History

Wychmere enjoys a long and storied 117-year history on Cape Cod. From 1892 to 1993, the property housed the historic Snow Inn. The newer building, now the Harbor House, was previously home to legendary Thompson Clam Bar for decades. In 2010 new owners purchased and renovated the entire property to its current splendor, while retaining the elegance and class of this grand dame.

Our multi-use compound spans nearly 20 pristine acres along Wychmere Harbor Channel and Nantucket Sound.

Wychmere Harbor

Wychmere Harbor used to have no opening to the sea. In the early times it was called Salt Water Pond. The fisherman of Harwich tried to dig by hand a passage for their boats where a trickle of water flowed between the sea and the pond. When this did not work, they plugged the little stream and built a 3/4 mile race track all-around the pond and raced their horses there.

In 1889 the state dredged a proper channel. It measured about 100 feed wide with jetties on each side and fishermen then had a safe anchorage. Fifty years later the big outer harbor was dredged.

Around 1891, Levi Edric Snow paid about $250 for land at the end of the dirt road on the west side of Salt Water Pond. He built an eight room seaside cottage and had so many relatives visiting the following summer that he built a 20 room addition and began charging rent.

In 1913 when Levi’s grandson Biddle was married, the hotel became a year round business. Biddie and his wife had three sons–The Clam Bar’s “Thompson Brothers.” The boys, all over six feet tall, grew up at the Inn and a place was built for them by the dock. They called it Hangover Inn or Spit ‘n Whittle. After World War II, the family began another business. Line Trawlers tied up at the dock and the fish was packed and shipped to Boston and New York. The new wholesale business had begun! Fish, clams and lobsters were unloaded on the dock. This brought many onlookers, whom all wanted to eat and purchase seafood. Thus from the top of a fish box or a barrel head, freshly opened clams were served. People started buying lobster retail, then wanted them cooked and opened. The family responded; away went the Spit ‘n Whittle and up went The Clam Bar. The fish you serve are probably direct descendants of the first ones unloaded here over forty years ago.

Over the years the dirt road was paved, the salt water pond become Wychmere Harbor, a long jetty curved out into the Old Inn and Channelside Restaurant grew yearly and became known far and beyond the small village of Harwich.

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