History of Angel of the Sea
The Angel of the Sea stores a long history within its lavish walls and antique-filled spaces. The home was built in 1850 as a summer cottage for Philadelphia chemist William Weightman Sr. It opened its doors as a B&B in 1990. Let’s take a look at how it got there and who might still be around.
Using its angelic name as inspiration, or perhaps its powers of apparition, the inn has managed to float closer to the sea throughout its lifetime. It originally stood at Franklin and Washington streets. In 1881, Weightman decided that he wanted an ocean view, so as any sane person would do, he had it moved to the corner of Ocean and Beach Avenue.
As the story goes, the large house was way too big to move in one piece. They cut it in half with the plan to reconnect it after the move, which was accomplished by mules and horses pulling the pieces on logs. As luck would have it, they weren’t able to push the pieces back together, so they simply connected the house with facades. The building is like that to this day.
The structure was in the Weightman family until 1905. For about 50 years, it was called the Weightman Cottage and saw life as a guest house, a hotel, and a restaurant. In 1962, the Great Atlantic Storm, which became known as the Ash Wednesday Storm, destroyed a large portion of the town. The inn received some damage, but it was not a complete loss. However, as a result, the two houses almost saw the destruction. Seeing the potential, Reverend Carl McIntire spared the structure and moved it, by the more modern method of flatbed trucks, to its current location on Trenton Avenue.
From 1962 to the early ‘80s, the building was used as a dormitory for Shelton College and as boarding for nearby inn employees. By 1981, the many years of neglect and vandalism had deemed the buildings uninhabitable.
In 1989, John and Barbara Girton saw promise in the good bones of the building and began renovating. Work took place around the clock. Cabinets were made out of refurbished wood pieces white gingerbread trim, window details, and brackets were all re-created to bring back the Victorian charm of yesteryear. The $3.5 million renovations were complete in 1990. The Girton’s sold the inn in 1995 to their daughter, Lorie Whissell, who ran it for 20 years. The current owners, Theresa and Ron Stanton purchased it in 2015.
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