Newly Renovated Suite Now Open
Our newest room is named after one of the men who called this building home. Captain Dillingham is an upstairs room softly lit by two skylights in the high ceiling. Its warm woods and blue decor evoke a nautical feel, honoring the time Captain Dillingham spent at sea. A perfect suite for 1 or 2, this room features a Jacuzzi tub and a queen bed with a new Casper mattress. We know the captain would feel right at home in his namesake room. Fun fact: The Inn at Benicia Bay used to be called Captain Dillingham’s Inn!
Captain William Wallace Dillingham was born in 1834 in Sandwich, Massachusetts. His family was one of the founding families of Sandwich, arriving there in 1637. It appears that when he was 17, he was left some property near Boston, which certainly gave him a good start to his life. He came to San Francisco as a schooner captain in 1860, and entered military service during the civil war. He was mustered out in 1863. Arriving in Benicia around that time, William was a boarder in the house that is now The Inn at Benicia Bay, which was owned by the widow Jane Paladini and her daughter Celia. Captain Dillingham was baptized and confirmed in St. Paul’s Church, and married Jane Paladini in 1870. William and Jane had 1 daughter, Oceana, born in 1873. The Dillinghams were quite prominent in Benicia, and William owned freight-hauling schooners. He taught his daughter how to tally cargo, and at the age of 16 she took over the business when William took ill. According to her obituary, she was known fondly as “The Little Captain”.
Benicia Historical Museum Archives
Ancestry.com and FindaGrave.com
Solano County Genealogical Society
Peggy D. Martin historical compilation
Captain Dillingham Suite Photos
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Captain Dillingham History & Photos
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Photos of William Dillingham courtesy of Benicia Historical Museum Archives.