Featured Stories & Articles from Cape Cod Travel Magazine: Nineteenth Century Courtship on Cape Cod
Although most bed and breakfast inns on Cape Cod have been transformed to meet the needs of 21st century travelers, many of these historic homes come equipped not just with period furnishings, but with stories of former inhabitants. These stories, sometimes anecdotal but often well-documented, offer us a vivid glimpse into the lives of the families who lived there in earlier centuries.
Such is the case of Isaiah Tobey Jones, the Sandwich businessman who purchased his home from its original owner, Dr. Jonathan Leonard. Isaiah had made the acquaintance of a lovely young woman, Hannah Weeks, the daughter of a successful whaling captain from New Bedford. In a carefully preserved letter to Captain William Weeks, he let on that “for a long time there has been a strong attachment between your daughter Hannah and myself and an attachment that has ever grown stronger.” He went on to list her virtues, then said he was sure he “spoke her mind as well as my own when I say that we are both quite anxious that we may be married...as soon as you may think proper.”
Isaiah presented his case quite eloquently to his future father-in-law, assuring him that “no effort of mine shall be found wanting to promote her happiness & make her life a pleasant & happy one.” As for his “business prospects,” he also made it known that his “position as agent & treasurer of the Sandwich Tack Co. pays me a good salary even in these times and one that would enable us to live both comfortably and genteely.”
Isaiah Jones became well-known as a businessman in Sandwich and served as Selectman for a time. He and Hannah were wed in 1862, the same year he purchased his home on Main Street, and they raised eight children there. They must have prospered, for in 1875 they added an elegant carriage house to the property. Succeeding generations of the Jones family lived in the house until 1954, and in 1987 it became a bed and breakfast inn.
Today a portrait of Isaiah Jones hangs in the inn’s gathering room, as does a portrait of Captain Weeks just above a copy of the letter Isaiah wrote to him asking for his daughter’s hand in marriage. It is stories such as this that give each of the bed and breakfast inns on Cape Cod their unique color and flavor.Back to Cape Cod Travel Guide Stories