Beauport: A National Historic Landmark

Beauport: A National Historic Landmark


Beauport, 1907-34

A National Historic Landmark

The Sleeper-McCann House

75 Eastern Point Blvd.

Gloucester, Mass. 01930

(978) 283-0800

www.historicnewengland.org

Open: June 1 through September 12

Monday through Friday

September 15 through October 15

Monday through Sunday

Tours at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Admission: $10, Historic New England/SPNEA members and Gloucester residents free

Beauport, the summer home of the collector and interior designer Henry Davis Sleeper, is a fantasy house built on the rocks overlooking Gloucester Harbor. Crowned by towers, dormers, and dovecotes, the structure encloses a labyrinth of rooms decorated to evoke different historical and literary themes.

Every nook and alcove holds a composition of curiosities, folk art, china, or colored glass. The settings — playful variations on subjects like the early American kitchen, an English cottage, or the sea captain’s retreat — are arranged to amuse and to stimulate the imagination.

Beauport served Sleeper as an escape, a backdrop for summer parties, and as a showcase for his professional skills. The house was frequently published in books and magazines, and its influence came to shape the way we view America’s past.

It is thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. F. McCann and their children that Historic New England continues the hospitality that Sleeper showed and welcomes visitors to tour Beauport. After Sleeper’s death in 1934, the house was put up for sale. The McCann’s, who first saw Beauport while on a yachting trip, purchased the house and grounds intact. The family used Beauport primarily as a summer place and, for the most part, left Sleeper’s arrangements alone. After the deaths of Mr. and Mrs. McCann, the couple’s three children carried out their late parents’ wishes and donated the house and its contents to SPNEA, now known as Historic New England.

Summer programs at Beauport include tea on the terrace overlooking Gloucester Harbor, and a concert. A museum shop displays reproduction Historic New England glass, books and other gift items.

Directions: Take Route I-95/128 north to the end. At second set of lights after the second rotary, take East Main Street 1.5 miles to stone gates at the entrance to Eastern Point Boulevard. Follow Eastern Point Boulevard .5 mile to Beauport.

For archival quality fine art reproductions from Beauport, visit www.lookclickprint.com