The Ocean View Inn and Resort is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Here are some excerpts which describe our original buildings, which were constructed by brothers John Bowler (1854-1931) and Alexander Bowler (1857-1930), founders of Bowler Brothers Ltd., a brewing company located in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Note: Above photo is taken in the (former) salt water pool out front, enjoyed at high tide.
High Cliff Lodge
(Our Large Function Hall)
By 1908, John Bowler had completed the construction of his summer home, High Cliff Lodge, a hybrid of the Shingle and Queen Anne styles. Twin Light Manor, which stood a short distance to the Northeast, was still unfinished. Garages for both estates were constructed at the same time as the main house.
From the beginning, John shared High Cliff Lodge with his daughter from his first marriage, Emma Fitch Royce, and her family. The Royces resided in Dorchester, then Brookline, and both generations summered at the property for many years. In 1915, John Bowler formally conveyed High Cliff Lodge to Emma.
Emma's husband, Raymond Royce, a salesman in the malt business (probably associated with her father's brewery), died in 1949 and although Emma lived until 1963, in 1948 she gave High Cliff Lodge to her children, John B. Royce and Carolyn Royce Anderson.
The Royce children owned the property until 1954 when they sold High Cliff Lodge out of the family to begin its transformation to a commercial property.
Twin Light Manor
(Our "Manor" Building)
In about 1910, Twin Light Manor was completed and became the summer residence of Alexander Bowler and his family. This large Tudor Revival style house provided the residents with magnificent views of the ocean and Thacher Island. The house was named after the twin lighthouses built on Thacher Island circa 1860.
Alexander, his wife Ruth Barnard Bowler, and their three children, Ruth, Alexander, and Anna, spent their summers at Twin Light Manor for many years. When Mr. Bowler died in 1930, he included Twin Light Manor in this residuary estate, but his wife Ruth had use of the property during her lifetime so long as she wished. Although Ruth did not die until 1956, Twin Light Manor was sold by the estate to Emily F. Dorrance in 1932.
Emily Fox was married to Dr. George M. Dorrance (1877-1949), a surgeon. They resided in Philadelphia. Dr. Dorrance was related to John T. Dorrance, who invented condensed soup in 1897 and eventually became the president and sole owner of the Joseph Campbell Company, which is now called the Campbell Soup Company. When John Dorrance died in 1930, his brother Arthur Dorrance succeeded him as president of both the Campbell Soup Company and the Franco-American Food Company (which Campbell's had acquired in 1915). The Dorrance family still owns 50% of the Campbell Soup Company today. Dr. Dorrance, his wife Emily, and their two children George Jr. and Emily summered at Twin Light Manor beginning in 1932. By 1933, a swimming pool was built on the property.
Dr. Dorrance died in November of 1949, and Emily died a few months later in January of 1950. The Dorrance children inherited the property in 1952 and sold it to Karl and Jane Muller, the first of several members of the Muller family who were to own the property for over thirty years.
Beginnings of an Inn
The property on which the two houses stand began its transformation from private summer estate to modern summer motel in 1957, when the Mullers built the first eight-unit motel on the Twin Light Manor parcel. In 1960, they added another eight-unit motel, one seven-unit motel, and a new swimming pool. Twin Light Manor, however, was left intact and remains well-preserved today as a fine example of the early Tudor style.
In the 1970's, a three-story shingled motel building replaced the High Cliff garage. A small piece of land adjoining Eagle Road was sold, reducing the size of the property.
By 1979, the Muller family owned both the High Cliff Lodge and the Twin Light Manor. They consolidated both parcels into one, creating the present 5.25 acre site. In the 1980's, the short extension of Eagle Road known as High Bush Road was eliminated and its lower section became part of the Twin Light Manor driveway.
By 1994, the Bershad family purchased the property. Since that time, they have been operating it year-round as a hotel, restaurant, and function hall complex called the Ocean View Inn and Resort.