You can’t walk or drive around the Ocean Point loop on Shore Road in East Boothbay, Maine without stopping to admire the Wilson Memorial Chapel.

The lovely, old stone chapel is non-demoninational and guest ministers, both local and those “from away,” lead the worship services on Sundays from the last weekend in June through the first weekend in September.  The Rev. Lewis Wilson honored his wife,  Janet M. Wilson, by naming the chapel for her and according to the Chapel records the first service was held in August of 1917 shortly after Rev. Wilson completed construction.

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As you walk up the stone steps and through the sturdy door of the Wilson Memorial Chapel you are transported back in time by the stonework, the brick, the woodwork and the gorgeous stained-glass windows. How many guest ministers have given a sermon here in 100 years? How many couples have walked down the brick aisle to pledge their love and speak their vows? How many friends who have passed away have been memorialized in this cozy, intimate place of worship? How many visitors have stood right where you are standing at that moment?

As you leave the chapel, the views of Fisherman’s Island and Ram Island greet you at the door. In winter the chapel gets blanketed in snow as it awaits the return of Ocean Point residents (Ocean Pointers as they’re called) and a host of new visitors who will appreciate its beauty, just as those who have come before them have.

The summer of 2017 will have many activities to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of this historic chapel. Here are a few activities from the Wilson Memorial Chapel’s March letter which can be downloaded here –> Wilson Chapel:

July 15-16 – 95th occasion of a visit to Ocean Point and the Chapel, from the Maine Seacoast Mission. The Sunbeam will be brought to the Boothbay Harbor area. Tours will be on Sunday, July 16th, from 11:00-1:00 via boat shuttles from the Card Cove dock.

July 21 – The Chapel will be included on the Boothbay Region Garden Club Home & Garden Tour

August 6 – Commemorative service at 1:30 p.m. followed by a reception at 2:30 and is open to all Ocean Pointers and friends, and their guests.

Check their new website (which will be online soon) for details of all activities.  www.wilsonmemorialchapel.org

Enjoy your visit to the Wilson Memorial Chapel . . . only a short walk away from the Ocean Point Inn!

For thousands of years people have piled rocks to mark trails so they would be able to find their way and not get lost.  These stacks of rocks are called cairns and are found worldwide, including Ocean Point!  A cairn is defined as a human-made stack of rocks.cairns

If you want to build a cairn, find an open area away from plant growth.  Pile your stones as high as possible for the best visibility.  Your cairn needs to be stable so fill in with small stones as needed.

Be sure to build your cairn only in an appropriate area that will not damage the ecosystem.  At Ocean Point you will see them built on the granite ledges along the shore.  They are often made stable and balanced with sand granules from the shore.  All of the pictures on this post are of cairns at Ocean Point.cairn3

In addition to trail markers,  cairns are built for burial monuments, ceremonial purposes, hunting, etc.  They range in size from small stone markers to artificial hills.  An ancient cairn style found from Alaska to Greenland is the inuksuk used by the people of the Arctic Region.  This tundra area had few natural landmarks.

Coastal cairns, also known as “sea marks,” are found in Scandinavia and the Maritime Provinces of eastern Canada.  These coastal cairns even appear on navigational charts.  Sometimes they are lighted or painted white for better visibility from ships.

Some people are offended by cairns.  David Williams, the author of Cairns, was a ranger in Arches National Park.  Visitors built many cairns here, but none of these were legal and some led to environmental damage and lost hikers.  A fellow ranger in Acadia National Park describes taking down cairns all over the park.  Hikers no longer see the natural landscape because of the cairns.cairn4

The cairn craze has exploded into wilderness areas.  Moving rocks increases erosion.  Every time a rock is moved a potential home for insects and mammals is lost.

Here at Ocean Point when the cairns are built the winter storms usually wash them off and Mother Nature creates a new landscape.  To build cairns or not is something to think about?

