Emerson Inn by the Sea
In 1856, historic tavern owner William Norwood found his livelihood destroyed when local temperance advocate Hannah Jumper led 200 female cohorts on a raid to rid the town of the evils of alcohol – an exploit so successful, the town of Rockport remained dry until 2005. Officially out of the tavern business, Norwood began operating Pigeon Cove House, a comfortable inn that catered to the growing number of summer visitors who had discovered the charms of Cape Ann. After Mr. Norwood’s death, his wife continued to operate the historic inn, “winning respect and commendation … from all quarters of the land.” The property was subsequently sold, relocated to its present site and named the Hotel Edward.
Among those who frequented the property was essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson, who was calmed and comforted by his trips to the shore and wrote eloquently of the sea’s restorative powers. The landmark inn evolved in size and scale but continued to welcome guests for the next 150 years. In 1964, the inn was renamed the Ralph Waldo Emerson Inn after its most celebrated guest. Then in 1998, following a painstaking renovation to its original seaside charm, the inn was reopened as the Emerson Inn by the Sea. Today, like Emerson, the inn’s guests can visit this craggy coastline and draw inspiration from its timeless beauty.
Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, a frequent guest, was inspired by the beauty of the craggy coastline visible from the inn.
Original Property Opened: 1856
One Cathedral Avenue
Rockport, MA 01966
Historic Hotels of America toll-free reservations number (800) 678-8946
Industry & Upheaval, 1849 ~ 1859
In 1856, historic tavern owner William Norwood found his livelihood destroyed when local temperance advocate Hannah Jumper led 200 female cohorts on a raid to rid the town of the evils of alcohol – an exploit so successful, the town of Rockport remained dry until 2005.
Learn more about the History of Emerson Inn by the Sea .