The Cook family supplemented their farming income by transforming their home into a boarding house in 1831. Summer guests paid between $12 and $15 each week, maintained access to the Manasquan River in which they could swim and fish, traveled to the nearby Atlantic Ocean, and enjoyed picnics in the Cedars, a grove of trees in the middle of the Cook property.
In later years, Sanborn presided over an art colony based on the homestead. She gave lessons in the Cedars, and many prominent artists and writers traveled to the colony to create alongside Sanborn herself. Today, the G. Harold Antrim School is located on the former site of the homestead.