By Diane Lyn

I found a lovely, historic resort called Wentworth by the Sea. It is one of New Hampshire’s surviving Gilded Age grand hotels, and the last located on the coast. What makes this place so special? Is it haunted? Read the story and see the photo gallery.

Wentworth Hall was built in 1874 by a distiller from Massachusetts. and for the first two years was named Wentworth Hall. Ownership of the hotel changed several times.

In 1905, the hotel played an important in diplomacy. The Russian and Japanese delegations signed the Treaty of Portsmouth to end the Russo-Japanese War. U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt suggested the peace talks, and won the Nobel Peace Prize for his actions.

The Wentworth fell on hard times because of declining fortunes and changing ownerships. It closed in 1982. The Friends of the Wentworth was formed, to try and preserve the hotel. Failure to do so, a planned demolition was scheduled in 1995. The Victorian hotel got some attention when it appeared on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of America’s Most Endangered Places. The History Channel’s America’s Most Endangered featured the Wentworth on a program the following year. The demolition was temporarily postponed and Ocean Properties acquired the property in 1997.

Remember, the hotel was vacant for a number of years. Local folklore said the place was haunted. Hollywood became interested and it as a setting for the scary 1999 film, In Dreams, starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Annette Bening. It was believed the fourth floor was the most haunted. It was the last floor to get renovated. I stayed on the fourth floor last week and did not experience a haunting.

I am so glad the Wentworth survived its history. It is a lovely, elegant spot, on the water. I took some photos for this gallery.


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