On the Fourth of July, we think of the joys of the summer to come. The hot sun and cool seabreezes. The red, white and blue of lobsters, sails and sparkling ocean. The evening show of fireflies and “campfires” (our s’mores parties come to mind, as well as the new barbecue grills).
Still, 150 years ago on July 4th, Mainer Joshua Chamberlain – divinity student and college professor turned citizen-soldier – was still reeling from the effects of holding the line at Little Round Top at Gettysburg. Historians credit him and his 5th Maine Regiment, for turning the tide of the Civil War. And on a hot, humid day 237 years ago in Philadelphia, John Hancock, John Adams, Sam Adams, Elbridge Gerry and Robert Treat Paine stood for Maine and Massachusetts in pledging their “lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor” by signing the Declaration of Independence.
Like cherry blossoms along the Potomac or swallows to Capistrano, the return of the windjammer fleet to Boothbay Harbor in the last week of June marks a season – and a reason to celebrate!
Technically, windjammers are “large sailing ships with an iron or, for the most part, steel hull with between three and five masts and square sails.” As the schooners (two or more masts, the foremast being no taller than the rear mast) and barques (three or more masts) – and their admiring fleet of sloops (single mast), runabouts and our own motorlaunch, Bright Line – arrive in the harbor and furl their sails like the wings of gulls, the bustle of preparation shifts to the expansive glow of welcome.
Walk the woodland path that leads off behind Linekin and you’re stepping into the moccasins of the Abenaki who made these woods their seasonal home during the summer fishing season. Our Abenaki Trail honors their culture and the heritage of their descendants, the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot, who still live along Maine’s coast.
It is one of the joys of being an innkeeper that we share the unforgettable best moments of people’s lives. The first time a child puts a toe in the water. The first firefly. The first boat ride. The song that played the first summer you fell in love. The lobster. The lighthouse.
That’s why we’re so passionate about helping create those “Oceanside memories made in Maine.”
We are convinced that our four-legged friends operate some sort of TripAdvisor for their pals, a “Twilight Bark Planet” guidebook that tells them where their human companions should take them for the perfect playdate. We know that such a thing exists because so many guests arrive with furry heads popping out of the car window as they come up Grand Avenue. It certainly helps that many travel writers have brought their dogs and that the grrry-grapevine has carried the news that Spruce Point Inn is pet-friendly to the Dog Lovers Guides and travel sites.
In 2013, in the middle of the national remembrance of America’s Civil War, it is right to remember that the national holiday of Memorial Day was created as “Decoration Day” – a day to decorate the graves of the fallen and to come together to remember their sacrifice for their beliefs.
Coming as it does at the end of May, Memorial Day has also become the unofficial start to the summer season. Though Spring is definitely still in full-bloom in Boothbay this Memorial Day, we know Summer is even closer than the June 21st solstice – because we’re open and welcoming our first 2013 guests.
All of us at Spruce Point Inn care as much, possibly more, about the exterior of the Inn as we do about the interiors. With a spot like Spruce Point, can you blame us – or our guests – for taking every possible advantage of the beauty that surrounds us?
While Mother Nature has done her part to create the spruce-filled landscape, we accent her framework with landscaping details such as the deep bed of lilies that surrounds entrance to Bogies. We’ve focused on new plantings in the Lighthouse, Linekin and Spruce Cottage surroundings for 2013 and added a new butterfly/hummingbird garden. Now we’re just waiting for the birds, bees and butterflies to give us their approval.
With Earth Day on our minds and with our seasonal opening on the horizon, we thought you’d be interested in knowing a few details on how Spruce Point stays green:
Lighter Footprint Housekeeping
We started our water conservation program in 2012 and now have about 20 percent of our guests choosing the option of having their room linens changed less frequently. A small wood buoy hung on the doorknob signals housekeeping they are participating in the program.
We celebrate the upcoming 43rd anniversary of Earth Day on April 22 with a reaffirmation of our commitment at Spruce Point Inn to environmental stewardship.
Spruce Point covers 57 acres of woods and waterfront, making our impact on the Maine coastal environment, and active conservation and protection of those beautiful places, a critical part of our responsibility as innkeepers. We love to introduce our guests to the natural environment of Maine and each time someone comments on our incredible location we are rededicated to ensuring Spruce Point remains a legacy for future generations – for all of us who live on the planet. We know that what we do at Spruce Point affects our corner of the coast, the land that surrounds us and the ocean beyond.