The Timeless Treasure of Putting Things in Perspective
Looking back at our own history – when the ‘captains and kings’ of industry would ferry their families to the cool breezes of the Maine coast for a summer removed from the sweltering cities – we are constantly reminded of the successive generations of innkeepers and guests who have preserved the treasure that is Spruce Point Inn today.
While in that frame of mind we came across three separate Boothbay Register stories, touchstones of what local history has come to mean to all of us who live here, as well as those from “away” now visiting the Midcoast of Maine.
The first talked about a group of historic places in Boothbay where one can spend the night. While we’re proud of the fact that Spruce Point has welcomed guests to the historic main Inn building for more than 100 years (and that our classic cottages extend the tradition of oceanfront New England ‘housekeeping cottages’ into the 21st century), these properties are designed to capture the imaginations of guests who want to know “what it was like to have lived in a house in the 1700s or 1800s.”
Then, the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club announced a talk by author Jim Nelson on maritime history and the inspiration for his thriller, Full Fathom Five, the latest of his 17 books of maritime history and fiction. Jim is now involved as a volunteer on the Maine’s First Ship project, a non-profit dedicated to building a replica of the Virginia, the first ship built in North America by English colonists. The Virginia was built in 1607-1608 at Popham Colony’s Fort St George at the mouth of the Kennebec River, the first English settlement north of Jamestown, VA. Having just admired the fleet of Windjammers in Boothbay, it’s easy to picture the hardships of the age of sail while appreciating the Down East craftsmanship and skill that is our heritage.
Then the Maine State Aquarium in West Boothbay reminded us about a new walking tour that explores the history of the marine industry in Boothbay and the buildings related to a “save the lobsters” crisis that occurred in the early 1900s. The tour was created by Desiree Genthner who arrived at the Department of Marine Resources with a history degree and a passionate desire to bring local history alive. Something she said – “Sometimes when you are standing in front of something it puts it more into perspective” – reflects exactly what we try to do when sharing what we call our “inn-siders tips.” They’re the quintessential Maine summer experiences that lure vacationers out of their daily routines and into Vacationland.
“Standing in front of” Burnt Island Light, a sunrise in the Dawnland, an original Wyeth, Winslow Homer’s studio at Prout’s Neck, – or one of those lobsters – lets you capture an ‘oceanside memory made in Maine,’ that will undoubtedly help put future days in perspective. And that’s why this timeless treasure endures.