Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

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Drum roll please….

July 1, 2010 by Scott Gile

Maybe the drum roll is a bit much, but we’re pretty excited to have seen the final touches put on our fireplaces for three of our queen guest rooms this week!

Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Cape Neddick Room (2)As past guests will know, none of our rooms had fireplaces when we purchased Brewster House. In the summer months that is only rarely an issue (but they still make nice, romantic, additions to the decor!), but in the autumn, winter or spring, they are practically a necessity.

We talked to different fireplace vendors and found a fireplace model that was especially thin (front to back) so it wouldn’t take up too much room in the guest rooms. We also found that, to avoid cutting the baseboard heating supply, we would need custom mantels to house the fireplaces. We talked to a friend who is also a furniture maker, Paul Baines of Paul Baines Fine Woodworking, and we began discussing the options. One concern we had was that, with a new mantel and fireplace, the room could be crowded. Paul came up with the idea of incorporating an armoire and dresser drawer into the mantels. Due to space considerations, each of the three rooms ended up with a different configuration, but this is the basic idea we decided to use.

Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, West Quoddy Room (3)We ordered the fireplaces and Paul took measurements, met with the fireplace vendor and got the manufacturer’s specifications. Then he went to work. Meanwhile we contacted the fire marshal to be sure everything would be done correctly, and lined up the installation of new gas lines (propane, actually) and connections to the fireplaces.

Nothing ever goes entirely smoothly, and we found that the fireplaces did not come with some parts we thought were integral to their operation (a way to turn them on and off!) and appearance (non-combustible decorative material to cover the spaces between the fireplace and mantel). We forged ahead, and with Paul’s help on some of this, got the gaps filled and the remote controls installed.

Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Marshall Point Room (4)Paul’s workmanship is fantastic, and we can’t recommend him highly enough. Even with the fireplaces “not quite” finished, guests have been thrilled by the addition of them to their rooms.

We’ve taken some initial photos, and will probaby be posting more before long, but the photos accompanying this article give at least a glimpse of the new fireplaces.

By the way, as you’ll notice from some of the photos, we’ve also completed naming the rooms after Maine lighthouses, so there are canvases of photos of the appropriate lighthouse in each room – over the fireplace, when possible.

Spring Has Finally Sprung!

April 21, 2010 by Scott Gile

hyacinth, Brewster House, Freeport MaineAmid some early spring drizzle and last weekend’s last-gasp-of-winter dusting of snow, Freeport has arrived, fully gilded, in Spring!

Here at Brewster House, the hyacinths are in full bloom, the tulips are now fully out, and the daffodils are getting beyond their peak. The trees are budding, the birds are singing, and it is time to open up the windows and let the springtime in!

tulips, Brewster House, Freeport MaineIt’s also time we were finishing up our winter projects, and getting things ready for the start of the season – and that’s just what we’re doing, too!

This week the fireplace units were installed in three of the queen rooms on the second floor, and they are having their propane lines installed as I write this. A few finishing touches, and the mantels and new armoires will be installed, and they’ll be ready for use.

This, along with the new third floor carpets, new paint in the hallways and a couple of the guest rooms, new bed linens in one room, and updated bath fixtures in most places, has been a makeover that we think will really make Brewster House an enjoyable place to visit.

Once everything is complete, we’ll be having new photos on the web site, so please stay tuned!

On the Road Again

March 10, 2010 by Scott Gile

Texas highwayAs many of our guests and readers know, we’ve been making a number of changes at Brewster House, including redecorating Room Five, painting the hallways and stairways, new carpet on the third floor (the second floor got new carpet last winter), repainting Room Six, and a few other details. We still have some more nice changes in the works, for April/May, but it was also time for a break.

This month (March), we are attending the Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) conference in Austin, Texas. This annual conference for innkeepers includes keynote speakers on marketing, food presentation and preparation, technology issues, and more, as well as a trade show where we can meet the vendors we work with, meet new vendors, establish (or rekindle) friendships with innkeepers throughout the country (or the world), etc. Scott is also presenting sessions on choosing reservation software and on reputation management.

