ORLEANS – The historic Captain Linnell House, long a well-known restaurant, has been sold and will be converted back into a private residence.
The 2.28-acre property at 137 Skaket Beach Rd. sold for $1.45 million. Its current assessment is $813,300, according to the town's assessing records. The buyers were Joseph and Linda Beals, according to John Ciluzzi, the realtor who sold the property.
Built by sea captain Ebenezer Linnell, the building contains 7,542 square feet and has been altered and added on to numerous times since its construction. Although the town's assessing records list the date of construction as 1840, the Massachusetts Historical Commission inventory form for the property states that the high-style Green Revival home was built in 1850. Linnell was an important local sea captain, sailing the East India and China trade routes. Originally set on 13.5 acres, the property went through numerous owners over the years; a restaurant was first opened in the house's first floor in the 1920s.
For the past 32 years it has been operated by Shelly and Bill Conway, who also did extensive restoration work on the historic building, which now houses a 237-seat restaurant, banquet space and private residential quarters.
The Centers for Culture and History in Orleans (formerly the Orleans Historical Society) previously had an agreement to buy the property, but the organization was unable to raise the necessary funds before a purchase and sales agreement expired. The CCHO cancelled the deal in October 2019, shortly before a $50,000 non-refundable deposit was due. The organization had raised the money needed to improve its 1834 Meetinghouse and add more usable space to a relocated Hurd Chapel but did not have the necessary financial support to purchase the Skaket Beach Road restaurant and function space as well.
The exterior of the house remains much as it was during Captain Linnell's time, according to the MHC inventory form, and is “an impressive example of high-style Greek Revival architecture [that] still carries the strong impression of an unusually elaborate mansion in rural Cape Cod.”
The new owners plan to restore the building to its original condition, according to a press release.