“You and your staff truly exemplify what it means to show the Cape Cod charm…..”
Sesuit Harbor House History
Built in 1735, the grand colonial home now known as Sesuit Harbor House is rich with history. At the time of its construction it was one of the grandest homes in the area. Still today its size and character is quite impressive. When it was built the road it sits on was really just a path, originally used as a Native American trade route that had been widened and used more frequently with the arrival of the Pilgrims. It was nothing like the busy Route 6A tourists and residents know today.
The home sits directly across from Sesuit Creek Marsh which was the site of the Shiverick Shipyard in the mid-19th century. While the Shiverick Shipyard began as a producer of fishing boats for locals in the area, it went on to build eight magnificent merchant ships, some of the most beautiful and fastest ships on the seas at the time. While there are not too many other details known about the home’s history during the 18th and 19th centuries, the original features provide the backdrop needed to imagine what life in the home would have been like. Wide pumpkin pine floors, multiple fireplaces, and Colonial craftsmanship are apparent in every room, making it the ideal residence for a successful ship captain.
Three hundred years could not have passed without some drama though and legend has it that a long and drawn out dispute between two sisters living in the home resulted in the property being split. Some say that the jeweler’s building next door to Sesuit Harbor House is actually a portion of the main home that was removed and relocated in order to settle the disagreement. Talk about a house divided!
Moving forward to more modern times, the property’s role as a lodging facility began in 1964 when a motel-style building was constructed in the meadow behind the main home. Along with these eight rooms, the carriage house was converted into three rooms and two apartment-style suites, an additional building situated closer to the road and made up of six rooms was constructed one floor at a time, and a 20×40 foot gunite pool was built in the center of the property. These nineteen rooms and the sparkling pool perfect for cooling off on a muggy Cape Cod day made up the Sesuit Motel.
Just five years after its establishment, Ruth and Norm McKinstry took over the motel from the original owners. The McKinstry’s lovingly cared for the property, which they renamed the Sesuit Harbor Motel, for 30 years. Guests fell in love with the charm of the motel and it became a local landmark. During this time the McKinstry’s also renovated the Main House to add guest rooms upstairs and added a breakfast room that longtime guests fondly remember as “The Chatter Box.”
Ruth and Norm retired from their longtime roles as innkeepers in 1998 and once again the Sesuit Harbor Motel gained new owners. The infrastructure of the property was improved over the next few years and the motel was primed and ready when Kim and Jim Marchand purchased it in the spring of 2008. A husband and wife team with Cape roots, they brought invaluable business and hospitality experience to the property.
Kim and Jim injected new life into the inn and have revived it as a gem of the community. They also changed the name from Sesuit Harbor Motel to Sesuit Harbor House to more accurately reflect the property’s personality. During their first 5 years serving as innkeepers, Kim and Jim renovated rooms, established and expanded services and amenities, and developed and executed a marketing plan that focuses on brand, reputation and community. As a result Sesuit Harbor House is typically booked solid during summer months and stays busy during the typical Cape “off-season” by providing a place to welcoming place to stay any time of the year. Sesuit Harbor House was also awarded the Certificate of Excellence award from TripAdvisor in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017. Sesuit Harbor House has also won TripAdvosr’s Hall of Fame award. Guest satisfaction and demand has grown significantly and the property’s reputation has never been better.
Now entering its 53rd year as a perfect Cape Cod getaway, you will find the Main House as the hub for all of the property’s activity. It is the reception area for arriving guests and it is also where you will find a delicious and hearty continental breakfast being served in the morning and refreshing iced tea in the afternoon. The Sesuit Shop is always well stocked with souvenirs, Beach t-shirts and lots of local art and handcrafts. Stop in to chat or find out what local festivities are taking place that day or before heading out in the evening for restaurant recommendations. Check out a book from our library, a board game from our collection or pick out a DVD to take back and enjoy in your room. If the Red Sox are playing you can bet we’ll be tuned in so come on up to check the score! Sesuit Harbor House aims to be your home away from home!
A little about your hosts, Kim & Jim Marchand
Kim and Jim Marchand love sharing Cape Cod with their guests! Their experiences in the business and culinary fields as well as their love for travel and hospitality have provided Jim’s career in culinary arts began as a chef at the revered French restaurant, Maison Robert in Boston.
This was where Kim and Jim met – and believe it or not, they both started working there on the very same day! Jim went on from Maison Robert to be the Executive Chef at Brae Burn Country Club. He later taught at Newbury College where he was a Classical French Cuisine Chef Instructor. Over his 18 year tenure, Jim took a sabbatical and returned to school, earning his Master’s in Education at Boston College. He won the Newbury College’s Faculty of the Year award and later became the Co-Chair of the Culinary Arts Department. Jim still enjoys teaching occasional cooking classes at the Sesuit and mentoring the kitchen staff who work with him each summer.
