Why Manhanset?

In 1874, one of the largest and most beautiful hotels on the East Coast opened on Shelter Island. It was called the Manhanset House. This glorious hotel provided rooms for over 300 season-long guests and had its own post office and station of the New York Yacht Club. It was the epitome of grand Victorian architecture, with a gingerbread style and several interconnected three story buildings. On Friday, August 13, 1896, the hotel burned to the ground in a fire that started in the laundry room. The Manhanset Improvement Association built another hotel, larger than the first, which opened the following year. The hotel was hit by lightning in 1910 and the subsequent fire burned for three days. It was said that the light of the fire could be seen at night in Connecticut. The hotel was never rebuilt.

Several years ago, Jonathan's mother bought the house that sits on what was once the Manhanset property. Since moving in, Jonathan has become interested, nay obsessed, with the history of the property. He is proud to collect Manhanset House memorabilia and his collection includes furniture, silver, postcards, pamphlets and letters. Additionally, he has lead digging expeditions on the property and has uncovered parts of the original hotel's sub-structure (and a lot of dirt).

The reception for our wedding will be held at the Manhanset House, continuing the tradition of wonderful summer festivities that began over a century and one quarter ago.

For a short history of Shelter Island Heights and the Union Chapel click here