“Be Our Guest, featuring Historic Hotels and Resorts of the Key Peninsula,” announces Judy Mills, Key Peninsula Historical Society president. “We will have tea and scones for our first visitors of the new year,” she adds, when the museum holds the grand re-opening on Feb. 2, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Early Key Peninsula Hotels and Resorts will be the new exhibit for 2016.

According to Mills, the main focus is on the history of the Delano Hotel and Resort. Other hotels on the Key Peninsula were the Wauna Hotel and Lodge in Wauna, the Wyatt Hotel in Longbranch, Coopers Hotel in Lakebay and the Glencove Hotel, still in operation today.

The Delano Hotel and Resort drew customers from all over the country.

“How Captain George Delano and his wife Edith arrived on the Key Peninsula and built this prominent hotel is a wonderful story that all began with a shipwreck off the Washington coast,” said Cathy Williams, exhibit chair.

Musuem members want the community to learn about this resort that opened in 1891 and operated for some 30 years, and “The Austria” that Captain Delano piloted when it hit the rocks on Cape Alava and sank on a stormy January night in 1887.

There will be photos of the hotel with an 830-foot pier that greeted guests as they arrived on various boats of the Mosquito Fleet. A guest register with the names of prominent people from our state and beyond is also available.

New display cases in the VFW room are being filled to show off some of the many items the museum has collected over the years. The cases were purchased with a grant from the Ben Cheney Foundation.

Key Peninsula Traveling History Totes were developed with funding from the Angel Guild. Organizers say they are for third and fourth grade classes who visit the museum to gain a living history experience.

The museum is open Tuesday and Saturdays, 1 to 4 p.m. with free admission. Many books and other gift items are available for purchase.

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