Guide to the Holdgate Family Papers, 1823-1998 (bulk 1944-1945)

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Research Library at the Nantucket Historical Association. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the internet.

Collection Details

Collection Number:
Holdgate Family Papers
1823-1998 (bulk 1944-1945)
Holdgate family.
Nantucket Historical Association
Material is in English.

Information for Users

Restrictions to Access: No restrictions. Open for research.

Restrictions to Use: No usage restrictions.

Copyright Notice: Copyright is retained by the authors of items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred Citation: [identification of item], in the Holdgate Family Papers, Nantucket Historical Association.

Acquisitions Information:

Gift of Francis Orr Holdgate of Nantucket, Mass., in December 2013 (Acc. RL2013.96, RL2014.03).

Sensitive Materials Statement:

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual’s private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the Nantucket Historical Association assumes no responsibility.

Related Collections

  • PH105 Holdgate Family Photographic Collection, Nantucket Historical Association

Subject Headings

  • Personal Name
    • Holdgate family.
    • Holdgate, Francis E., 1908-1987.
    • Holdgate, Francis O., 1958-.
    • Holdgate, Suzy, 1944-.
  • Corporate Name
    • USCGC Northland (Cutter).
    • USS Camp (Destroyer escort).
  • Topical Term
    • Businesses--Massachusetts--Nantucket--20th century.
    • United States Army--History--World War, 1939-1945.
  • Geographic Name
    • Westmoor Farm (Nantucket,Mass).

Biographical Information

Francis Edward Holdgate (1908-1987) was born in Siasconset, Mass., to Francis Orr Holdgate (1884-1955) and Gertrude C. Brownell (1886-). He attended the Siasconset School through the sixth grade and then the Nantucket Junior and Senior High Schools, graduating in 1927.

Holdgate was a member of the Free Masons, and enlisted in the United States Coast Guard in 1942. From 1942 to 1945, he was an engineer on the U.S.S. Camp and sailed on the U.S.C.G.C. Northland. After his discharge, he bought the Westmoor Farm in 1953 and transformed the private home into the Westmoor Inn, which he ran with his wife Barbara Macy Holdgate until his death. Holdgate had eight children including Bonnie Suzanne Holdgate Kane (1944-), and Francis Orr Holdgate (1958-).

Bonnie Suzanne Holdgate Kane was born in Nantucket, Mass., in 1944. While still in high school, she first offered horse-drawn surrey rides for Nantucket’s tricentenary parade in the summer of 1959. She continued to offer half-hour historic tours throughout the summers of 1959 and 1960. Holdgate graduated from Nantucket High School in 1962 and later from University of Massachusetts in 1977.

Francis Orr Holdgate was born in Nantucket, Mass., in 1958. He graduated from Nantucket High School in 1976 and from Bristol Community College in 1981. He married Nancy L. Hickman, daughter of Donald L. Ryder and Valerie Ryder, in 1986. He founded ACKME Survey LLC in 2013.

Scope and Content

The Holdgate Family papers include military papers documenting Francis E. Holdgate’s involvement in World War II on the United States Coast Guard (U.S.C.G.) Cruiser Northland, a deed and letter documenting his purchase of the Westmoor Inn, documents and journals relating to Francis Orr Holdgate’s career as a land surveyor, business papers from Bonnie Suzanne Holdgate, and general family memorabilia.

Nancy Holdgate’s books have been transferred to the NHA’s book collection and are described individually in the NHA’s online catalog.


Box 1 Folder 1 Newspaper article, 6 August 1998

Box 1 Folder 2 Nantucket postcards (blank), undated

Box 1 Folder 3 Francis Edward Holdgate personal papers, 1922-1945
Includes 1922-1923 report card from Nantucket Public Schools and paper materials from a personal scrapbook. Photographic materials were moved to PH105 Holdgate Family Photographic Collection.

Box 1 Folder 4 Francis Edward Holdgate letters, April 1944
Two letters from Francis E. Holdgate to his mother and father.

Box 1 Folder 5 Francis Edward Holdgate business papers and correspondence, 1953

Box 1 Folder 6 Charles E. Robinson and Folger land plans, 1823-1863
Contains two Nantucket, Mass., land plans used by Francis Orr Holdgate (1958-) in his career as a land surveyor.

Box 1 Folder 7 Massachusetts geodetic survey, 1939
Used by Francis Orr Holdgate (1958-) in his career as a land surveyor.

Box 1 Folder 8 Francis Orr Holdgate research paper, undated
Two copies of “Nantucket Proprietors Bounds”

Box 1 Folder 9 Susan Holdgate business advert, 1959-1960

SV-535/1 William F. Cobb notebook, 1891
Used by Francis Orr Holdgate (1958-) in his career as a land surveyor.

OP-535/1 Francis Edward Holdgate masonic certificate, 1965

OP-535/2 Westmoor Inn advert, undated

OP-535/3 Westmoor Inn advert, undated

OP-535/4 Westmoor Inn advert, undated

MO-535/1 U.S. Coast Guard Honorable Discharge document case, undated

Items Separated

  • Separated Volume (SV-535/1)
  • Oversize Paper Items (OP-535/1–4)
  • Museum Object (MO-535/1)

Processing Information

Processed by Shannon Erb, March 2014; reprocessed by Isabella Browne Lörcher, October 2018.
Finding aid by Isabella Browne Lörcher and Amelia Holmes, October 2018.

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