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Based on “The Compleat Wetlander” fairy houses have been a Maine tradition for over a hundred years, especially along the coast.  School teachers once traveled to islands off the coast of Maine and brought folktales about fairies.  This inspired the islanders to build little houses that might attract fairies.  The original fairy houses had a small altar with an offering, such as a coin or nickel, to pay the fairies so they would help farmers.

“Fairy Houses of the Coast of Maine” by Maureen Heffeman is afairyBOOK delightful book on the crafting of fairy houses.  The photos are inspiring.

Children and adults create fairy houses so the fairies will have a place to live.  Traditionally they are made from things found in nature – twigs, shells, bark, stones, leaves, dried berries, sea glass, etc.  The houses are usually nestled at the base of a tree for support or in a garden by a rock.  Today many garden shops sell all sorts of miniatures to build a fairy house with, including ready made houses.

You do not have to be on the coast of Maine to build a fairy house.  Wherever you live you may create one from things you find in the woods and along the shore.  If you live in a city apartment,istock-fairy-1  you can build one in a container for your balcony.

Fairy House Villages have popped up in the northeast recently.  The Coast Maine Botanical Gardens near Ocean Point Inn has an area of fairy houses and you may build one of your own there.  They also sponsor a special fairy celebration each summer which is lots of fun for children and the adults with them.  They can build their own houses, dress like a fairy, have a fairy tea, do fairy crafts, hear the author of a book on fairy houses, etc. I have enjoyed taking my grand daughters to this event and they have had lots of fun.

Monhegan Island is known for fairy houses on their trails.  Be sure to check this out on your next trip to Monhegan.  Mackworth Island in Falmouth, Maine, has a large Fairy House Village of permanent fairy houses.  The cliff trail in Harpswell, Maine, also has fairy houses.

Building a fairy house is limited only by your imagination and creativity and is enjoyed as much by adults as children.  There is no end to details you can add – chandelier over a table, wall art, chimney, smoke out the chimney, beds, walkways, gardens,……..you name it!istock-fairy-2

To build a fairy house you first decide where it will be located – base of a tree, in a garden, in a container?  Once you have the location, collect as many materials as you can find. One of the rules of fairy house building is not to destroy anything that is living.  Leaves, twigs, pine cones, shells, sea glass, seaweed, pebbles, dried moss, bark, feathers, acorns, horse chestnuts, dried grasses are all useful items.  Now the fun begins!  If you start your first house next to a tree or rock it gives you something to help support the structure.

Enjoy – I bet you will want to build more that one fairy house!

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wreath1Crafting has always been an important part of my life and I know it is for many of the guests at Ocean Point Inn.  It is fun to talk with guests about the crafts they like to do.  The Maine crafts I will mention here are all an easy drive from Ocean Point Inn, a fun craft day trip.

September 23, 24 and 25, 2016, Ocean Point Inn will be hosting the “Oceanside Bead Retreat” with bead artist, Sherry Serafin.  The group will work on beading projects for three days in our spectacular seaside setting.  The projects are simply amazing.

mainen-abaca-craft-photoLocally in mid-coast Maine we have the Aboca Bead Shop at 157 Maine Street in Damariscotta, an easy drive from Ocean Point, to see this unique and fantastic bead collection.  Stop by and put together a unique piece of jewelry from their great Maine bead selection.

maine-craft-photo5.jpg.pngFor those who enjoy quilting, sewing and home decorating we have some fabulous shops in the area.  My favorite is OnBoard Fabric in Edgecomb.  Molly Hutchins, the owner, is a delightfully creative woman with a great eye for color.  Her shop is a must see but her website will give you a nice preview.  She also hand crafts Maine bags, pillows, placemats, aprons, and much more.  The fabrics I used in redecorating Ocean Point Inn living room, dining room and the library are from OnBoard, we love to buy and support local crafts people and Maine artisans.

maine-craft-photo3.jpgAnother great fabric store is Alewives Fabric in Nobleboro, near Damariscotta – a short drive from Ocean Point Inn.  They have amazing fabric for quilting and they are arranged on the shelves by color and shade beautifully. The ladies who work here are very helpful and also offer great workshops.  Check to see if they will have any workshops while you are in Maine staying at Ocean Point.  They also carry hand woven yarn now for you knitting friends.

