HISTORY

What’s the story?

The story of Watch Hill Inn is a narrative of resilience, preservation, and iconic New England charm that has endured the test of time. Established in 1845, Watch Hill Inn (originally called the Narragansett House) was owned and operated by Nathan Nash, son of the village’s first lighthouse keeper, Jonathan Nash. The building, perched on the brow of a hill 25 feet above sea level, was constructed atop a thick, heavy timber foundation, boosting the structure another 50 feet. An electric trolley system transported guests, employees and other visitors from downtown Westerly to Watch Hill, eventually attracting the likes of such famous stars as Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Andrew Mellon, Clark Gable and Henry Ford. As it gained popularity, it soon became clear that the area – with its unique coastal beauty and natural seclusion – could one day become a prime destination.

By the end of the 19th century, the Narragansett House was one of seven luxurious hotels wrapping the water’s edge. But the arrival of a hurricane in 1938 changed the village forever, with devastating winds and flooding destroying all but two of Watch Hill’s original hotels – Ocean House and Watch Hill Inn. As time wore on, both hotels fell into disrepair. In 1985, Watch Hill Inn was sold to singer Dana Valery Catalano and her husband, architect and real estate developer Peter Catalano. The first of many changes was to the building’s name. And so, Watch Hill Inn was born.

Meticulously renovated in 2006 and then again in 2013, the seasonal property marries uncompromising service reminiscent of the golden age of hospitality with contemporary touches, luxury amenities and the latest in modern technology.