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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sarah Castro has always loved architecture. Growing up in North Carolina she always drawn to Maine because the architecture is so approachable. “You don’t have to be a millionaire to own an historical house here.” In fact her mother, Mary Castro, bought an older house in Wiscasset after retiring 4 years ago.
With her love of historical buildings, Sarah picked the right place for her store. Little Maine Mercantile is located at 49 Water Street, just down the road from Red’s Eats. Her store is in Wiscasset’s oldest commercial building, built in 1797. Over the years it’s been a hardware store, general store, and toy store. The building has charming remnants of its days as a hardware store. Behind the front counter are cubbies where bolts were once stored, the size markings can still be seen on the face of the bins. Cut into the floor towards the back of the building are different sized holes used when selling rope. The bulk of the rope was stored underneath the building and was threaded up through the holes where it could be cut to length depending on the buyer’s needs.
Little Maine Mercantile shares the store space with Spruce – a coffee and smoothie bar run by Julie Ambrosino. The two met at their full-time jobs in Portland. Sarah worked in a marketing firm in the same building where Julie worked. They both still hold down their full-time jobs, because of this the store is only open part of the week. Sarah’s mom helps her run the store on the days Sarah works in Portland.
Their best selling items are the Vena’s Infusions, little jars of dried fruits, bitters and sugar that you add alcohol to for a flavorful and interesting drink. The other big sellers are dog treats purchased by people living in the village. She also sells carefully selected goods made exclusively in New England. Sarah believes in supporting local artists and is open to carrying whatever items people let her know they need.
Sarah really enjoys Midcoast Maine. “The area is so beautiful
and the people have been exceptional, really nice to us.” Sarah also feels blessed
to be doing this together with Julie from Spruce. She hopes the store will
become a community gathering place and can envision a day when they might be
able to host small performances or screen movies.
Little Maine Mercantile opened at the end of the tourist season last year so they don’t know what to expect for business during the summer but said they did well around Christmas time. For now they’ll remain open Thursday through Saturday from 10am – 5pm.
We have 7 pet friendly rooms and a 1/4 mile hiking trail that dogs love!
All of our pet friendly rooms are on the ground floor with a separate entrance. This makes it easy to get your pet onto the trail or into your car without worrying about disturbing other people.
Our pet friendly rooms also have linoleum planking. It looks like wood but you don’t have to worry about your pet’s paws scratching it and it won’t stain like carpets.
We do allow pets to be left alone in rooms. We just ask that you put up the Do Not Disturb sign when you’re out. Our rooms have been insulated with pets noises in mind.
Our 1/4 mile hiking trail is near the pet friendly rooms. In fact our One Queen Bed pet friendly rooms have a private back porch that leads directly onto the trail. We have garbage cans throughout the property and give you a roll of bags when you check in.
We also give copies of PETMaine to all pet owners and have provided additional information on local pet resources, dog parks, pet friendly restaurants in your room.