Maine Quilts 2016 is a Maine craft event that is hosted on by the Pine Tree Quilters Guild, taking place July 29-31. 2016 Augusta Civic Center.  This quilt event is an enormous display of fantastic fabric art including Maine shops selling quilting supplies and offering quilt workshops in a variety of techniques.  These Maine quilt workshops fill up quickly so early reservations are a necessity. Late July is also prime time at Ocean Point, so reserve your space and your quilting seminar now- its going o be such fun for crafters and quilters,.

maine-craft-photo6.jpgKnitting is back in vogue and new Maine yarn shops have popped up over the past decade.  The following shops, near Ocean Point, have excellent selections and will not disappoint you.

Halcyon Yarn at 12 School Street, Bath, Maine

maine-craft-photo4.jpg.pngHeavenly Socks Yarn at 82 Maine Street in Belfast, Maine.

Over the Rainbow Yarn at 18 School Street in Rockland, Maine

The Cashmere Goat at 20 Bayview Street in Camden, Maine.

Bartlett Yarns, Inc. in Harmony, Maine, is famous for the wool yarn they make.

String Theory in Blue Hill, Maine, does hand dyed yarns.

Grace Robinson at 208 US Route 1 in Freeport, Maine, has  a large stock and needlepoitn materials.

maine-craft-photo7.jpg.pngThe Maine Fiber Frolic will take place June 4-5, 2016 on the Windsor fairgrounds in Windsor, Maine.  There are many yarn vendors, great demonstrations and workshops.  I have taken workshops at this event and enjoyed them very much.  Felters, spinners  and weavers will enjoy it too.

If counted cross stitch or needlepoint are your thing, you will enjoy Stitcher’s Corner in Wiscasset, Maine.  Call 877-882-4141 for directions and times.

Fabric Art is a favorite craft of mine and some excellent work can be seen at the Red Studio at 13 Maine Street in Topsham, Maine.  207-721-0675

I hope you will be inspired by some of these Maine craft, quilt and bead shops on your next vacation at the Ocean Point Inn.  Stop by the Front Desk and let me know which you visited.

Copyright & Photos property of Ocean Point Inn 2015.

 

 

clamsAs guests come to Ocean Point Inn, they bring questions about “Maine Food.”  They want to know “what the locals eat!”  The questions have me thinking about what foods are traditional Maine foods??

Of course, everyone thinks of Maine lobster – steamed, baked stuffed – like our house recipe for Linekin Bay Lobster, lobster rolls, lobster stew, lobster salad and more.  Steamed clams and mussels are often served  with the lobster. lobster-bloody-steak2 Folks also look for a good fish chowder, commonly made with haddock in this area, and served with chowder crackers and sweet pickles.  Our Ocean Point Inn Crab Cakes can’t be beat – made with fresh Maine crabmeat.  Oysters, farmed right here on the Damariscotta River, are great raw on the half shell, stewed or fried.

The most common dessert with a Lobster Dinner is Blueberry Pie, the Maine State Dessert, made with wild Maine blueberries.  Our Ocean Point Inn pies have people coming back for more! An older blueberry dessert blueberriesthat I love is Blueberry Dumplings.  You boil the wild blueberries with sugar and drop the dumpling batter into the berries to cook – delish with homemade vanilla ice cream.  Blueberry Cobbler, Crisp and Grunt are wonderful.  Do you know the differences among them?  Grunts, Pandowdy and Slumps are varieties of the Cobbler.  Bettys and Buckles are made with a batter similar to cake batter.  These desserts are served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.  The names sound unusual but, trust me, they are needhamsall delicious.

