Beach Cottage Memories
The Beach Cottage is one of our most popular accomodations. It is a separate one-bedroom house with full kitchen and laundry. Decorated in a nautical theme, our guests have found it to be a wonderful getaway, perfect for those who desire additional privacy, or for first-time B&B visitors.
I have older memories of the house, years before it was the Beach Cottage.
A Little History
The lot where the Cottage is now located originally contained a much larger house, the front wing of the original Napolian Bonaparte Stone house. (The main house that today the makes up the B&B was the rear wing of the original house.) The house was moved onto the lot about 1926. As the couple that lived in the house grew older, the house fell into disrepair and was demolished about 1961.
The small one-bedroom house that we know as the Beach Cottage was erected about 1964 on the back of the lot where the old house had been. It was built for caretakers of the main house (now the Silver Heart Inn), and was occupied intermittently throughout the years.
This is where I come into the story. In junior high school, I met classmate Evan, who lived in the main house with his grandparents. We became fast friends, and I often rode my bike about a mile to visit during the summer. In high school, we spent Saturday evenings with other classmates and friends and played Risk in the main house.
Up All Night
I well remember a sleepover one night in the “Little House,” as it was known then. It must have been about the summer of 1977. Evan and I watched the huge wooden console television all night: Johnny Carson, then the Late Show, then the Late, Late Show. After the sun came up, we got about an hour of sleep.
Evan and I graduated from high school and went our separate ways. The Little House became a rental property, and was used for a time as the office of Shirley’s interior decorating business. It must have been a large concern, because when we purchased the home, we noticed that two phone lines had been run to the cottage.
The Beach Cottage at the B&B
Melanie and I bought the main house in the spring of 2012. The property included the Little House, so it became part of our B&B. We decided to decorate it as a beach cottage, as a tribute to Melanie’s childhood summer visits to the New Jersey shore and Virginia beaches, and to my years in the Navy in exotic places close to a beach.
The ancient wood-cabinet television in the living room was long gone, and where it stood we put in an electric fireplace with an LED television above. The bathroom and kitchen got beautiful tile on the walls, and new counters and sinks. The kitchen cabinets were refinished and the fixtures were modernized. We refurbished a ceiling fan in the living room and installed a new one in the bedroom. The bedroom featured a seaside mural along the top of the wall, hand painted by Melanie and daughter Amy. The sand and shell bedside lamps were assembled by daughter Emily.
We spent a couple of months during the sweltering summer of 2012 remodeling the house. By September, everything took on a new sense of urgency. Melanie secretly arranged with Evan and my high school friends to come for a Risk Reunion. One of my friends booked the Beach Cottage to stay in, though at the time I didn’t know it was him. All I knew was that we had our first customer in a week and a half!
The Final Push
If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would ever get done! I took off work the week before arrival to finish all the improvements in time. I repaired the bathtub, then sanded and painted to finish. All the rooms had bead board paneling mounted and topped with decorative crown molding, then the walls were painted. We planted sea grass in front of the porch and rigged a soaker hose to keep it from withering in the heat. We finished in the nick of time and our first guest (my old Risk friend) had a delightful time.
Since our first visitor, we have continued to improve the Beach Cottage. The next summer, we added a rock beach and boardwalk to improve the experience and make the path easier. In the last year, we have added a separate WiFi access point and replaced the roof. This year, we installed a new fireplace, upgraded the TV to 43-inch, and we have plans for even more improvements over the summer.
The Perfect Stay
Many people have enjoyed staying at the Beach Cottage. We often get compliments for the comfortable bed. A kitchen with microwave and full-sized stove mean that our visitors can prepare meals, if they desire. For guests with reduced mobility, the cottage is on one level with one step and one threshhold between the parking lot and the living room.
The Beach Cottage is isolated from the main house and the street, so you can enjoy secluded privacy. It is the perfect getaway for your first visit to a B&B. And, as with all our guests, you get a gourmet breakfast served each morning in the main house!
Won’t you consider staying with us in the Beach Cottage?