History of the Inn
Prior to 1869, the property belonged to the estate of Israel Hughes. In 1869 the property was purchased by John C. Bullock of Philadelphia, PA. We believe from previous research by Harry and Margaret Himes, who purchased the property in 1983, that the house was built in 1869. Research has revealed that by 1876, the property was in the name of Charlotte E. McIlvaine, wife of George, and the building appears on a map of Cape May in 1887. The property remained in Charlotte's name until April of 1902 when it was willed to her grandson, George Knox McIlvaine.
John and Ethel Milroy purchased the home in 1978 and converted it into four apartments. They rented three apartments and the cottage and named the Inn "The Binnacle."
Then, in 1983, Mr. & Mrs. Himes purchased the property and renamed it the Victorian Lace Inn. They stated in their brochure that Cape May was "America's premiere seashore resort." Cape May was indeed the country's favorite vacation spot long before Atlantic City built its first boardwalk in 1870. Over the years, gamblers, silent movie stars, even presidents and royalty have walked the Cape, revitalized by its salt air and as noted in the Himes' brochure, "charmed by its gaslight nighttime beauty." Cape May celebrated the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson discovery the Cape in 2009.
The Inn Today
The Victorian Lace Inn is unique in its atmosphere and our guests concur that when they're here, they feel they're able to really relax. Maybe it's because we really do love welcoming guests to the inn all year 'round. Families love the convenience and economy of the kitchenettes in each suite. They bring the kids back year after year for summer Cape May beach vacations, and we love to see our young guests grow up before our very eyes!