This book tells the story of the Orleans Inn which stands as a monument to the past of Orleans, Massachusetts. If you listen closely, the creaking floorboards of the house, the gentle lapping of the water at the shore’s edge and the muffled roar of the ocean all have stories to tell. Nicholas and Constance were one of seven families who, after being deeded the land by Governor Bradford, left Plymouth to settle the Nauset Region, which later became the towns of Wellfleet, Eastham, and Orleans. Generations later, the Snow family had become an integral thread in the fabric of Orleans life. In 1797, Isaac Snow was instrumental in the incorporation and renaming of the town of Orleans. Where today our back deck fronts Town Cove, Aaron had constructed a wharf, made from the timbers of a vessel shipwrecked on the notoriously dangerous Nauset Shoals. The wharf was home to Aaron’s schooner, the Nettie M Rogers, which sailed the New England coast, bringing to Orleans her cargo of oil, grain, and fuel for sale to the town’s people. From this building, his home, and the surrounding buildings, Aaron and his family ran a store. Aaron’s son, William H., later moved the family business to the center of Orleans where, to this day, it is run under the Snow name, by the Snow family. Aaron died on May 10, 1892, and the building, which came to be known to locals as “Aaron’s Folly,” remained empty until it was purchased in 1900. During the first 30 or so years of this century, under at least four different owners, the building was run as a boarding house. The northeast and southwest wings were added to the structure shortly after World War II and the building became first a summer, then a year-round hotel. It still welcomes visitors to this very day.
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