History

The Shelter Harbor Inn is located on farmland dating back to the early 1800's. The original farmhouse, after numerous additions, has become the focal point of the Inn while the surrounding 200 acres of farmland has become the community of Shelter Harbor.

The Inn was first established in 1911 when Dr. Franklin Lawson from New York City purchased the property in order to establish a community for musicians. Dr. Lawson, a noted voice teacher, encouraged other musicians to visit the Inn and to purchase lots in the newly established community called "Music colony." It would become an ideal place for musicians and their families to relax between the summer performing season in Newport and winter in New York City.

By the early 1920's, Music colony had grown to include many non-musicians and the community changed its named to Shelter Harbor. The roads still retain the names of famous musicians such as Wagner, Handel, Bach, and Rossini.

During the 1930's a couple from England, Mr. and Mrs. Borsay ran the Inn. Mr. Borsay was an accomplished equestrian and developed a well known riding academy on the property. Many of our local citizens remember their early equestrian training from Mr. Borsay. Meanwhile, his wife was in charge of running the Inn.

During the 1940's, the Shelter Harbor Inn became a nursing home, but was later reconverted to an Inn by Mrs. Romaine who bought the property in 1950. She ran the Inn during the summer months for the next 15 years. Following this, Peter and Jackie D'Lude purchased the Inn and ran it for 10 years. In 1976 it was purchased by the current owner, Jim Dey.

Much of the development of Shelter Harbor Inn began after 1976, starting with the rebuilding of the barn, and the addition of six new guest rooms and a conference room. This was followed with the expansion of the kitchen facilities, as well as an addition of a new dining room called the "Garden Room", which helped to double the restaurant's seating capacity. Next was the removal and rebuilding of most of the second floor and expanding it out over the new dining room. The last major project was the addition of the four room carriage house, bringing  the Shelter Harbor Inn  to house twenty four guest rooms.

 

Click on the logo picture below to read an article published in the Block Island Times about the transformation of the Shelter Harbor Inn under the current owner, Jim Dey.

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