History of the Candleberry Inn

plaque with date inn was built
National Register of Historic Places Plaque

1882 Main Street on the Old King’s Highway, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, the Candleberry Inn’s buildings are historically significant and date back to the 1700s. The oldest part of the Inn is the Main House’s dining room and Seacroft Suite, built circa 1780 – 1790. The Georgian Federal-style building at the front of the Inn was built in the early 1800s by Senator George Copeland for his family. 

certificate of National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places – Certificate

Copeland Family – c. 1800 – 1870

George Copeland was the Brewster Town Moderator and represented Barnstable County at the state Senate. His wife, Sarah Snow, was a teacher and in the 1820s and ran the Dame’s School for young boys in the front parlor rooms, now the “Breezing Up” and “Copeland” guest rooms. George and Sarah lived at this residence with their daughter, MaryAnn. They also had a son, George William, who died in infancy.

Notable Guests

During their residence here the Copelands often took in guests and boarders, and over the years there were some notable guests that stayed with them. One was Giggings H. Ballou who was a portrait artist from Medford, MA, and son of an illustrious Universalist minister. Ballou was commissioned to paint portraits of local prominent families including not only the Copelands, but also other important Cape Cod families such as the Bangs, Crocker, Freeman, Knowles, and Sears families. Some of these pieces of art are currently hanging in the Brewster Historical Society at the Cobb House and in the Brewster Ladies’ Library, both a short distance away from the Candleberry Inn.

Another interesting guest of the Copelands was 19th-century author Horatio Alger. He belonged to the First Parish Church, directly across the street from the Inn, and likely wrote some of his famous rags-to-riches poor boy struggle books during his stay.

Sea Captain Francis Foster and Family – c. 1870s – 1900s

In the 1870s, the property was purchased by Captain Francis (Frank) B. Foster.  He was a clipper ship trade captain and commanded three ships during his seafaring career. At age 40 he died at sea during a passage from San Francisco, California, to Liverpool, England.

He and his wife, Eliza Emma Winslow Foster, had three children: Agnes, Ida, and Mary. Ida was the last owner of the property on file and ultimately sold it in the early 1900s. 

old image of the inn
Welcome House Brochure – 1945

Ellis Family – c. 1900s – 1940s

Thomas Ellis and his family owned the house and land from 1909  to the 1940s. At some point during these years, his wife Delia took in guests and ran the house as an Inn. One of their sons, Freeman Ellis, was the local postmaster and farmed the surrounding land. Another son, Louis, was born in this house and until recently lived next door in a small house on Harwich Road.

vintage brochure with information from 1945
Welcome House Rack Card – 1945

The Welcome House – Alyce & Ollie Lund – 1945 – 1964

In 1945, Freeman Ellis sold the property to Alyce and Ollie Lund of Kearny, NJ, who ran it as a lodging house and named the property The Welcome House. They were able to feed up to 25 guests with daily rates of $6.00 per person for a room and three meals! They farmed the land to feed family and guests, and raised pigs, cows, and turkeys. In the 1960s, they sold off portions of farmland to neighbors. In fact, part of this sold land is currently the parking lot of the neighboring Brewster Baptist Church.

series of old rack cards
Inn rack cards from 1980s to present

Stonecroft Inn & Candleberry Inn – 1980s – Present

In the 1980s, the Inn was renamed the Stonecroft Inn by owners Edward Brady and Ken Summerbell. In 1992, dentist Edward Czerniakowski and his wife Jackie purchased the Inn and named it the Candleberry Inn. A candleberry is a type of berry, usually a bayberry, that yields a wax or oil that is used for making candles. This is a process that dates back to colonial times. The Czerniakowski’s renovated the Carriage House to include Ed’s dentist office on the first level and two upstairs bedrooms for the family. They also constructed the last building addition consisting of the owner’s suite which linked the Main House to the Carriage House. In 1998, Gini and Dave Donnelly took over as Innkeepers and converted all the rooms in the Carriage House to guest rooms and suites and updated and reconfigured some of the rooms in the Main House. In 2004, Charlotte and Stu Fyfe became owners who caringly maintained the historic property and lovely grounds until 2016, when current owners/Innkeepers Marco and Angelo arrived at the Candleberry Inn from New York City.

We hope that you enjoy your visit to this lovely historic Inn.