The History of the Inn at Penn Cove
In historic Coupeville, Washington
(founded 1853),on the southern shore
of Penn Cove in the heart of Whidbey Island, many homes dating to the
late 19th century found renewal and new purposes in the last quarter of
the 20th century. Among these were the Kineth
House (at left in the image
above, which dates to 1995) built in
Italianate style in 1887 for John and Jane Kineth, and the
Coupe-Gillespie House (on the right, above),
in 1891 for Keturah Coupe, daughter of Coupeville's namesake, Capt.
Coupe, and her new husband James Gillespie).
The Kineth House was lovingly restored during the 1980's by a local
couple, the Harveys. At the end of that eventful decade it was
purchased by a couple seeking to escape the hectic life of Southern
California, Jim and Barbara Cinney. The Cinneys also bought the
Coupe-Gillespie House, which then resided at the corner of 4th and
Kinney in Coupeville, and moved it several blocks to take up its
current location. As the new and promising decade of the 1990's
began (literally: it was New Year's!), Jim and Barbara opened up a Bed
& Breakfast Inn in these two sister buildings, and called it The
Inn at Penn Cove.
Three years later, the Cinneys sold the Inn at Penn Cove to Gladys
and Mitchell Howard, who moved to Coupeville all the way from
Providence, Rhode Island, with their then-five-year-old son,
Theodore. Gladys and Mitchell, General Partners in the Howard
Limited Partnership for the Inn at Penn Cove, carried on as the
innkeepers for fourteen years, before retiring from active roles in the
hospitality world at the end of 2006.
Prior to coming to Coupeville, Gladys had lived in Alaska, Japan,
Georgia, New Jersey and Rhode Island as well as the Finger Lakes region
of Upstate New York she grew up in. She has been a museum docent,
educator, church organist and music tutor, and, during her Whidbey
Island years, has also been involved in local musical groupings,
playing the recorder. Gladys and Mitchell, though they met and
married in Upstate New York, were both born in the same Manhattan
hospital, so they are native to the island life.
Mitchell has been a parish minister,
a church conference center director --even bass player in a country
Pre-Coupeville, he has also lived in California, Georgia, New
Rhode Island and the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. He
has a published volume of poetry, Always Seeking the Edge
online from Barnes
& Noble.com ). During his Coupeville years, he served ten
years on the Central Whidbey Chamber of Commerce board (two as
President), and was elected to two full four-year terms on the
Coupeville School District board, serving one year as President).
Their son Theodore graduated from Coupeville High
School in 2005 after many eclectic parts in the plays put on by the
WolfPAC Theatre Troupe at the school, and went off to attend UC
Santa Barbara. The Howards, early in 2006, sold the Kineth and
Coupe-Gillespie Houses, which are now the core of the Blue Goose Inn of
Coupeville. They now live not far from Coupeville, near the western
shores of Whidbey Island. The Howard Limited Partnership for the
Inn at Penn Cove now owns the Jenne House, nearby to their old Inn,
which houses The Cove Thai Cuisine, where Janjira and Aroon creates
a special dining experience for locals and visitors, and four guest
rooms, which are managed, since January 2009, by Mike Diamanti.