Needhams, which were first made in Portland, Maine, in 1872 by Reverend Needham, are a wonderful candy treat.  Believe it or not, they are made with mashed potato.  You would never know it to eat one!  The coconut and chocolate are the flavors that you taste.

 

whoopie pieWhoopie Pies have always been an old Maine favorite but are now popular in more of the country.  Williams Sonoma even sells a pan for whoopee pies!  Chocolate with a white crème filling is traditional but pumpkin with a cream cheese filling is yummy in the fall.

 

boston-brown-bread-aIn addition to beautiful foliage, fall in Maine brings Baked Bean Church Suppers.  Some bake the beans in the ground.  They are traditionally served with “brown bread” which was originally a very dark bread with raisins that was baked in a coffee can.  As a child, the round bread showing the rings from the can was fascinating to me.

Venison, deer meat, shows up on many Maine tables during the fall hunting season.  There are sometimes fundraisers offering a “Wild Game Dinner” which boiled dinnerincludes venison and more exotic meats like moose, bear and raccoon.

New England Boiled Dinner is popular in the fall as the root vegetables are harvested from the garden.  Cabbage, carrots, turnip, beets and potatoes are cooked with corned beef.  The flavors blend together for a delicious meal.

20090406-sugaronsnow4As the temperatures rise in March, the maple sap starts to run and maple syrup season is underway.  “Sugar on Snow,” hot maple syrup poured over the frozen snow makes a sweet sticky candy that is served with doughnuts and dill pickles.   Hard to tell how that combination got started!

dandelionOnce the grass is growing, the dandelions pop up.  Many Mainers love to pick the early dandelion greens before they flower.  The greens are traditionally cooked with salt pork and served with vinegar.

fiddlehead-fernFiddleheads, a member of the fern family, are also popular.
These days they are readily available in the grocery stores.  They are fun to pick and pickled with dill they make a very tasty appetizer.

How many of these traditional Maine foods have you eaten?  Look for them on your next trip to Maine, staying with us at Ocean Point Inn!

lobster-boat-sunAn easy day trip from Ocean Point Inn is the area around and including Bath Maine – originally called Sagadahoc by the Abenaki Indians. Sagadahoc meant “mouth of big river” which is very appropriate as it is on the Kennebec River just north of the mouth. Samuel de Champlain explored this area in 1605, a few years before the Popham Colony was started. This colony did not succeed due to harsh weather and poor leadership, however these early colonists did build the first seagoing vessel constructed in the New World called Virginia of Sagadahoc. Most of the settlers in Bath, Maine, came from Bath, England.

Bath, Maine continues to be best known for shipbuilding, which began in 1743 and continues today at Bath Iron Works among others.

Ornaments Home and GardenAs you cross the bridge into the town of Bath, scan the skyline for the beautiful old sea captains’ houses with their widows’ walks and the elegant church steeples. A picture perfect New England seaport!

Bath’s Main Street is one-way and full of interesting shops. Here are three places I like to visit, but be sure to poke down the side streets of Bath as well.

Ornaments Home and Garden Store is a fun shop selling both new and vintage accessories. Owner, Gail Hunt, has a definite flair for design and decor as you will notice when you enter. Enjoy!!

MarkingsGalleryThe Markings Gallery has fine local art and crafts in metal, clay, fiber, paper, glass, paint, stone and wood. The artists who contribute to this gallery do very high quality and creative work. It is very difficult to leave without finding something you must have!

Now You’re Cooking – A Cook’s Emporium is a wonderful cooking store for all types of cooks. You will enjoy the store even if you do not like to cook. A great place to buy gifts! They carry everything you might want for your kitchen and more. Cooking Classes are also offered.

