History of the Building
This grand house on Eastern Point has been graciously welcoming visitors since 1921, when it was built as a summer home by John and Marie Prentiss of New York City. Mrs. Prentiss chose the name “Blighty” for the 21-acre estate, after learning that British soldiers in India used the word (of Hindi origin) in longing to return to England, their “home place.”
Blighty became that friendly, “homey” summer seaside locale for the Prentiss couple and their many friends and family members. At the death of John (1938), and Marie (1940), who were childless, the house passed to Charles H. Tompkins in 1950, and was eventually purchased by the New England Jesuits in 1957-58.
Intended for retreats for high school boys, the main house was renamed Gonzaga Hall, after the Jesuit patron saint of youth, St. Aloysius Gonzaga (1568-91). With the advent of more diverse retreats in the 1970s it has become known internationally as simply Eastern Point Retreat House.