Picnic on the lawn

Kingston Inn, circa 1950
Kingston Inn, circa 1950

Back when the Library was on the other side of the street, the Kingston Inn occupied our current site at the corner of Green and Summer.  Originally called the Patuxet House, the hotel was built in 1854 by Josiah Cushman to capitalize on the arrival of the Old Colony Railroad just a few years earlier.  The hotel was not particularly successful, and several owners and managers were involved through the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Some strange and mysterious events took place at the Inn. In 1881, the remains of six people and “funerary objects” were discovered on the grounds.  Because it was a suspected Native American burial ground, the remains were turned over the Peabody Essex Museum.  In 1921,  the “Rum-Runner’s Murder” took place in the 20 car garage. The somewhat cloudy circumstances involved professional dice players, a trunkful of illegal liquor and $4,000 in missing cash. A murder trial followed in 1922.  In 1927, the re-christened Bay View Inn was offered as first prize in a raffle as the First Annual  Grand Bazaar by the Ancient Order of Hibernians.  For reasons unknown, the raffle never happened.

By the 1950’s, the hotel — once again called the Kingston Inn — was advertised as a summer resort for African-Americans, particularly those travelling from New York for a Cape Cod vacation.  Unfortunately the venue remained as unsuccessful as it had been a century earlier.  In 1970, the contents were auctioned and the building was razed.

 

Source: Major Bradford’s Town, by Doris Johnson (Town of Kingston: 1976)

 

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