A Brief History of Our Edgartown, MA Hotel
Over Two Centuries of Vineyard Charm
By far the most iconic Edgartown hotel, the Kelley House opened its doors in 1742 and has since been celebrated as one of the oldest hotels in America. The town of Edgartown has been known throughout the ages as a colonial settlement, whaling community, and an elegant vacation destination. The Kelley House hotel encompasses a long line of tradition and stands as one of the most distinguished historic hotels in all of New England.
It wasn’t until 1891 that the late Mrs. Elizabeth A. Kelley and her husband William Kelley, a famous storyteller, re-opened the hotel and called it the Seaview House, later renamed the Kelley House. The Kelley House's famed hospitality reflected not only Mrs. Kelley’s capable management but her husband’s rare personality. It was at the Kelley House that judges, statesmen, generals and other famous personages enjoyed a gracious atmosphere and Bill Kelley's stories. After Mr. Kelley’s death in 1907, Mrs. Kelley continued to operate the hotel with great success until her death in 1935.
In 1936, Richard L. Colter, Mrs. Kelley’s nephew took over as proprietor of the hotel and renamed it the Great Harbour Inn to mimic the first name of the town of Edgartown.
The filming of the movie Jaws took place June of 1975 on Martha's Vineyard. The Kelley House provided lodging for many of the cast and crew.
The Kelley House is a member of Historic Hotels of America®, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest historic hotels across America.