Tuesday, May 22, 2012

In the Heart of Brooklin, Maine

© Copyright 2012 Gail J. VanWart All Rights Reserved
The Brooklin Inn - Early Spring 2012

Elwyn Brooks White, would often sit on its rocky beaches with his little dog, Minnie. The quiet man was far better known to the world as E. B. White and author of two of the most famous children’s tales ever written, Charlotte’s Webb and Stuart Little, as well as, the ever-so-handy Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style. Originally from New York, the serenity of Maine became home to him, as it has for many others. His son, Joel White became a navel architect and boat builder and owned the Brooklin Boatyard. 

There is no doubt E.B., his wife, Katharine Angell White, and their family has left their imprints on Brooklin’s history. E. B. White died in North Brooklin at the age of 86. History in this town is deeply embedded into its shores. Besides White, included in its timeline are the Red Paint People and the Revolutionary War. A trip to the Friend Memorial Public Library in the middle of town will provide you with a lot of information about Brooklin’s past inhabitants and even put you face-to-face with an original Garth Williams illustration for E. B. White’s book, Stuart Little.

However, this little blog isn’t really about E. B. White, it’s about Brooklin, a quiet place in a warp-speed world. Located on Maine’s Downest coastline, it’s surrounded by beautiful Blue Hill Bay to its east, Jericho Bay to its south, and Eggemoggin Reach to its southwest—a perfect place for great sailing, fishing, and lobstering, as well as relaxing and exploring nature.

Visitors soon discover, as they drive into Brooklin from Blue Hill, time seems to have lost about sixty or so years on the way there. Visiting Brooklin, is encountering life pretty much as it was in the 1950s. The center of town features a general store, post office, church, cafe, three inns, a library, small artist’s galleries and an antique shop. 
However, this quaint little community is also large enough to house Wooden Boat Magazine, Wooden Boat School, boat builders, artists, musicians, writers, and variety of people who simply enjoy being away from it all.

© Copyright 2012 Gail J. VanWart All Rights Reserved
Paella, Brooklin Inn Style
The Brooklin Inn, with its fine dinning, B & B lodging and Irish Pub, operates year round and is found right in the heart of town, across from the library. Chip Angell and his wife, Gail, operate the cozy inn. Folks, both first time and frequent dinner guests, seek it out for its classic old fashion hospitality, neighborly atmosphere, fresh Maine seafood and local organic fare that’s served with an international flare by their Cordon Bleu chef. Everything on Chef Tyson’s menu is as local and fresh as possible. Their collection of wines require a more than extensive list and are personally selected by Chip, the inn’s owner, specifically to compliment the meals served.

© Copyright 2012 Gail J. VanWart All Rights ReservedYou can read more about the Brooklin Inn in the June 2012 issue of theSCENE, a monthly magazine, published by Courier Publications LLC in Rockland, Maine. View theSCENE online. 

You can also learn more from the Brooklin Inn directly.

Painting (left), pictured on the wall at the Brooklin Inn, is a provocative piece of artwork, and certainly a conversation piece, created by local artist, Daniel Snyder, who operates his studio at 29 Reach Road in Brooklin.

© Copyright 2012 Gail J. VanWart All Rights Reserved

Friday, May 4, 2012

Winterport, Maine: A Place for All Seasons

©Copyright 2012 Gail J. VanWart All Rights Reserved
Antiques at The Old Commercial House, Winterport, Maine

Incorporated in 1860, Winterport was named for its port on the Penobscot River mariners could keep open in the dead of winter for the shipping industry, a lifeline for the Bangor region at the time. Nineteenth century charm is still visible today in the historic homes that once belonged to the sea captains who lived there back them. The town’s Main Street shares Route 1A which connects US Route 1 in Stockton Springs to Bangor. Unless you live in Winterport, you might travel through it without stopping. But, if you do have an opportunity to stop in Winterport, you will find it has quite a bit to offer, from its scenic and active waterfront to its local Maine businesses, each offering something unique and special. Blae and I have three favorite destinations in Winterport we’d like to share with you now.

The Winterport Winery

© Copyright 2012 Gail J. VanWart All Rights ReservedSample some local flavor and color at The Winterport Winery, owned by Michael and Joan Anderson. What started with a winemaking kit gifted to them one Christmas has turned into a year-round business involving their whole family. Since they opened the winery in 2001 where their award winning fruit wines are fermented and aged under the careful supervision of Michael Anderson, who claims title of head winemaker, they’ve continued to expand. Besides the tasting room, The Anderson Gallery at the winery features a tasteful variety of artistic expressions and is another reason to stop by to say hello to the Andersons. That’s not all, but we’ll let you discover the rest for yourself.

Old Winterport Commercial House

Hosts Ray and Ann Ronco operate a charming Bed and Breakfast in the town’s old commercial house. They offer hospitality and comfort at a reasonable price with the added attraction of an antique shop where a person can be kept busy nosing around for hours on end. Their reservation calendar for the 2012 summer season is filling up fast, so don’t delay if you’d like to book a stay. Remember, it’s a great place to visit during leaf peeping time in the autumn, as well. Whether you stay overnight or just drop by their shop during the day, the building alone is worth stopping to admire and makes a beautiful backdrop for taking photos

© Copyright 2012 Gail J. VanWart All Rights ReservedSilver Willow Gallery

You can’t stop in Winterport without checking out Silver Willow Gallery. You can learn to craft, as well as shop for handcrafted Maine Made gifts, at this artisan run business at 115 Main Street, cozily tucked in between the town’s pizza shop and dog grooming salon, and just across from the Old Winterport Commercial House. Silver Willow Gallery is a perfect example of what Maine’s local businesses can offer in the way of quality goods. Their wide selection of items on display come 
exclusively from the labors of Maine artists, writers, potters, jewelry makers, knitters, felters, soap makers, wood crafters and other artisans. Many fine pieces at Silver Willow Gallery are one-of-a-kind items, creating a shopping experience you will not have anywhere else.  You can follow the  Silver Willow Gallery Blog to keep abreast of Maine Arts and Crafts news and events  around the state.

© Copyright 2012 Gail J. VanWart All Rights Reserved
Unique Handcrafted Jewelry at Silver Willow Gallery
© Copyright 2012 Gail J. VanWart All Rights Reserved
You never know what you might find at Silver Willow Gallery

Click the links below to learn more about Winterport, Maine:

The Winterport Winery
The Old Winterport Commercial House
Silver Willow Gallery
Winterport, Maine, USA

© Copyright 2012 Gail J. VanWart
All Rights Reserved