If you like to knit, crochet, weave or felt do not miss Halcyon Yarn. Delicious yarns in an amazing variety of colors, fibers and textures that are difficult to resist. The staff is very helpful.

mmmfrontThe Maine Maritime Museum has an amazing collection of over 21,000 artifacts and over 140 small craft showing Maine’s Maritime Heritage. A variety of cruises along the Kennebec River range from 1-6 hours. Wildlife, lighthouses and the shipyard are part of these tours. Many photo moments await you.

Bath Iron Works Trolley Tours describe the history of the shipyard which builds the Navy’s most advanced warships. The tours are M W F @ 12 and 2, T Th @2 and Sat @10. f you are in the area when a ship is being launched it is a great sight to see.

Dining in Bath:
Mae’s Cafe at 160 Centre Street has an amazing range of breakfast items served all day in addition to tasty lunch offerings of soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps and much more. heir bakery will definitely fill your sweet tooth.

Solo Bistro at 128 Front Street is a divine place for dinner – a culinary delight with great ambiance. inner is served at 5 Wednesday through Sunday – closed on Monday and Tuesday. Friday nights they have live Jazz 6:30-9:30 P.M.

Kennebec Tavern at 19 Commercial Street is a waterfront Restaurant and Bar. Watch the boats on the river as you dine. They offer a large variety of seafood dishes in a casual waterfront 5_innatmosphere.

Enjoy your day in Bath. There are so many things to see and learn about in the town, a great short day trip from Ocean Point Inn.

See more Ocean Point Inn things to do in the area including visiting Camden and Rockland and a boat ride to Monhegan Island and other day trips to Damariscotta, Bath, and Boothbay Harbor.

9_lobsterWhen the first settlers arrived in North America there were so many lobsters they would wash ashore and pile up two feet deep. They were considered “poor man’s protein.”

Native Americans used lobsters for fertilizer and fish bait. They baked them under seaweed over hot rocks, thus starting the New England Clambakes we enjoy today.

In the beginning lobsters were gathered by hand. In the late 1700s boats called smacks with saltwater tanks were used to tralobsternsport live lobsters. The men who ran these boats were called “smackmen.” In the mid-19th century lobster traps were first used in Maine.

Lobster were so inexpensive they were fed to prisoners, apprentices, slaves and children during colonial times. These people became tired of being fed lobster!

The first lobster pound started in 1876 in Vinalhaven, Maine. By the 1880s lobster became popular in Boston and New York and the prices started to rise.

American lobster, or Maine lobster, can weigh more than 40 pounds and be up to 3 feet long. The largest lobster on record was caught off Nova Scotia and believed to have been over 100 years old. It weighed 44 pound and was 42 inches long.

The lobster stands out for its unusual anatomy. Its brain is located in its throat, nervous system in its abdomen, teeth in its stomach and kidneys in its head! Lobsters hear with their legs and taste with their feet. They can be right-clawed or left-clawed and favor that claw.

If crowded into tanks they become cannibalistic and eat each other. Their claws need to be banded to prevent this situation.

Lobsters are a very healthy food with fewer calories than an !lobster-thumb1equal portion of skinned chicken. They offer healthy omega-3 fatty acids, potassium and vitamins E, B-12 and B-6. Maine Lobster is on or menu nightly at Ocean Point served many delicious ways from our famous Lobster Stew, to Linekin Bay Stuffed Lobster.

What amazing creatures they are

boothbay-cuckolds-lighthouse2In 1891 the Lighthouse Board wrote, “The Cuckolds consist of two rocky islets rising about 15 feet above high water in the westerly edge of the channel at Booth Bay.”

The Atlantic Coast Pilot said they were a great danger to the three to four thousand vessels that entered the bay for refuge in Booth Bay and recommended a fog-signal be placed there.

