2019 Boothbay Harbor Region Visitor & Resource Guide

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Twin bedroom

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About the Five Gables Inn

Overlooking Linekin bayThe Five Gables Inn has a long and storied history that dates back more than a century. The inn was originally built in 1896, and during the course of the last 100-plus years, there have only been a handful of different people who have owned the inn. No matter who was steering the ship, however, the goal of this amazing boutique hotel in East Boothbay, Maine has always been the same: to provide people with a relaxing getaway that allows them to enjoy all of the beautiful scenery and peacefulness that comes along with a trip to coastal Maine. You will feel the warmth and comfort of the Five Gables Inn from the second you walk in, and the view of the spectacular Maine coast from the inn is why you came to Maine in the first place.

Flower gardenYet 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 at an elegant boutique hotel. 15 of our 16 rooms have an ocean view, all have air conditioning, 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.

Balcony during the day Beautiful fireplace with lounging chairs

The Innkeepers

Group skiingThe Five Gables Inn is currently owned by Steve and Susan Plausteiner, who purchased this coastal Maine Boutique Hotel in East Boothbay, Maine back in late 2012. The Plausteiners are committed to carrying on the legacy that has been established by the Five Gables Inn ever since it was first built. Throughout the years, the people who have come to stay at the Five Gables Inn have changed. From the Montreal residents who frequently came to the Five Gables Inn for a summer-long relaxing getaway in the 1920s and 1930s to those who came from up and down the East Coast in the 1990s to enjoy the Five Gables Inn once it underwent a massive restoration in 1989, so many people have visited the Five Gables Inn over the years. They have historically enjoyed great food, great company and, of course, great views at the bed and breakfast, located right next to Linekin Bay, and guests continue to enjoy these same aspects of the inn today.

Snapshots from the Past

Boothbay Harbor yacht club old pictureThe Five Gables Inn may look a little different than it did a couple decades ago – and the area looks completely different than it did a century ago when it first started thriving – but our B&B in East Boothbay, Maine certainly hasn’t forgotten about where it came from. We still strive to provide all our guests with the best coastal Maine experience possible. Whether you stay for a weekend or come for a week-long relaxing getaway, you will see why the Five Gables Inn has been able to deliver a wonderful experience to guests for so many years during your visit. The area is beautiful, the innkeepers are friendly and accommodating, the food is delicious, the rooms are spacious and comfortable, and the Five Gables Inn is truly a one-of-a-kind establishment nestled in one of the most pristine and historic towns in all of Maine.

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.

Ocean at duskNorman 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 coastal Maine inn 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