The cozy and historic Cliff Lodge is nestled in the hills above and between Nantucket's downtown cobblestone streets and the island's most pristine and popular beaches, right in the middle of the Historic District. Looking as beautiful today as it did more than 200 years ago, this resplendent mariner's mansion offers a restful, comfortable and casual vacation experience with all the views, tastes, sounds and comforts you'll need to help you go back to that place in time when life was so much simpler....
...The house, originally built by a Sea Captain for his family in 1771, overlooks famous Nantucket Harbor views and seascapes as fine as can be seen from any historic inn on Island.
This majestic home stood at the time the British Navy decided to "make use" of Nantucket's fleet of whaling ships in the fight for the colonies. The founding family residing at the house that day would easily have seen the (in)famous landing of the Red Coats in Nantucket Harbor from their windows. On a typical day, the sea captain and his wife could watch all the excitement of the whaling ships coming and going from the comfort of their rooms and roof walk. Panoramic views from what some have come to call the "widow's walk" are featured throughout this site.
Caroline Parker Hills
written in 1888
High on a cliff, o'erlooking land and sea,
A cottage, vine clad, woos the summer skies:
The robins freely give their minstrelsy,
The meadow-lark from hidden covert flies.
The hay-fields, ripening waft their fragrant breath,
In verdant contrast with the sea's vast deep:
And here the farmer gleans the aftermath,
And there the white-sailed shallops glide or sleep.
How silver-toned the distant village bell,
That rings the matin and the vesper chime,
Like blissful dream, the lingering sounds that tell
The onward flight of swift eluding time.
O days so brightly blest, so ample crowned:
O nights, where ocean breezes blandly play:
Could way-worn pilgrim better shrine have found
Than where the sea-tern takes her devious way?
Though storms ere long may dark above them lower,
Yet He who guides the bird through mist and foam
Will not forget to shelter with His power
The happy dwellers in their island home.
In the mid 1800s, as the whaling industry waned, the property was purchased by a fascinating island poet named Caroline Parker Hills, who resided in this venerable home for nearly 50 years. Considered by some to be Nantucket's leading female poet, Hills wrote of the beauty and majesty of Nantucket's yesteryear with a natural passion reflecting the inspired nature poetry of her time. Truly a Romantic at heart – the Poetess of Cliff Lodge wrote of Nantucket with a nostalgic romance that resonates throughout the house today. Snippets from Hill's "A Nantucket Hermitage" are featured throughout this site, and a poem she wrote about the house and its environs follows: