History and Meaning

Since 1883 The Nonantum has adapted to the times to meet the needs of our guests – while at the same time retaining the history and essence of the original inn. Celebrating our 134th Year in 2018.

What does the word Nonantum Mean?
Nonantum (from a Native American Algonquian word meaning “blessing or prayer”) is one of the thirteen villages of Newton, Massachusetts, also known as Silver Lake or The Lake. The lake in question was filled with construction rubble and built over from the 1930’s until total demise in 1971.

Chronological History of the Resort

  • 1883 – Ground Breaking on a site believed to be a trading center where native Americans traded with early settlers.  The word Nonantum is from the Native American Algonquian word meaning blessing or pray.
  • 1884 – The original Inn opened on July 4th with 28 rooms and 10 staff members.
  • 1887 – Additional land purchased to expand the resorts waterfront area.
  • 1891 – A small addition was built and alterations were done to the dining room.
  • 1902 – The front Piazza was added to the Inn.
  • 1930 – The rear wing was added on to the Inn.
  • 1963 – The outdoor pool is built and filled with salt water.
  • 1973 – The front Wicker Wing was added to the Carriage House.
  • 1987 – The Portside Lodge was built and dramatically increased the number of rooms at the resort.
  • 1998 – The resort gets a new pool.
  • 2000 – Complete renovation of the kitchen.
  • 2001 – All of the Rooms in the Portside Lodge are redecorated with summer cottage furniture.
  • 2002 – The Dominion Ballroom gets a new look and all of the bathrooms in the Carriage House Inn are renovated and updated.
  • 2006 – The marina is rebuilt. Resort wide WiFi is added. 123rd season is our longest season ever – opening of April 16th and closing on December 17th.
  • 2008 – Nonantum Resort celebrates its 125th Anniversary and Heckman’s Pub opens.
  • 2009 – Latitudes Bar and Grill opens by the pool.
  • 2010 – All Portside rooms (excluding Green Rooms) receive a complete renovation that include bamboo hardwood flooring, Cuddledown bedding, and artwork provided by local artists.
  • 2013 – Complete redesign and renovation of 95 Ocean. Transitioned from a patio to a fully enclosed, four-season dining room and event space. Also full renovation of 20 Guest Rooms in Portside Lodge.
  • 2014 – Restyling of Main Lobby in Carriage House Inn. Brand new furniture, creating a new style and overall welcome experience. Full renovation of 20 Guest Rooms in Carriage House Inn.
  • 2015 –  Front Porch space glassed-in and newly renovated. Completed installation of all new mini split AC/heating units in all 109 guestrooms.
  • 2016 – Brand new elevator and staircase added to the historic Carriage House Inn. New Ballroom hardwood floors. Expanded/enhanced water view function space.
  • 2017 – Complete kitchen renovation took place after we shut down for the winter in 2016. We re-opened for the 2017 season with a sparkling new kitchen that served a wedding of 225 people
  • 2018 – Our staff house was completely rebuilt on its existing foundation in order to house 8 staff members and interns as well as offices for our HR Department.


Images courtesy of the Brick Store Museum