Historic Highlight

The History Behind Sprucewold Lodge

TEXT & PHOTOGRAPH BY JULIE SENK

Sprucewold’s log-cabin village has offered relaxation and style among the spruces of Boothbay Harbor for nearly 100 years. 

To stay at Sprucewold was “to realize for the very first time the utmost zest of life,” or so a 1940s Maine tourist brochure promised. Nestled on Boothbay Harbor’s Spruce Point peninsula, the retreat initially comprised a 1920s log lodge and cabins that attracted city dwellers seeking a rustic escape while enjoying dancing in a cocktail lounge, dips in a saltwater swimming pool, and meals in a dining hall.

When the lodge burned down in 1931, its annex became the colony’s centerpiece. A nod to the Adirondacks’ sprawling, late-1800s “Great Camps,” this lodge has horizontal-log construction, a stone chimney, and a full-width recessed porch supported by rough-hewn logs. The dining hall, with a birch-log interior, was also created after the fire by enlarging a guest cabin.

When the colony’s cabins were sold into private ownership in the 1960s, the lodge and dining hall continued to operate as a separate business until closing their doors in 2014. Today, “Sprucewolders,” as the cabin owners call themselves, still enjoy a convivial summer community. The current owner of Sprucewold Lodge, meanwhile, has been pursuing plans to reopen the hotel and restaurant.


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