We drove to Austin, stopping for a few days in Virginia to visit some dear friends, and are currently enjoying the Innkeeping conference. From Austin we drive to Tucson, Arizona, then to the Grand Canyon, and on to San Jose, California, where we’ll visit friends and family. The next stops will be Salem, Oregon, Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington, for more family visits. We’ll be turning for home after that, with stops at Mount Rushmore, in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Jackson, Michigan to visit still more family, and finally a return near the end of March.

Once we’re back in Freeport, we’ll be preparing for the Flavors of Freeport festival which takes place April 9-11. If you haven’t booked your rooms for Flavors of Freeport, we still have rooms available (and we do have our reservation book with us!).

A Facelift for the Web Site

November 24, 2009 by Scott Gile

Seems like things always take a bit longer than you expect…

OK, maybe they take a lot longer than you expect. But, then, it just makes it nicer when it is completed!!

We’ve been working on a facelift for the website for quite a few weeks now – we keep getting interrupted by the things called “life”.

We were able to put the live site out in production today, and (fingers and toes crossed) everything seems to be working nicely.

There are no really dramatic changes, but our objective was to have a cleaner look, with improvements to the navigation, and larger pictures. We think we’ve managed to accomplish that. We also tried something new – the photos of the rooms on the room pages are in the header, so if you look (for example) at Room Four, its pictures rotate at the top of the page.

One other thing was the few people who sometimes were confused by the combined photos at the top of the page (the house with a lighthouse, the house with a park view, etc.) and thought they could look out the front door and see a lighthouse. We fixed that.

We’ve already noticed that the spacing is a bit different on some of the new pages, so we’ll be cleaning up things like that over the next several days.

We hope you like the changes. Feel free to drop us a note, or post a comment with any suggestions.

Snow! And the leaves have only just fallen!

November 5, 2009 by Scott Gile

We knew it was coming early this year. At least we suspected it. There were even some flurries that didn’t stick a few weeks ago.

Early snow, Brewster House B&B Freeport, Maine 2009Last night the weatherguessers said there was a chance of flurries during the night, but the weather has been so erratic, that they haven’t been right 24 hours in advance often enough to give that much credibility. But upon waking up this morning and glancing out the window, there it was.

Of course, this being Maine after all, early snows are not unheard of. Before moving here we were visiting in late October one year and there was a large snow – several feet, in fact. But that was in the mountains, not near the coast. So this is a bit different, for us, anyway.

Here it is all the same. The photo shows our back yard, looking down from the second floor of the house, about 7:00 a.m. today. The snow is continuing to fall, making the prediction of “possible accumulations of up to an inch” look quite likely.

This is predicted (!) to stop this morning, with possibly a bit more this afternoon, but the high temperatures are in the mid-40’s, so it isn’t likely to stick around long. And the snow removal here is unbelievably quick and thorough, so we normally have no trouble with snow on the roads.

Still, all this early winter weather makes it likely that the snowshoeing and cross-country skiing (all within only a few minutes drive of Brewster House) will be excellent this year! Are you planning to visit?

Historic Maine Bed and Breakfasts: Brewster B&B’s

September 24, 2009 by Scott Gile

Brewster House B&B, Freeport, Maine
Today we had the exceptional opportunity to join together (at least for a few hours) two Maine bed and breakfasts with similar names, and related histories.

As many of our guests will know from our history of the Brewster family, Jarvis Brewster, who built the house in 1888, was descended from William Brewster, who arrived in 1620 on the Mayflower, and whose descendants migrated to Maine thereafter.

Mark & Judith Stephens, Brewster Inn, Dexter, MaineThe year 1888 also was the year of birth of another Brewster descendant, Ralph Owen Brewster, of Maine. Owen (as he was known) was Governor of Maine and later a U.S. Senator. His disputes with Howard Hughes were shown in the film, The Aviator. Owen’s home in Dexter, Maine, is also a Bed and Breakfast today, known as the Brewster Inn.

Mark Stephens, who, with his wife Judith, owns the Brewster Inn, spent a night with us while in the area for business commitments this week. We enjoyed Mark’s brief visit, exchanging innkeeping ideas and discussing the possibility of working together on a history package, emphasizing the Brewster family and its Mayflower connections.

The Brewster Inn is located in Dexter, the Maine Highlands region, about an hour and forty minutes drive north and west of Brewster House Bed & Breakfast in Freeport.

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