9400 First Avenue – Pebbles Guest House

9400 First Avenue – Pebbles Guest House

The Pebbles has been one of Stone Harbor’s grand old homes since it was built in 1909, five years before Stone Harbor incorporated. It was built on 3000 pilings and featured a secret staircase for servants, so their presence did not disturb the family and guests.  The dining room is a distinctive room with French doors strategically placed between two large picture windows to provide a spectacular ocean view.  One can visualize guests attired in late Victorian dress taking their appointed seats at a turn of the century dinner party. All enjoyed the breathtaking views because mirrors lined the walls facing the ocean.

The owner John Irwin entertained many politicians, including NJ Governor Woodrow Wilson, who later became President, and NY Mayor Jimmy Walker.

In 1939 it was sold to Carlton Richards who turned it into a guest house. He took up the grass and put down pebbles which is how the house got its name. During the September hurricane of 1944, Richards invited those residents still on the island to use his house to shelter from the storm.  While the storm raged, and the boardwalk and other houses were washed away, the Pebbles stood.

In 1943 a very young John Curto made a trip to the shore with his parents and visited the Pebbles, which made an incredible impression on him. Each following season he visited.  By 1971 the house, in need of repair and restoration it was passed to a young Philadelphia school teacher, John Curto, who became the 3rd owner and continued to run it as a popular Stone Harbor guest house Over the years John Curto has welcomed guests from all over the world to enjoy a vacation here in Cape May County. John held numerous galas and parties benefiting the Friends of the Ocean City Pops, the Stone Harbor Museum and other nonprofit organizations.

At the end of 2020 The Pebbles was sold to Larry Berran as he was looking for a substantial house to host his exceptionally large extended family.  Larry will start the process of preserving and restoring the house as a single-family home.

Interior Images of the Home