The cost for a keeper’s house, fog signal house, cistern and equipment was estimated at $25,000. Congress appropriated the amount in March of 1891 and work began in January of 1892.

boothbay-cuckolds-light5The station had to be built to withstand very heavy storms. The foundation was made of granite. Materials included 105 yards of granite masonry, 60,000 bricks, 430 casks of cement, 100 tons of sand, 200 tons of stones, 70,000 feet of lumber and 3,400 pounds of iron work. This huge amount of materials was carried on the lighthouse tender, Myrtle. Work was completed on November 16, 1892.

In 1895 a 1000 pound bell was installed to be used when air pressure was building. In 1902 “a modern apparatus operated by oil engines” replaced the “old hot-air fog-signal.” In 1907 a small tower and lantern room were added.

On January 27 and 28 of 1933, a nor’easter struck the Cuckolds doing a great deal of damage. The lighthouse was automated in 1974.

The lighthouse keeper’s dwelling has been successfully rebuilt. In June 2014, the beautifully restored lighthouse opened to overnight guests as the Inn at Cuckolds Lighthouse. You can see Cuckold’s Light from Ocean Point Inn.

Burnham's%20CottagesThe Ocean Point Inn will celebrate 117 years this summer and there is an interesting history during all those years.  The Pleasant View House was founded in 1898 by Capt. Edward Burnham.  It was a twenty room lodging facility with a dining room that seated 40 people.  The Main House and Annex (today’s Inn and Lodge)offered “rooms with electric lights and access to public bathrooms.”  The main house was used for years as the Ocean Point general store and post office.  Guests would travel to Ocean Point by Steamship or by train to Wiscasset and taxi to Ocean Point over corduroy roads with logs for a surface.

10653854_820565624640340_2035270298576236421_nCapt. Warren and Mrs. Mattie Barnes discovered Ocean Point while sailing the Maine Coast.  Nowhere on the coast had they seen such a dramatic open ocean setting with the view of spruce clad islands, the rugged rocky coastline and the brilliant sunsets of this western exposure.  They opened the Ocean Point Inn.  They hoped to expand the property and make the spectacular setting available to more people.  As they expanded, they always kept in mind the importance of the wonderful view and unspoiled natural scenery.

Old%20Black%20&%20white%20of%20OPIThe Barnes began their initial operation with the Main House, the Annex and a restaurant serving three meals per day.   Since guests came for long stays in those days, it was customary to offer American plan rates including all meals and accommodations.  During the 1950s they gradually made major improvements to the property.  The old Annex was made into the Lodge with the addition of the large wrap around porches and private bathrooms.  More cottages were built and the Inn was enlarged, adding dining room space, a better living room area and a comfortable lounge.  What we call the “On the Rocks”  part of the dining room today was a charming living room where people would meet to socialize, play cards or just curl up with a good book by the fireplace.  The center dining room, now called the “Upper and Lower Deck” was the lounge – no bar to be seen – just a relaxing setting where one could enjoy a drink and look at the ocean.

Islander%20ship%20at%20OP%201918In the mid 1950s the Barnes recognized the need for “modern motel style” accommodations.  They purchased the Burnham farmhouse and renovated it into colonial style rooms.  The motel section of the property was completed in 1964 and run almost as a separate operation.  Ruth Habblitz and Flossie Turner would serve a continental breakfast and provide some entertainment and local information as well.

During the 1970s and 1980s fewer guests were staying for a month at a time or the entire season.  The new guests had different  needs and the Inn once again adapted to the change.  Rooms were enlarged and picture windows, porches, balconies, larger beds and televisions were added.  The wonderful outdoor heated pool was added at this time and it remains to this date the largest outdoor heated pool in the Boothbay Region.

In 1985 Warren and Mattie Barnes handed over the ownership of the Inn to long time employees David Dudley, Tony Krason and Mark Sweetland.  The tradition of adapting to the the times continues at the Ocean Point Inn.  The newest additions include the Starfish Coffee Shop which is open 7:30 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. daily, Live Entertainment one night a week and Happy Hour some afternoons each week.   How long have you been coming to the Ocean Point Inn?