Some years back, Lubec, Maine might have been only a stopover for travelers enroute to New Brunswick, Canada and other places. Today, Lubec is a destination in and of itself. Located on a peninsula in Passamaquoddy Bay, Lubec is the easternmost town in the United States and lies adjacent to New Brunswick, Canada.
Lubec was once a thriving fishing community. Herring were caught in the Passamaquoddy waters, smoked, skinned and packed in wooden boxes for shipment to distant markets. Sardine canning factories lined the wharves along the waterfront. Almost two decades before our current recession, the economy bottomed out. Commercial herring fishing and canning operations ceased in 1991 owing to untenable regulations imposed by the Federal Food and Drug Administration.
Were it not for certain visionary individuals, Lubec might have become just another victim of hard economic times and remained rooted in decline. A summer music program for adults was established in 1992 by a visiting performing pianist and has continued to grow over the years attracting many students from near and far. The Summer Keys program has as a result infused Lubec‘s economy with much needed revenue.
There have been other visionaries also attracted to Lubec. Several years ago, Victor and Judy Trafford couple sold their business in Florida and visited Lubec on a subsequent pre-retirement vacation trip to “downeast” Maine. What they discovered in Lubec was a vacant, century-old building which up until fairly recent times had housed a sprawling sardine factory. The building, the former Factory B, was situated on a large wharf on Johnson Bay. They saw potential in this vacant building and, after deliberation, decided to purchase the facility and the wharf. Their objective was to transform this property into a waterfront business. And that they did.
This summer of 2009, THE WHARF [http://wharfrentals.com] commenced operations as an inn offering waterfront lodging and conference facilities, yoga classes, kayak and bike rentals, whale watching cruises, and ferry service to Eastport. The lodging accommodations at THE WHARF are spacious and contain attractively furnished apartments and suites. There are three apartments which contain two bedrooms and two baths as well as a living room, dining room, and den with a balcony overlooking the ocean. Each of the six suites has a private bath, open bedroom/sleeping area and expansive ocean views. The suites share a modern, well appointed common area kitchen (stove, microwave, refrigerator, double sinks with disposal, dish washer, well stocked cooking and eating utensils, china, and glassware). The commodious common area also contains several dining sections along with an upright piano available for the musically inclined.
To appreciate just how fully committed the Traffords have been to revitalizing this former sardine factory while preserving a sense of the past, one need only look at the architectural remnants which they retained in the gutting, demolition and rebuilding process. Massive cement and steel supports, remnants from 1908 when the original wooden structure was destroyed by fire and rebuilt, have been strengthened, integrated into, and harmonized with the present architectural décor. More projects at THE WHARF were in the works at the time of my visit. Future planning envisions a patio extending out beyond the footprint of the building towards the water with a small-scale restaurant operation in what is now the old boiler room. Architectural buffs and aficionados won’t be disappointed in their lodging surroundings at THE WHARF. Apartments and suites at The Wharf rent by the day and week. The innkeepers are most accommodating and will make every effort to provide lodging compatible with whatever one’s travel itinerary happens to be.
Besides providing wonderful lodging for the Downeast sojourner, THE WHARF is ideally located only a short walk from downtown Lubec and the many charming neighborhoods in the vicinity. Lubec proper is quite walkable despite a fair number of hilly streets. There are many examples of period architecture homes, several denominational places of worship, a variety of inns and bed and breakfasts, a bevy of restaurants (no fast-food chains), colorful storefronts, a modern public library, art galleries and gift shops, a variety of businesses, and scenic vistas galore. Visitors will quickly determine whether to walk or drive based on the location and nature of the activity.
Whether you are a first-time or repeat visitor to Lubec, vacationing in the area or attending the Summerkeys Music Program, you would be well advised to consider staying at THE WHARF (69 Johnson Street) on Johnson Bay. Give the innkeepers a call, if not this summer, then definitely next. The stayover at THE WHARF will be a memory infused with Downeast ambience.
Dates of Stay: July 18-25, 2009
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Enjoy an oceanfront lifestyle and lodging in an elegantly renovated 100 year old sardine factory in Lubec, Maine. The Inn at the Wharf offers stunning ocean views and its own wharf. Each suite includes a bedroom, bath and a large sitting area, and opens to a large gathering room, kitchen and deck. Each oceanfront apartment includes two bedrooms, two baths, den, kitchen, dining and living areas, each with its own deck and complete laundry facilities. Free indoor secure parking. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Inn At The Wharf Hotel Lubec
- The Inn At The Wharf Lubec, Maine