The Captains House Inn bed and breakfast started out as the grand home of Captain Harding, a well-known sea captain from Chatham, his wife Lydia, and their nine children. Many of the rooms are named after his daughters (Eliza Jane, Mariah, Hope and Hannah Rebekah) and some of the ships he and his son, Joseph, captained (Whirlwind, Wild Hunter and Northern Light).
The Harding family was well known in Chatham and Cape Cod. There are several roads, buildings, and the largest beach in Chatham, named after him.
In 1915, Mariah, the youngest daughter, sold the home to Daniel Manson, a shipping magnate from Salem, MA. Manson used the Captain's House as a summer residence and in 1928 moved the "bowroof" cape on to the estate. The Cape, now known as the Captain's Cottage was Manson's retreat, where he entertained many of his cronies with bourbon and poker. Daniel's son Joe founded Chatham Ford on Main Street in the 1930s.
The Manson family sold the estate that included a 20-acre farm and several cranberry bogs to the Palmer family in the early 1950s. Mr. Palmer, who was a dentist, subdivided the property and much of the estate was converted into single-family dwellings along Palmer and Manamock Drives.
The Runyon family purchased the remainder of the estate comprising 2 acres in 1972 and opened a boarding house in the main building catering to families in the summer months.In 1983, the Eakins purchased the property and turned it into an inn with 8 bedrooms. During their 10-year tenure they converted the barn and stables into the 5-unit Carriage House and the Captain's Cottage into 3 units. The tool shed became a dormitory for young girls from England and the continent who worked as wait staff, front office, and housekeeping. During this period the Eakins greatly improved the property to the point that in 1986 the Inn was awarded AAA Four-Diamond status.
Dave McMaster, a retired Navy Commander and ex-corporate CEO and Jan, his English wife, assumed “Keeper of the Inn” responsibilities in 1993. They added the luxurious “Stables” building in 1997 and equipped all of the rooms with fireplaces and TV/VCR combinations and seven of the rooms with whirlpools. The McMasters continued to improve the inn, maintaining its AAA Four-Diamond status throughout their thirteen-year tenure.Jill and James Meyer bought the Captain’s House Inn in 2006 after a two-year stint at the Carriage House Inn, just next door. James’ education in hospitality administration coupled with Jill’s degree in entrepreneurial studies and marketing as well as their prior innkeeping experiences have equipped them to maintain the high standards guests have come to expect when staying at the Captain’s House Inn.