Built in 1790, The Tuck Inn in Rockport, MA is one of the finest bed and breakfasts on Cape Ann.
The Tuck Inn in Rockport, MA has served quite a variety of purposes over the years. While, we have been unable to locate much information about the early history of the property, it is our understanding that the inn was originally built by a sea captain in 1790 for one of his 3 sons. Father and sons resided within steps of each other on Pasture Lane, with the sons at #'s 13, 17, and 19, and # 23 for the father. Pasture Lane was re-named to High Street around 1825, when this area of Rockport started to become more populated.
"The Finest Lodging House in Rockport"
The inn was used as a single-family residence until the early 1900's, at which time it was converted into a two family home until 1948, when Albert and Edie Tuck purchased the property. The Tucks then converted the building into an overnight inn for lodging.
Thus was born the Tuck Inn Lodge, which offered seasonal lodging from May through September. As the inn prospered, the Tucks also purchased the buildings on either side of the inn and added more rooms for lodging in those two buildings as well.
Included on the original property of the inn was a small cottage built in the 1920's. Edie used that cottage for an upholstery business for a number of years before converting it to lodging rooms also. Several years and a few building additions later, the cottage was finally attached to the inn, and the Tucks were now renting 19 rooms for lodging to Cape Ann visitors.
The Tucks soon had kitchenettes installed in the 4 rental rooms in the cottage, although at some point in time they were removed later following a fire in one of those rooms. Sometime in the 1960's the Tucks also had the foresight to install an in-ground pool on the premises, which we understand was one of the first pools in Rockport.
A tradition of great food is born...
As if running a 19 room inn wasn't enough, Edie and Albert (quite reluctantly for him) decided that they (she) would like to offer dining in addition to lodging. They proceeded to turn the downstairs of the inn into 3 dining rooms for the public and ended up serving up to 50 meals a night. The food was spectacular, the rooms were perfection, and Edie and Albert received the greatest of praise by all their patrons.
As eldest daughter Kathryn relates the restaurant conversion story:
"This happened in 1956. We had been serving coffee & muffins and found that we had to get a license for the dairy products. Mom said: "What the hell, let's have a restaurant". My father was always aghast at my mother's audacity. Anyway, we put a few tables in the front room adjacent to the kitchen. Jackie (age 8) was salad girl. I (age 12) was waitress. Dad was chef, and mom was greeter and "keep it all together-er". We were cooking in a small normal kitchen and on a "gross stove". It was a hoot!"
Click here to see an old menu
With years of hard work and dedication, the Tucks had succeeded in turning the lodge into one of the most highly respected lodging houses in Rockport, MA and throughout Cape Ann. It was a sad day for guests and townspeople alike in 1980 when Albert passed away. Edie then sold the two main buildings of the inn to another couple and turned the smallest building over to her daughter who still maintained rentals there.
Click here to see an old brochure
During the 1980's, two different families ran the remaining lodging rooms and initially the dining room. It is unclear exactly when, but at some point the restaurant was discontinued, and breakfast became the only meal served - strictly for guests of the lodge. A few years later, the inn was then pared down to just the main building before ceasing operations in 1989.
Click here to see a 1981 rates list
The Rebirth of the Inn
In 1991, Liz and Scott Wood purchased the then derelict inn and The Tuck Inn was reborn as a B&B. On reflection, it is sad to think that for its 200th birthday this once beautiful colonial home was in such total disrepair that it had become the blight of the neighborhood.
Upon their purchase of the building, over the winter of 1991, the Woods undertook a massive rehab of the inn, and they have continued to upgrade the accommodations ever since. In 1994, they were able to re-purchase the building that Edie's daughter Jackie had kept and increased their rental rooms, maintaining the 2nd floor apartment for themselves.
With a negligible income stream and no repeat business, the first two years of operations for the Woods were difficult. In order to initially outfit the completely stripped inn, they purchased second hand furniture at flea markets and thrift shops; they frequented all the weekend yard sales and re-circulated family cast-offs. As the business rebounded, they were able to upgrade the décor and furnishings, the bathrooms, and all the mechanical systems. Today the inn is in top condition and is decorated with antiques, original artwork by local artists, handmade quilts and coverlets, and oriental rugs.
Now 22 years later the Woods have reestablished The Tuck Inn B&B to the level of prominence it had enjoyed under the stewardship of the Tuck family. Liz and Scott, now seasoned innkeepers themselves, are pleased to be able to invite you to come enjoy relaxing and comfortable year-round lodging in Rockport, MA on Cape Ann at the Tuck Inn B&B.
Come Visit Our Historical Inn
Relaxing and Comfortable Year-Round Lodging!