Peter Shields was a wealthy businessman from Pittsburgh drawn to Cape May at the turn of the 20th century when the city’s stature as a premier vacation destination was in danger. Shields was part of a group of entrepreneurs that wanted to reclaim Cape May’s former glory by creating a grand resort that would outshine its new rivals. They created the Cape May Real Estate Company in 1903, and appointed Shields as the company's first president.
As work progressed on the development project, Shields commissioned Philadelphia architect Lloyd Titus to design a summer cottage for his family with the same level of grandeur.
The Shields moved into their magnificent Georgian-Revival-style home in the summer of 1907. The following year Shields suffered a devastating loss when his 15-year old son Earl was killed in a boating accident. The Cape May Real Estate Company was also forced to declare bankruptcy. Shields resigned and returned to Pittsburgh with his family.
The Shields’ home has served as a private residence, an exclusive club for boat-owners and the Tuna & Marlin Club. Today the Peter Shields Inn operates as an inn and a restaurant, offering luxury accommodations with nine guest rooms and Zagat-rated fine dining.