The property known as Gull Hill is mentioned in the 1871 will of Captain Jonathan Nickerson, a member of a prominent fishing family. This area of Provincetown was called “way up along.” Here, one was truly at the land’s end, since the road terminated where the Red Inn now stands. Beyond that were tidal flats, marshes and grass farms. Charles Lothrop Higgins, born in Provincetown on April 9, 1863, purchased Gull Hill in 1903. Higgins was the son of two old Cape Cod families. His mother traced her ancestry back to the Pilgrims, to Peregrine White, who had been born on the Mayflower in Provincetown Harbor in 1620. On his father’s side, Mr. Higgins descended from the 1644 settlers of Nauset, a region that included what is now Wellfleet, Eastham and Orleans.Although he was raised in Gloucester, Mr. Higgins studied in the West Indies. He was a world traveler and well-known lecturer, and lived in the fashionable sections of Boston’s Beacon Hill and Back Bay. Mr. Higgins belonged to the oldest and most prestigious fraternity there—the Mason’s St. Johns Lodge—and drove a Liberty car. He was a haberdasher on Boston’s Newbury Street. Never married, he built a summer home at Gull Hill in 1904, and lived there as a single gentleman. Friend to many in the arts and theater, Mr. Higgins began the Land’s End Inn’s history of supporting Provincetown’s creative community. When he built the bungalow, it was unusual to site a residence set back so far and so high from the road. The tedious climb for the owners, guests, staff and anyone making deliveries was not alleviated until the 1950s, when a drive was paved to the top from Point Street.Built on stilts to add elevation—an early version of air conditioning—the house had porches that imitated the decks of a ship, which afforded views from every side. Inside the house, windows rolled up and down into the woodwork to assist with cross-ventilation. In addition to the stained glass and the art nouveau chandelier that crowned the house in 1904, there were two faucets of running water.In 1909, having already purchased the beachfront property, Mr. Higgins bought a large white, steep-roofed house that was situated near the present steps to the inn. After moving this house down the street, where it became known as the candy store, Mr. Higgins had an unimpeded view of the beach, and owned all the property at the end of the Cape.
After Mr. Higgins’ death in 1926, the Buckler family purchased Higgins’ summer home and offered rooms for rent. Land’s End Inn was then known for its hospitality and Russian Tea Room. The Buxtners traveled globally and brought back artifacts from around the world, many of which can be found in the Inn today. The Bucklers held onto the property until 1955 when two gentlemen, Jules Wade & Norman Lague, acquired it and added heat.
David Schoolman took over the Inn in 1972. The significant changes he made include adding the large veranda and new tower at the front of the building, extending the rooms on the main level, and adding private baths. Many of the artifacts, museum-quality art, and antiques seen around the Inn today were his additions. When he passed away in 1995, the Inn passed into the David Schoolman Trust, which he organized to benefit the theater community in Provincetown.
In 2001 Michael MacIntyre acquired the Land’s End Inn from the Trust and committed himself preserving the Inn’s integrity as a Provincetown landmark. An architecture buff, Michael integrated some of today’s comforts and amenities—luxury bedding, furnishings, artwork, and air conditioning—while consciously working to preserve the heritage and history associated with the Inn. Decks have been enlarged for expanded panoramic water views, the gardens have been reinvigorated, and comfortable outdoor wicker furniture has been added. Using plans developed by David Schoolman over thirty years ago, local stonemasons relaid the entrance path and walls. The architectural integrity, tranquility and artifacts remain.
Something else was added when Kathleen Turner came to stay. Two days before her arrival, her publicist contacted Michael in somewhat of a panic: he discovered the lack of televisions after reading through the Inn’s website. It turned out Ms. Turner is addicted to CNN and can’t sleep without it on all night long. So an electrician was called, a contract was signed with the cable company, and a 48” TV was bought and installed in the room that was to be Ms. Turner’s. When she arrived, she was thrilled with Land’s End Inn and her suite, and was especially grateful for the effort of installing a TV just for her. Since then she has been a regular guest of the inn, TVs have been discreetly installed in all guest rooms, and free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property.
Ms. Turner isn’t the only recognizable name to grace the halls atop Gull Hill: because of its serene atmosphere, the Land’s End Inn provides the perfect get away for those looking for an escape the real world including celebrities, writers and artists. During the Provincetown International Film Festival, the Inn hosts many visiting celebrities who return visit throughout other times of the year. You truly never know who you will encounter when you stay at Land’s End Inn.
The Inn was purchased by Stan and Eva Sikorski in 2012. World travelers and art lovers, Provincetown has been treasured part of life for the Sikorskis for over 45 years, and they are dedicated to continuing the high standards Land’s End Inn guests have come to love.