About the Inn
The Ashley Inn, a Martha's VIneyard Inn, offers an attractive 19th century sea captain's home with island charm.
In 1860, upon retiring from the island whaling industry, Captain William H. Crowell built the house for his wife and eight children. For over one hundred years, visitors and natives alike have admired this large home with its unique clover leaf window and distinctive accent panes.
In the late 19th century Captain Crowell's daughter Mary and her husband, Captain George W. Brown, assumed responsibility for the estate. Captain Brown was a famous sea captain who mastered the ships Syren and Pilgrim. For many years he sailed his ships around the world, bringing back exotic treasures from faraway places.
During the 20th century, the house remained in the captain's family through his daughter Gertrude and his granddaughter, Olive Hillman. Then in the spring of 1983 this lovely, well maintained home was converted to a small, gracious inn. We now celebrate our 30th anniversary of welcoming guests to the Ashley Inn.
The Ashley Inn was selected for the Editor's Choice Award from the Cape Code Travel Guide.
Fred Hurley began his hotel career in various capacities at the Harbor View, then earned his hotel management degree, and, with his wife Janet, became only the second pair to own the Ashley Inn. As proprietors for more than 20 years, the Hurleys love innkeeping, and they love their inn. From the crimson Sandwich glass panes in the front door panels to the fragrant aroma of Janet's specialty, apricot-white chocolate scones, this place is about comforting details.
Guests arrive, and they return. A Texas couple who got engaged here in 1988 still comes. Visitors gravitate to the hammock by the willow out back or to the lovely fireplaced living room, enlivened by rose and flower wallpaper. They savor not just those scones but also Janet's homemade breads and quiches, her Belgian waffles. They make sure their jaunts to town or shore are complete in time for the delectable afternoon teas.
They request Room 9 with its 1860 lover-leaf window or Room 10, a minisuite replete with both queen ad day beds. They consider the house's rich history as associated with the whaling industry. Built by captain Crowell in 1960, the house, did note leave his family's hands for more than 200 years and became an inn.
An understated rather than an ostentatious home, the Ashley Inn personifies New England. It doesn't call attention to itself, but once one gets acquainted, there's no place one would rather be.
Reprinted from the Cape Cod Travel Guide.