. The Wentworth is well supplied from a never-failing spring which gushes near the river side about six hundred feet from the house. The artiste in the culinary department this season is from the St. James Hotel, Boston, whose reputation will doubtless be sustained in this new field of usefulness. The clerk is Mr. Thayer from Boston.

The lower story of the house is finished in chestnut and black walnut. The staircases are broad and the room above stairs comfortably large and cheerful. The cupola affords one of the most extensive views that can be obtained from any point on the coast. One looks far out to sea, the view extending from Ipswich Bay to the far-off coast of Maine, while the prospect inland extends, in a clear day, to the summits of the White Mountains. One only needs to know that on the piazza of the Wentworth, he stands more than seventy feet above the level of the sea, at high water, to comprehend the fact that here is the best sea-side view upon the coast.

Porch at Wentworth House

No pains have been spared to furnish the hotel. The carpets were supplied by Childs, Crosby & Lane, of Boston; the bells and annunciator by Seth W. Fuller, 25 Devonshire street; furniture by Parsons & Torry, 464 Washington street; mattresses, 7c., by John Holman & Co., 60 Union street, ware by Wm. B. Moore & Son, 26 Main street, Charlestown; gas fixtures by the Tucker Manufacturing Co., all of Boston. The safe is from Sargent Greenleaf, of Rochester, NY.

CONTINUE with 1874 Hotel Report



But while everything in the house, under the direction of Mr. Chas. E. Campbell, whose experience at the Appledore in the past seasons firs him for this position, will be conducted on a scale equal to any similar establishment in the State, it is to the out-of-door attractions of this spot that we constantly turn, to admire and commend. The beautiful pine grove; its shady walk by the flowing river; its great variety of bathing facilities; the surf bath for the vigorous and its novelty in the shape of a tempered salt water reservoir, made by damming an inlet wherein flows the pure water from the ocean, over a sandy bottom, shallow and comfortable, where children and ladies of impaired health can obtain all the invigorating advantages of a salt-water bath and avoid the shock to the system often received from the cold waves of most of our beaches. These with its superior facilities for boating among the islands of the Piscataqua, or up the pleasant and romantic Sagamore Creek, or out on the broad Ocean, as one may desire; or its drives inland, soon to be enhanced by the construction of the bridge, extending six hundred feet in length to the shores of Rye, intersecting the Sagamore Road, when the visitor can drive in to Wallis’ Sands, and other points of interest, over the solid roads in Rye. Good fishing and the various other enjoyments known to sojourners by the seaside, are always at hand.

Wentworth Hotel Guests

Our visit to this new establishment convinced us that it will only require to be known to be appreciated, and in the hope that our readers far and near will visit this delightful spot during the season, we most heartily commend them to The Wentworth as the most comfortable and enjoyable establishment of the kind upon the Atlantic coast. Mr. Chase intends to improve the extensive grounds adjacent to his hotel by the erection of cottages, having recently made an additional purchase of land for that purpose; and, ere long, we shall see New Castle as celebrated as a summer resort, as it was in early time renowned for its political and commercial importance.

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