The Lambert’s Cove Inn has been purchased once again, and according to all reports will be the repository of the new owner’s hopes and dreams. Thus it has been for many, many years and for many people.

What is it about what is really a glorified farmhouse that makes people immediately nostalgic and misty eyed? I have to admit feeling the same way about it. Through its many manifestations over the years, its aura of age and of being set apart from the crowd has drawn me to it, even when the wallpaper was peeling and the food not as good as I thought it used to be.

Perhaps it is because my son worked there one brief summer over 25 years ago when the President came to eat, and I learned the secret of making lamb chops special with melted blackberry jam. The food was very good that year; the wallpaper not so much.

The quality of the food waxed and waned and waxed again, and the wallpaper was removed and the decor became more sophisticated. Friends came and stayed for a week and still talk about it. Other friends were married there, and it is where my family and I have celebrated many anniversaries and holidays.

Driving back that long wooded road that seems more like an ancient path makes it seem more remote that it actually is. It is a romantic entrance to a way of life that is denied to most of us on a long term basis. But it once really was nothing more than a fairly isolated farmhouse. In the 19th century it was the homestead of Eliakim Norton. He and his two brothers, along with the Cottle family, owned practically all of that whole lower Lambert’s Cove area. Life was not very romantic for them I am afraid. Farmers have a hard life, and by the 1920s farming was not a very lucrative way to make a living.

One owner who perhaps did lead that easy, worry-free life I like to imagine was Francis Apthorp Foster, who lived there alone for many years in the farmhouse he purchased from the Norton family. Mr. Foster was a strange and lonely man, but he was rich and could do what wanted to do. He was born in Cambridge, to an old and wealthy family and was interested in genealogy, bird watching and editing. All solitary occupations.

He first came to the Vineyard as a resident of Edgartown in 1915. He lived at 67 South Water street, and owned an additional house across the street. But in 1918 he began to acquire farmland in West Tisbury, and called himself a farmer in the 1920 census even though he was still living in Edgartown.

By 1930, he had moved permanently to the Norton farmhouse, and hoped to make the acreage into a bird sanctuary, but the variety of birds was not sufficient to justify this, and the Audubon Society was not interested.

After Foster’s death in 1966 at the age of 94, the property was sold and most of it was developed into what we now know as Long View. The farmhouse and the surrounding seven acres were sold off and at first the house was a bed and breakfast in an area with little or no other accommodations for short term visitors.

Each of its various proprietors, some local, some not, has tried to keep abreast of the latest fashion in small hotels. It has gone from country to boutique and now back to farming as the 21st century sees it.

I will be looking forward to dinner there again soon.