Discover Wiscasset, history, Wiscasset

Hotel with a History

Wiscasset Woods Lodge has been welcoming guests to Mid Coast Maine for over 100 years. Our cottage rooms were originally rustic roadside cabins built in the woods beside the road when the “Atlantic Highway” was developed to bring tourists to Maine around 1912. These types of cabins were once common along what is now Route 1 as a way to earn extra money during the summers. Moody’s Diner got its start in the same way at around the same time. In addition to the ten original cabins, six cabins were built by the water in Newcastle, then in the 50’s moved across from Foster Auction House and finally moved to our property in 1975.

Picture of Wiscasset Woods Lodge circa 1930's found in the book Around Wiscasset: Alna, Dresden, Westport Island, Wiscasset, and Woolwich
Photo of cabins circa 1930 from the book “Around Wiscasset”
Newspaper article of Forest Inn AKA The Bloody Bucket burned to the ground.
1975 Newspaper Article courtesy of Wiscasset Newspaper

The property also housed the Forest Inn. Originally built as an open-air dancehall located on the south end of the property. In the 1960’s the inn was bought by the famous Maine wrestler Jackie Nichols. By then it was enclosed with a dance floor and restaurant on the ground floor and 6 rooms on the second floor. It was the only nightlife between Bath and Boothbay which meant that many people frequented it even though it was known for being a rough place. Jackie’s wife nicknamed it “The Bloody Bucket” because of all the paid and free fights that took place there. One night in 1975 the inn mysteriously burned to the ground. The cause was never determined but many locals think the fire might have been started by some of the women in town. That’s how unpopular it was with the wives.

Motel Building at Wiscasset Woods Lodge in Midcoast Maine.

The steady increase in tourism into Maine led to the construction of a two-story motel building to double the number of rooms available. The Whitfields, who were then the owners, didn’t want to take on any debt, so only built what they could pay for in cash. In 1971 the ground floor of the motel was built and rented out, then in 1972 the second floor was built in three parts and lifted on top of the first.

Wiscasset Woods Lodge room with knotty pine interior

In 1990 the Gillies bought the hotel. Bill Gillies loved woodworking. He gutted and remodeled most of the cabins giving them vaulted ceilings and a knotty pine interior. When trees fell on the 8 acres of woods around the hotel, he would often mill them himself and use the wood in the rooms.

Trail signs for the 1/4 mile trail at Wiscasset Woods Lodge in Midcoast Maine.

We purchased the hotel in the winter of 2015. We put in a commercial kitchen and now serve our famous hot, homemade breakfast to our guests every morning. We also built a trail through our 8 acres of woodlands which kids and dogs love. In addition we gutted and remodeled 6 of the old cabins that had stood vacant for 20 years. We now have 7 pet friendly rooms, 2 suites and a handicap accessible room.

Free, hot breakfast buffet at Wiscasset Woods Lodge in Midcoast Maine.

If you’ve found this excerpt interesting, you might enjoy reading the full history of the lodge from which this was drawn.

We’re hosting an open house in conjunction with the Wiscasset Area Chamber of Commerce. The even will take place on Thursday, May 16th from 5 – 7pm. We’ll have several rooms open to walk through and you’re welcome to try our famous hot breakfast. If you’re in the area please stop by and visit.


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