For more than a century the Five Gables Inn has perched on a garden-framed hillside overlooking Linekin Bay. This coastal Maine Inn has offered a unique lodging experience since it was originally built in 1896, and underwent an exciting restoration in 1989 which brought back to life one of the only remaining summer hotels in East Boothbay, Maine. Here we enjoy quiet mornings on the porch, no traffic, and a view of lobster boats bobbing in the bay. Guests relax and enjoy the tranquility of East Boothbay by lounging by the living room fireplace with a book or magazine or sitting back in a rocking chair on the porch, enjoying the gentle sea breezes coming off the bay.
Yet a short five minute drive puts you in the middle of Boothbay Harbor with windjammers, trips to Monhegan Island, kayaking, hiking, whale watching, lobster eating, galleries and shopping.
The Five Gables Inn is known for its warmth,
comfort, and personal caring provided by its attentive innkeepers. Our guests
come often, and stay awhile.
Join us, and recapture some of the graciousness of grand days gone by. While the best of yesteryear has been lovingly preserved, it has been complimented by all the modern amenities today's discriminating traveler expects to find. 15 of our 16 rooms have an ocean view, all have private en-suite bath and 5 have a fireplace. Your stay includes complimentary Wi-Fi, full buffet breakfast served in front of the fireplace or on our porch overlooking the bay and afternoon tea with homemade cookies.
After spending many summers at overnight camp in Maine, Susan dreamed of returning to Maine someday for good. Although it took a while; school in Boston and Philadelphia, a career on Wall Street (where she met Steve), raising two children and running a business in the mountains of Vermont, one look at the Five Gables Inn convinced Susan and Steve that it was time to make a move. They love entertaining and cooking and look forward to welcoming you to this special place.
Snapshots from the Past
Ever since its beginnings as the Forest House, the inn has been a local landmark and gathering place for the entire East Boothbay community. As we have pieced together the details of its rich and colorful history, a particular pleasure has been chats with local old-timers. Among the following historical snippets, the vignettes offered by them are especially evocative of those gentler days.
According to the town records, the original inn was purchased by Walter McDougall and his wife Philinda (Aunt Phi) just before the turn of the century. In those early days, we're told, there was a casino nearby, which was more of a club rather than a gambling establishment. Guests stayed at the Forest House and walked to the casino. In the 1920's and 1930's, many of the guests were from Montreal.
In those days, most guests came by boat and stayed for the entire summer, bringing their big steamer trunks with them. The Forest House served three meals a day. A local boat builder says people didn't even bother to build kitchens in the private summer cottages along the lane because everyone ate at the inn. The cost? $7.00 per person per week for three meals a day! There was always a big dinner on Sunday afternoons, complete with three roast meats and hand-cranked ice cream.
Most guests returned to the inn every year, so friendships between guests and summer residents flourished. Old photographs show a path running along the waterfront, past the cottages. Locals recall how guests strolled along this path, waving and chatting with people rocking on the front porches of their cottages as they passed. Back then, you could buy clams and flounder right out in front of the cottages. Local kids walked along the lane, carrying bushel baskets of fresh-caught lobsters and selling them for 25 cents apiece.
On soft summer evenings, bands performed down by the pond in a spot called the "fete place." Inn guests and cottagers gathered for the concerts, bringing along chairs on which to sit. Since the inn and the cottagers all had identical chairs, ownership was always labeled under the seat. Five Gables still has its chairs, labels and all, and uses them in the breakfast room.
One local fellow recalls working at the Forest House in the summer of 1942, when he was thirteen, for $5 per week. As a helper to the chambermaids, his duties included emptying the chamber pots. In those days, there was only one bathroom in the entire inn and a row of outhouses out back.
In 1946, the Forest House was acquired by Norman Linker, an Austrian Jew who had escaped from Germany before Hitler's rise to power. A psychology professor, Linker also translated Russian and German medical books into English. Old-timers describe his wife Marguerite as an "exotic gypsy." In reality, she was a concert-level pianist. Many of the Linker's guests were from the New York theater and music crowd. Displaced Europeans who had escaped the hard times abroad also lodged at the Forest House, giving the inn an international, artistic atmosphere - and one that must certainly have seemed foreign to the old-time Mainers. In fact, it's said that many locals thought of the Linkers as "mysterious".
According to a brochure from the 1960s, the going Maine coast bed and breakfast rate was just $120 per person, per week! Yes, inflation has taken its toll--but all the pleasures of a stay here remain just as wonderful today for your Maine coastal vacation.
Norman died in the late 1970's and the Forest House sunk into decrepitude. Paul and Ellen Morrissette bought it in 1986 and realizing its potential, began a major restoration project that literally rebuilt this 100 year old building from the ground up. Under their guidance this exciting restoration project brought back to life one of the only remaining summer hotels in East Boothbay. As they completed the renovation they changed the name to Five Gables Inn and re-opened it as a B&B in 1989.
In 1995, to try and escape the oppressive Georgia heat, Mike and De Kennedy headed north and purchased the Five Gables Inn. De brought southern charm, hospitality and an artistic touch while Mike brought the most talked about breakfasts in Boothbay, Hawaiian shirts and.... well, let's just say a colorful flair! Together they continued the tradition of the Five Gables Inn and over 17 years built the Five Gables Inn into one of the top inns along Coastal Maine. In 2012 Mike and De decided to retire and moved to California to be closer to Mike's family. In December 2012, Steve and Susan Plausteiner purchased the Five Gables Inn and plan to continue its tradition.
"....walk 'round Ocean Point, lovely Linekin Bay by moonlight,
the fragrance of wild strawberries in the summer sun,
snuggling into a chair with a book from the inn's bookshelves,
starfish-gazing at the mill pond, swimming or fishing,
conversation with new-found friends, time and space to be alone,
the crackle of the morning gulls in the crisp Maine air,
and the sounds of silence."
Five Gables Inn
A Coastal Maine Bed and Breakfast Inn near Boothbay Harbor