June 9 - 1914 - The Chatham Bars Inn opens

1958: A president before JFK made the Cape a popular destination. 1953: Tornado kills 85 in Worcester
Chatham Bars Inn opened on this date in 1914

June 9, 1914 - Chatham Bars Inn opens as a hunting lodge

Rooms with electric lights, steam heat & long distance telephones

On this day in 1914 a 217-room resort, which began as a luxury hunting lodge and has hosted generations of families and illustrious guests opens on Shore Road in Chatham.

Chatham Bars Inn was originally developed in 1914, as a semi-private hunting lodge for wealthy Boston vacationers. Early advertisements boasted of "plastered, soundproof accommodations with electric lights, steam heat, long distance telephones, and private bathrooms featuring both fresh and salt water baths."

The hotel soon operated its own farm, which provided fresh produce and dairy products for guests’ meals. It quickly earned a reputation as Cape Cod’s most elegant, self-contained tourist destination. Later, the Inn’s appeal was expanded with the addition of an adjacent 9-hole golf course. Photo courtesy of CBI.

1953: Tornado devastates Worcester, winds reach 300 mph, 66 dead

On this day in 1953, Worcester County was devastated by the strongest tornado ever to hit New England. With winds close to 300 mph, the twister traveled 46 miles across the county, reaching its peak intensity in Worcester.

Cinderblock and brick buildings were picked up and smashed to rubble. Ponds were sucked dry. A 12-ton bus flew through the air.

The storm left 66 dead, 1,288 injured, 15,000 homeless and over $53,000,000 in property damage. When survivors emerged from the wreckage, they viewed destruction so complete that many thought it was either a nuclear explosion or the apocalypse. Fifty years later one survivor recalled, "We thought the world was coming to an end. And when we saw what had happened, we were sure it had."

1958: New Pilgrims to Cape Cod

The Venerable Holiday Haunt Attracts More Visitors Than Ever

On this date in 1958 Cape Cod was being touted as a most popular and desirable vacation destination, and that was two years before John F. Kennedy brought us a Summer White House and Camelot.

A New York Times article on this date eulogized the area saying, "even before President Grover Cleveland used to spend fishing holidays on Cape Cod, quantities of less famous citizens of this Republic were doing the same thing. The President had a summer place called 'Gray Gables' on Buzzards Bay."

The story boasted that June was "Thrift Month" here and that a room for two with private bath was $24. The rate went up $8 in July and August. Read the whole story below and smile.

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