A Historic Victorian Bed & Breakfast
The oceanfront Addy Sea, located on the corner of Ocean View Parkway & North Atlantic Avenue, is steeped in more than a century of history and legend. With its late – Victorian architecture, classic cedar shingles, and gingerbread trimmings, the Addy Sea has become one of Bethany Beach’s most famous landmark.
John M. Addy, one of Bethany’s original settlers, built the Addy Sea for his family as a summer retreat from Pittsburgh in 1901. Since he was a plumber, the Addy Sea was the first in the area to have indoor plumbing and gaslights. Much of the original fixtures such as the tin ceilings and fireplaces have been restored to their original luster.
The 2nd generation began utilizing the house for room and board at the beginning of the depression.
In 1974 the 3rd generation approached their neighbor, Leroy T. Gravatte III, whose family had also been coming to Bethany Beach for 3 generations, about selling the property. Leroy decided to buy the Addy Sea and started renovations taking great care to remain true to traditions but adding modern amenities for comfort. In 2016, Jeff and Sherene Gravatte became the 3rd generation innkeepers to tend to this grand old lady by the sea
The Storm of 1927
After many rough storms along the coast, in 1927 the Addy Sea was moved to the west onto another of the four Addy lots. The smaller cottage in back (Addy #3) was sold to family friends of the Addy’s, the Perry’s. In 1998 it was donated and moved to its current location on Route 26 and is now the Nature Center for Bethany Beach. The entire operation of moving was accomplished with man-power, mule-power and logs.
Addy House #4 (currently known as the Addy Sea)
before it was moved to its present location after the storm of 1927.
Workmen assessing storm damage circa 1927
The Storm of 1962
A Terrifying, Deadly Storm Struck Delaware In 1962… And No One Saw It Coming. Typically, March in Delaware is mild, with some snow, some rain, and some sunny days. Temperatures hover between the low 50s and high 30s, with 3 or 4 inches of rain or snow all month. Big blizzards are rare, and the occasional Nor’easter doesn’t usually cause much trouble for anyone other than maybe some afternoon commuters. March 1962 wasn’t supposed to start off any differently than March of 1961, or March of 1960… and so on. In fact, the weather report for the first week of March 1962 stated that there was a chance of rain on Monday, and that Tuesday would be cool and cloudy. Late Monday night, meteorologists began calling for a Nor’easter, with some snow and light gusts. By daybreak on Tuesday, it was becoming clear that the winds were stronger, the tides were higher, and the storm was larger than anyone expected. When the storm cleared on Friday, it was clear that this storm had been way more devastating than any storm before it. The Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962, as it’s been called ever since, was the single most destructive storm that Delaware had ever seen, claiming 7 lives in Delaware alone and causing millions of dollars of property damage.
The aftermath of the 1962 Nor’easter.
Note the old Addy Sea foundation in the surf which was uncovered by the storm. The house was moved back in 1927.
The Addy Sea hanging by a thread – 1962 Nor’easter
New Site of the Addy Sea Servant’s Quarters