Wentworth-By-The-Sea: The Life and Times of a Grand Hotel

Wentworth-By-The-Sea: The Life and Times of a Grand Hotel

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When the Wentworth-by-the-Sea Hotel was built in 1873, it joined dozens of other resorts dotting the northern New England landscape. Now 130 years later it remains the one of the few grand hotels in this region. In between 1873 and 2003, the hotel has undergone early success, bankruptcy, resurgence under the guidance of a gilded age tycoon, one month as the social center of a major international peace conference, decades as a prominent family resort and convention center, then near total demolition, and, finally, resurrection as major upscale hotel and spa.

The dominant architectural feature in seacoast New Hampshire, the Wentworth was and is more than a building. Author J. Dennis Robinson tells the stories of its of-times flamboyant owners, its loyal employees, and the thousands of guests all of whom have made the Wentworth a New England institution.

In this heavily illustrated volume we learn of the Campbell family who built the hotel, of Frank Jones, the Portsmouth multi-millionaire who expanded the facility into the major resort, and of James and Margaret Smith who held the aging building together during parts of five decades while hosting governors, presidents, industrialists and dozens of conventions ranging from visiting firemen to librarians.

Then for two decades, until the turn of the twentieth century, the hotel was closed and nearly demolished, until nearly at the last minute, it was saved due to public outcry and renovated as the Marriott Wentworth by the Sea Hotel and Spa.