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Tom Speeches had last week’s mystery photo cold (see below): “The main door [on Washington Avenue] leading to the reception area of the Chequit Inn, the iconic porch for dining and views of Dering Harbor to the left of the door.”
And Kathryn O’Hagan checked in on our Facebook page.
The history of the restaurant and inn, named for the Manhanset Indian word for “weakfish, ” according to former owner Linda Eklund, begins in the middle of the 19th century.
Part of the structure was built in 1849 as a town meeting hall, according to the Shelter Island Historical Society. But the building seen today was completed in 1872, in a Victorian style known as “Carpenter Gothic,” or more commonly known as “gingerbread.”
It was originally owned by the Shelter Island Groves Meeting Association, an organization associated with the Methodist Church, when large parts of the Heights were used as summer retreats for city folks.
A community dining room, it was known then as simply “the restaurant” and by 1909 was an inn. In the 1920s, Hollywood discovered Shelter Island, with stars such as Mary Pickford staying at the Chequit.
Ownership changed hands several times, but celebrities were still attracted to the imposing hotel in the Heights, with reports of Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller staying along with various Kennedys, who sailed down from Massachusetts.