History

The Inn at Sugar Hill is an authentic, quaint country inn serving the traveler with a cold drink, hot meal & a warm bed… whether coming by land or sea!  For over 170 years this Federal style colonial, with added gingerbread laced riverside verandah, has sat perched on the high bluff overlooking the Great Egg Harbor River.  It was early in its life that the prized commodities of sugar, molasses and rum, arriving from the Far East by sailing ships, were stored in the safety of the high and dry thick-walled foundation of the inn awaiting shipment to Philadelphia.  This prompted the locals to begin referring to this part of town as Sugar Hill, a name still used to this day.  During the revolutionary war, a local innkeeper and militia privateer, Captain Samuel Snell, was known county wide, as “The Hero of Sugar Hill” for capturing 19 British ships off the river’s inlet and selling their cargo and the ships themselves at the docks at “Mays Place”, an early name for Mays Landing.  During the early 1800’s Mays Landing became a thriving waterfront town with George Wheaton building over 100 sailing vessels just across from the inn.  In the 1850’s the inn was expanded, doubling its size to accommodate visiting Washington and Trenton dignitaries by then owner, Senator William Moore.  Mr. Moore owned a fleet of more that 50 sailing vessels engaged in commerce along the entire eastern seaboard.  As a state senator, he was praised for spearheading legislation that standardized the widely abused harbor tax set by the many seaside harbor states which had many sea captains staying out at sea during rough weather, putting sailors and cargo at risk.  The early 1900’s saw the Abbotts take ownership of the “Villa”, as postcards were now calling the house.  They owed the general store in town where you could buy anything from a pound of flour to a model T Ford.  Local folklore had circulated the story that the privateers from an earlier time had buried treasure on “Sugar Hill”.  Mr. Abbott would wake up many Sunday mornings to find his rolling manicured lawn peppered with holes dug by treasure seeking tavern patrons under the cover of darkness.  Local papers of the day even ran the story with Mr. Abbott assuring the public that there is no buried treasure on Sugar Hill!  After a little over 30 years under the care of the Watson’s the villa was sold to a young, newly married couple, Larry & Tina Boylan, and after almost a year of renovations, they opened “The Inn at Sugar Hill”, a bed & breakfast and restaurant.  Over their 31 and counting years of caretaking & welcoming guests, they have raised their two children and now are watching their grandchildren run down the same Sugar Hill and jump off the same docks in summer just as their parents did before them… all in a long line of people, who have had the privilege and blessing to call this magical old girl home for the last 172 years.