On Cuttyhunk Island, you won’t find any board meetings or traffic jams, no deadlines to meet or expectations to beat. Cuttyhunk visitors have known for a long time what the rest of us are just figuring out—vacations, stay-cations, and day-cations are vital to a long and healthy life.
The Avalon, Cuttyhunk’s inn, was built in grandeur in 1909 by wool magnate William M. Wood as a summer home for his family. Wood knew the value and the benefits of vacation time. Soon after its completion, the Avalon was at the disposal of Wood’s wool mill executives; guests could stay for two weeks and enjoy numerous land and sea sports. At the end of World War I, the house extended a welcome to disabled WWI allied officers in need of a convalescent home and rehabilitation with promises of “invigorating sea air and seashore sports such as swimming, sailing, and fishing combined to facilitate convalescence.”
In 1957, entertainment executive David Baumgarten purchased the Avalon and continued to operate it as an inn. Since his death in 1994, the house has become jointly owned by the Baumgarten family and a nonprofit foundation, which seeks to preserve the Avalon and dedicate it to the needs of the island of Cuttyhunk.
The Avalon uses the revenue from guest rentals to preserve the house and expand its medical and cultural enrichment activities. The owner’s commitment to have the Avalon continue to serve Cuttyhunk and its visitors is strong and ongoing.
The Avalon has offered rooms free to local doctors and experts who come to speak to the islanders about various such topics as tick prevention. In addition, for over 10 years through the generous invitation of the Marilyn Snow House Foundation Inc., physicians have enjoyed summer residence opportunities at the Avalon. These visiting doctors are available to residents, visitors, and boaters to help with urgent or emergency medical needs.
For over 100 years, guests who vacation at the Avalon enjoy the slower pace of the past and leave the island as firm believers in the restorative power of vacationing.
THE AVALON Cuttyhunk