Friday, January 30, 2009

Harpswell Maine information

For those of you who are not familiar with Bailey Island, I thought I would offer a few statistics. When taking reservations from folks who have never been here, we are frequently asked, "What is it like there.....what do you do there?"

As to what it is like here, Bailey Island is a small island, part of the town of Harpswell, Maine. Harpswell has over 150 miles of coastline, more than any other town in Maine. Bailey Island is connected to Orrs Island by a very unique bridge. The bridge was originally built in 1928 out of granite slabs. It is called the cribstone bridge, and a one of a kind. In 1975 the bridge was placed on the National Register of Historical Places, and in 1984 it became a Historical Civil Engineering Landmark. In the past several months, a new temporary bridge has been built to connect Orrs and Bailey islands. The original cribstone bridge is being disassembled and rebuilt. It is scheduled to reopen in 2010, and the temporary bridge will be removed.

The island itself has a couple restaurants, a few motels, inns and B&B's, post office and a large gift shop at the end of the island (Lands End). There is a small sandy beach that you can walk to, and a beautiful cove that is frequently photographed, called Mackeral Cove. The year round population on the island is small.

So, what we usually tell folks when they ask what do you do here, is you enjoy the beauty, take walks, go kayaking, read, enjoy the beautiful sunsets, basically relax. Life is slow paced on Bailey Island--it is quiet, it is the authentic Maine escape.

If you are looking for more to do, there are several day trips within an hours ride to find a bit more excitement if needed. Brunswick Maine (home of Bowdoin College) is a 20 minute drive. Portland Maine (closest airport) is less than an hour away.

So, check out our web site or Google Harpswell Maine to get more insight into our little bit of paradise.

All for now.....Sue

Saturday, January 24, 2009

As of minutes ago, our blog was linked to our web site . It has been a couple weeks since our first entry as I took a short trip south to get away from the intense cold here in Maine. Today is not cold by Maine standards, 26 degrees, sunny and windy. You can see just how windy if you go to the web site and click on the live streaming video.

I thought today may be a good day to give a bit of history of the Log Cabin Island Inn. I hope I do not bore our past, regular guests. ( To those guests, feel free to skip this blog.) Anyhow, my name is Sue, and I have owned the Log Cabin along with my husband since August of1979. The building was previously owned by John Wiseman, who used it as his summer home. Over the winter of '79-'80, we doubled the size of the building, and converted it to a restaurant. We actually cut down the trees and de-barked them.

The Log Cabin Restaurant opened on March 13, 1980. For many, many years we were a busy restaurant, open seasonally. I had worked on the island since my teens in family owned restaurants....the Square Deal, owned by my Aunt Gert, and Rock Ovens, owned by my brother Bruce. So, it only made sense that I open a restaurant of my own, right? Well, after40 years of restaurant work, I wanted out! But, the Log Cabin is a unique building, the panoramic views of Casco Bay, sitting on top of Bailey Island.....who would want to part with that. Back in 1980, our family lived above the restaurant....our sons Matt and Adam were only 7 and 9. We had alot of history in the building.

So, then what? What to do with this big building? How to get out of the restaurant business and keep the real estate? Many ideas were hashed over, and the final idea was to turn it into an Inn. I convinced my husband that this was a great idea (obviously this was going to be a costly idea), and the winter of 1996, we converted the building into a 6 room Inn. When we opened in the spring, we still served the public as a restaurant (much smaller dining room, as we used dining room space for one of the rooms). Over the next couple years, we added a couple more rooms, and finally closed the restaurant to the public, and now serve rooms guests only.

But, you know what? As much as I wanted out of the restaurant business, I love the Inn business. There are many reasons....I will just list a few:

1) Now there was time to actually talk with the guests

2) We have the worlds best guests

3) We have a very small staff vs. a large one as a restaurant

4) The whole Inn is really, really beautiful

So, that is it in a nutshell.

I just want to talk about the small staff for a minute. I have the pleasure of working with my son Matt, and his wife Aimee. I could go on and on here.....but, let's just say they are the greatest. I also work with one of my best friends in the world , Alicia, who said one day that she thinks she was put on this earth to do Inn work. I agree. And, we have Laura, who is a native islander. Laura has been a friend for years and I can only describe her as a combination concierge/comedian. That is the core group. Usually, we have some other part-timers to help us out.

So, this blog will be a group effort. We will all participate in it. So, you will get to know us all.

Let me conclude that if you have not had a Maine vacation, and/or not been to Bailey Island, please come visit us. We open back up in April. To those many loyal past guests, I hope you enjoy the new blog. We will post some pictures soon!

Signing off for now......

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

January 7,2009

Here is our new blog. Winter allows more time to compose and reflect on life, work, friends, family, and of course how fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful spot , with a lifestyle envious to most.

It is snowing today, so sitting by the fire, creating a blog, is a fun way to spend the day. Of course, my 2 labs would much prefer to be out frolicking in the snow.

This time of year, we reflect back as well as look to the future. All of us at the Log Cabin Island Inn have much to be thankful for. We had a great season, and have the worlds greatest guests. 2008 proved to be a trying year in many ways, but life at the Inn always remained positive.

Who knows what 2009 will bring....we can only hope for some positive things to come. Thanks to all of our guests who have reserved already for the coming year. We promise that life on Bailey Island will be peaceful and restful.

More to follow.....