The cupola that formerly crowned the Bay of Naples Inn has since fallen into disrepair. Jane Vaughan / Lakes Region Weekly

NAPLES — The town has one year to relocate the cupola that once crowned the Bay of Naples Inn or else face monthly storage fees.

The 22-foot-tall town-owned cupola sits on the site of a former campground on Campfire Drive, and Town Manager John Hawley said it has been there since the Naples Inn was torn down in 1964. The inn was built in the late 1890s.

Mark Copeland, who owns the property, bought the land last year and said he is unsure how the cupola ended up there.

The town must relocate the cupola within a year or pay a monthly storage fee. Jane Vaughan / Lakes Region Weekly

Over the years, there have been many plans to renovate or relocate the dilapidated cupola, but “it just never came to fruition,” Hawley said. “I don’t think they had the right people pushing to get enough attention to get it done.”

A town committee formed to focus on the cupola has since fallen by the wayside, but Hawley “hopes that that committee will rejuvenate its efforts.”

I’m hoping I’m giving (the town) a little bit of encouragement,” said Copeland, who lives in California and uses the land in the summertime. “It’d sure be nice to put (the cupola) somewhere where people can enjoy it.”

Copeland said he was motivated to propose an as yet undetermined storage fee after a recent conversation with Hawley revealed that the committee was not active and no progress had been made to relocate the cupola.

At some point, you guys got to do something,” Copeland said in an interview. “My thinking was that would hopefully spark a little fire to get things moving.” 

When the Bay of Naples Inn was torn down in 1964, the cupola, shown in this photo, was saved. Photo courtesy of Merry Watson

Rather than pay the storage fee, Hawley said the town was considering moving the cupola. But where to, and how the relocation would be financed, has yet to be determined.

I’m not so sure that there’s a lot of support of tax dollars to be expended for this purpose,” Hawley said. “We don’t havan overwhelming amount of people coming out saying, ‘We have to do something about this.'”

The town recently enacted an insurance policy to cover Copeland in the event of injuries or damages.

In the past, there has been discussion about moving the cupola to Kent’s Landing or the Village Green, but Hawley said that ultimately the cupola’s final resting place is up to the Selectboard.

The cupola is removed from the Bay of Naples Inn before the building is destroyed. Photo courtesy of Merry Watson

I think it would be just so cool if (the town) put (the cupola) somewhere where people could see it and enjoy the history because it’s pretty cool,” Copeland said. 

Hawley agreed: “The Bay of Naples Inn was an icon back in its day. You couldn’t pass through Naples without seeing (the cupola) sitting up there in all its glory.” 

The Naples Historical Society could not be reached for comment.

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