Old photographs are magic…

Ever wonder why we save old photographs? Some people we know make fabulous scrapbooks filled with snapshots and memorabilia — ticket stubs and pressed flowers. But most of us have stacks of prints in a box, or worse, thousands of images on our computers, waiting to be sorted. We’re like that, here at Spruce Point Inn, with hundreds of photos of past guests and pictures of our landscape evolving — new paint, new buildings and new gardens as they’ve taken shape over the years.

And now we know why.

Old photographs are magic. They can hold a summer’s day in 1929 — see how the breeze is ruffling her hair? — or a child’s excitement, forever suspended in time, long after that child has grown and had children of his own. They’re windows into the past where our minds can run a Technicolor, stereophonic, three-dimensional replay of a moment that would otherwise have been forgotten — all prompted by a simple snapshot.

As we were moving boxes in the Main Inn to prepare for the “sprucing up” we’ve done, we found a cache of photographs that we and former innkeeper John Druce collected over the years. When we spread them out in the Linekin Bay room they covered 6 eight-foot tables! Each era was represented by surprisingly identifiable figures (from Ethel Kennedy and John Glenn to Hubert Humphrey) and some just by the fashions sported by our guests.

It was exactly like traveling in a time machine.


Spruce Point Inn stood solid while past summers in Maine shimmered by. Brides glowed. Kids splashed. Buffet parades marched by (and lobster bakes!). Everywhere, people were tanned, smiling and relaxed. It looked like lots of fun.

And, of course, it still is.


We’ve now put some of those photographs in our guestrooms, so you can ride the time machine, too. As we prepare for our 2011 opening, we just wonder what moments from this year we will look back on decades from now. When we open an image and see ourselves, time-traveling back to a sun-burnished, smiling moment just a few weeks from now.

Lobster bake