Kim has held executive level positions specializing in change management and turnarounds for consulting, healthcare, and non-profits. She currently manages Business Operations for Service Catalyst, an IT consulting company. Recently, she served as the President of the Board of Directors of the Dennis Chamber of Commerce. Kim maintains a strong relationship with her undergraduate alma mater, UMASS Amherst, and during the summer season you will often find a student from the UMASS Tourism and Hospitality program working at the Sesuit. She received her MBA from Simmons College in Boston. Her business mentality has always been to “lift as your rise” and she enjoys working with young professionals, mentoring them and offering them career advice and counseling.
Kim and Jim love everything the Cape has to offer – don’t hesitate to ask them where to find the best lobster roll, how to catch crabs during a rainy Cape day or where to go for the best sunset view. Guests at the Sesuit feel welcomed the moment they arrive thanks to the warm and genuine hospitality provided by Kim and Jim!
Hello! My name is Julia Reilly and I’m from Norfolk, MA! I just completed my freshman year at College of Charleston, majoring in Marketing with a minor in Hospitality and Tourism. I work at the front desk here at Sesuit Harbor House. In my spare time on Cape Cod, I enjoy spending time on the beach while looking for shells! My summer goal is to visit all the lighthouses on Cape Cod!
Hello! My name is Brad Baker and I’m from Adamstown, Maryland. For the past 7 years, I stayed here at The Sesuit Harbor House and absolutely fell in love with the atmosphere, leading me to intern here at the front desk this summer! I am currently a student at Frostburg State University, studying Business Management with a concentration in Hospitality. After I graduate, I plan on working at a hotel in Taiwan!
Hi there, my name is Leslie Swiniarski. I grew up in South Dennis, but now live nearby in Brewster. I went to Cape Cod Community College studying early childhood education. This is my sixth year here at Sesuit Harbor House! My job is to keep your rooms looking perfect! Here on Cape Cod my favorite thing to do is go the beach and shop around flea markets/craft fairs! I enjoy sewing, knitting, painting and all things crafty! I do a little bit of everything crafty and my specialty is that I can look at something and make it. This summer I’d like to go to the beach, cookout, watch my grandson play baseball and spend time with loved ones. My goal is to keep guests happy and having a great time!
Hi there! My name is Victorija and I’m from Lithuania and I live right here in East Dennis for the summer! I’m studying Finance and Marketing at Kaunas University of Technology. My favorite thing about Cape Cod is the calmness and beauty of the beaches. Here at Sesuit Harbor House it’s my job to keep your room sparkling clean and I work at the front desk! In my free time I enjoy baking and reading! Before I leave the United States, my goal is to travel to Miami and New York!
Hello there! My name is Laimonas and I’m also from Lithuania and live right here in East Dennis for the summer! I am studying Logistics and Trade at Aleksandras Stulginskis University. My job is to make sure your room is as clean as possible, as well as keeping the property up to expectations! My favorite thing about Cape Cod is the friendliness of people which makes it feel like one big family! This summer I hope to go surfing!
Hello! My name is Bill! I was born in Hyannis, Cape Cod and I now live in Plymouth! I am studying Crime and Justice Studies at UMass Dartmouth. Here at Sesuit Harbor House it is my responsibility to make sure your room lives up to expectations! On Cape Cod I love to go fishing and watch football. I also love to go out with friends and go to the beach! I’m very passionate about politics and my biggest goal this summer is to become more politically active!
Hello there! My name is Dan Parent and I’m from Paxton, MA! I am studying Hospitality and Tourism at UMass Amherst. As I broaden my horizon in the hospitality field, I am working as the Breakfast Chef here! In my spare time, I enjoy playing basketball and golf. My favorite thing to do on Cape Cod is spending time at the beach, driving around in my Jeep and dining at The Marshside!
Joan Cowan is a certified yoga instructor with her training through Yoga Fit. She is a retired health teacher and loves to help folks experience the benefits of yoga along with a healthy lifestyle. She has taught at Cape Cod Health and Fitness on Cape Cod as well as the Gulf Coast of Florida. This is Joan’s fifth summer leading yoga at Sesuit Harbor House and we are thrilled she is part of the Sesuit team! She lives with her husband, Jack, in East Dennis and has 3 grown children and 7 grandchildren.
Our Wild Side: Snooki & PaulyD
We are Snooki and PaulyD, purebred Bengal cats, which means we are part Asian Leopard (for real!) and part domestic cat. We are littermates born on Thanksgiving Day 2009 and hail from a wonderful breeder in New Hampshire. We must say the luxurious life on Cape Cod suits us much better than the wild woods of New Hampshire. And, yes, to everyone wondering, we are named after PaulyD and Snooki from the culturally sensational TV show The Jersey Shore.
Please don’t worry if you are allergic – we are indoor cats only so we don’t go in any of the guest rooms. At breakfast we take our morning nap then come out to visit after everyone has finished! We love meeting our guests and playing catch, and in general are happy to be adored and petted!