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A legacy as old as cape cod itself
The history of Chatham Bars Inn is as old as Cape Cod itself. In 1707, Squire Richard Sears, an affluent landowner, raised cattle and sheep on the property before dividing the land, known as Squire Sears Farm, into smaller parcels and selling them to individual farmers. With 25 acres of oceanfront property, Chatham Bars Inn would be impossible to develop today and it is truly an irreplaceable asset.
In 1912, wealthy Boston stockbroker Charles Hardy begins acquiring land with the goal of building a hunting lodge for Boston vacationers. A year later he completes the Main Inn and nine cottages (which still stand today) in the style of a "modern" resort. Early advertisements boast of "plastered, soundproof rooms with electric lights, steam heat, long distance telephone in every room and private bathrooms with fresh and salt (ocean) water baths."
Hardy's hotel also operates its own 25-acre farm, which provides fresh produce and dairy products for guests' meals. The cuisine is considered "the best of New England cooking with special attention to sea foods." A municipal water source does not exist in town, so Hardy builds not one, but two different towers, located behind the Main Inn. Windmills pump water from the towers to the Inn. One of the cement footings still exists on the north side of Seaview Cottage.
In 1914, Chatham Bars Inn opens its doors as an elegant, self-contained tourist destination.
In 1915, a pier is built over a natural pool of salt water connecting the hotel's main beach to an emerged sandbar. This allows guests to swim in the shallow, warmer water on the inside of the bar, or venture into the colder, deeper waters on the ocean side of the bar. A pump located by the end of the pier brings saltwater up to a storage tank on the roof of the Inn, which feeds water to guest rooms for popular saltwater baths.
The pier proves so popular that a few years later, a bathhouse is built. By 1940, the pier is used to tie up pleasure boats and for ferry service to the barrier beach. Unfortunately, as the sands shift the sand bar erodes, and the pier is no longer needed. It is dismantled in the early 1960's.
In 1922, Hardy expands Chatham Bars Inn’s appeal when the Eastward Ho Golf Course opens. The 9-hole course is open to the public.
In 1929, after Hardy’s death, Hardy's trust company, Chatham Associates, continues to manage the Inn until 1953, when it is sold to a local businessman whose family owns and operates the Inn until 1987.
In 1988, under new ownership, Chatham Bars Inn transitions from a summer vacation destination to a year-round resort.
In 1993, an extensive process begins to restore the Inn to its original grandeur, while at the same time modernizing it with up-to-date amenities that meet the needs of discriminating guests. No portion of the Inn is left untouched.
In 1999, Chatham Bars Inn becomes a member of The Leading Hotels of the World.
2004, Chatham Bars Inn earns the prestigious AAA Four-Diamond Award and is named one of the top resorts in the world by Travel & Leisure Magazine, and the best hotel on Cape Cod by Boston Magazine.
In 2005, construction of The Spa at Chatham Bars Inn begins.
In 2006, under new ownership, Chatham Bars Inn opens Spa and Signature Spa Suites to its guests.
In 2007, Chatham Bars Inn completes $14 million upgrade to the resort, including guestrooms, landscaping, dining and public facilities. They add the Japanese gardens and year-round relaxation pool at The Spa at Chatham Bars Inn.
The pier is rebuilt to allow easier access to Chatham Bars Inn’s Fleet of Boats.
The Main Inn, Privet and Cranberry guestrooms are all renovated. The flagpole terrace, just off the Veranda, is built allowing guests another location to sit and enjoy the view.
The Monomoy ballroom is completely renovated and Joel Meyerowitz photographs are added to the décor of the Main Inn.
Chatham Bars Inn is voted by readers to the Conde Nast Readers Choice Top 100 Awards.