Historic Wallpaper

Sour cream. On Star Island, that’s not just a condiment for the chili lunch. Sour cream is also the name of the paint used in guest rooms and meeting spaces throughout the island’s 32 buildings. The rooms, often painted by volunteers during the spring, have not always been so uniform. The photos below, shared with us by Shoaler Martha Burnham from one of her first summers on Star Island in 1962 depict guest rooms adorned with rather bold wallpaper. No word on what the wallpaper budget was in the 1960’s.

Our guest rooms are not entirely changed from those days, however. We still have much of the same furniture. Those bureuas are still in use — our staff cleaning them in wood oil between stays. The side tables used for pitchers and basins are also still found throughout the island. So while the walls have gone through some changes, each room is still made and cared for with the same dedication from our volunteers and summer staff.

Cottage A


A relatively mild wallpaper print on the second floor of Cottage A.

Cottage A


Well, that’s a lot of ships.

Oceanic Hotel


This second floor room is looking rather stately in its patterned wallpaper.

And Now?

What do our guest rooms look like now? Here are a few pictures to compare to the historic ones. For 2015, our guest rooms are in two categories: standard, or motel unit. Our standard rooms, often shared, are those located in the Oceanic Hotel, Gosport House, and any of the cottages (A through E). Some standard rooms are available as single occupancy. Motel units are those in the one story Sprague, Founders, Baker, and YPRU buildings located along the boardwalk. Each motel unit has two twin beds, and a private half bathroom. Click here to learn more about our accommodations.

Cottage C


Our historic furniture still in use.

Oceanic Hotel – Atlantic Wing


This room, on the second floor, overlooks the front lawn and Summer House.

Interested in staying in one of these rooms in 2015 even without the wallpaper? It’s simple: Just choose a summer program and register. Click here to see all of our 2015 summer programs.