Yankee Magazine Features Georgetown and Coveside B&B


The July/August issue of Yankee Magazine contains an article on “Maine’s Peninsulas:  A World of Their Own.” The article by Annie Graves provides beautiful photographs by Sara Gray and comprehensive descriptions of each of the Midcoast peninsulas:  Harpswell, Phippsburg, Boothbay, Pemaquid, and — of course — Georgetown. The picture below of the chairs looking out to Gotts Cove from Coveside occupied a two-page centerfold and the writeup was very complementary.  Here’s what Yankee had to say about Georgetown and Coveside, along with the Georgetown pictures included in the article:

"Centerfold" picture in Yankee of view from Coveside

“Centerfold” picture in Yankee of view from Coveside. Photo by Sara Graves.

Coveside B&B in George-town feels like a secret tucked down a lane, overlooking Sheepscot Bay. Gardens edge the shingled house and cottage that Tom and Carolyn Church have brought back to life; our deck overlooks a verdant lawn sloping to Gotts Cove. In the morning we linger over strawberry shortcake and a mix of scrambled eggs with goat cheese, red fingerling potatoes, bacon, arugula, and nasturtiums. “Less schmoozing, more schlepping, those are my instructions,” Tom says, before setting down the coffeepot and joining the lively talk between tables. “The thing about Maine,” he says, “you begin to let go.”
Naturally, he has a few suggestions: Five Islands Lobster Co. and Reid State Park, Maine’s first state-owned saltwater beach. “Each of the fingers [peninsulas] has its own personality,” Carolyn observes. “Topographically they may be similar, but Georgetown is the wildest. You couldn’t get here until the early days of the 20th century—it wasn’t served by the bridge.” (Nice, too, that we can see across the water to Southport Island, where Rachel Carson built her summer cottage in 1953 and found inspiration for her environmental classic Silent Spring, and where her ashes are scattered. “Here at last returned to the sea,” reads the bronze marker.)


Griffith Head at Reid State Park

Griffith Head at Reid State Park. Photo by Sara Graves.

Reid State Park is the perfect place to walk off breakfast. Distractingly beautiful, its Half Mile Beach is mounded with smooth stones, like slumbering elephants; beach roses crowd the sand; golden tidepools are edged with algae; and Mile Beach curves like a smile. The convergence of colors—sand, sea, stone, and sky—is a palette of perfect paint chips for creating your own oceanfront room. If time seems to slow down on the peninsulas, you could say that it stops on the beaches.

Mile Geach at Reid State Park

Mile Geach at Reid State Park. Photo by Sara Graves

That’s not the only thing that stops. “I can’t feel my legs!” a delighted teen, up to her waist in the sea, announces to her brother. Ethan, a lifeguard who trains at Mile Beach every morning, sometimes in a wetsuit, confirms that today’s late-June water temp is a frosty 50 degrees. (Popham, he says, is warmer.) So is Mile Beach really a mile? It doesn’t look it. “Mile-ish,” he smiles, “but almost two miles with all three beaches combined.”
Post-beach, we succumb to the tiny Post Office Gallery, brimming with the work of four local artists, from wood-fired pottery to landscapes (cards, too). I’m admiring Lea Peterson’s color-splashed portrait of a lobsterman at Five Islands Lobster Co., a lively wharf/eatery where families crowd picnic tables, butter dripping from fingers and chins, celebrating the day’s catch. “He’s over there right now, working on his pots, cleaning them up,” she says of the lobsterman. Small peninsula: Paint or be painted.


Loading bait at Five Islands. Photo by Sara Graves.

Frankly, it would probably be a peninsular crime to slink past Georgetown Pottery, an institution since 1972. The porch groans with pots and bowls, and in the studio, you can watch the artisans at work. Owner Jeff Peters doesn’t look like a ceramics mogul—he’s busy lifting a heavy tray of mugs—but this is the mother lode of pottery. Room after room displays sinks, lamps, clocks, anything that can be rendered in clay. The patterns are pure Maine—blueberries, lighthouses, birches filled with light. It’s the best kind of success story: Guy starts off in a one-room log cabin (sound familiar?) and makes good.

The First Day of Spring at Coveside B&B

huge snowbanks in front of Coveside B&B

We returned to Coveside B&B the first day of Spring, March 21, after spending two months in the South of France (where the weather was beautiful). We knew it had been a very hard winter on the coast of Maine, but we weren’t prepared for the three to five feet of snow still on the ground.  In fact, it was snowing quite hard as we drove up to Maine from Boston. Old timers tell us the winter of 2015 has been the snowiest and coldest they can remember.

This said, we figure that the hard winter will surely lead to a particularly beautiful Maine summer.  We promise the snow will be gone when we open on Memorial Day weekend, May 22! Bookings are strong for the coming season, so the earlier you can firm up your plans, the more likely you will be able to have your choice of room and dates. You can check on availability by clicking on the “reservations” link at the top of our home page, here.

Blizzards on the Coast!

Coveside before the blizzard due February 15

Coveside before the blizzard due February 15

Six-foot Drifts from the last storms

Six-foot Drifts from the last storms

It’s been a tough winter on the Maine coast — more snow and more frigid weather than anyone can remember. And it’s just mid-February.  These pictures were taken by a neighbor and friend who keeps our driveway plowed. Lucky us, we’re spending February and March in France!  If you’re interested, you can follow our adventures on Covesiders.Blogspot.com.

Georgetown Working League Fair — 100th anniversary

tents with art on a green lawn

The Georgetown Working League Fair, a staple of Georgetown summers for a century, celebrated its 100th birthday this past Saturday, August 10. The Working League began as a women’s group at the First Baptist Church in Georgetown, but has evolved over the years as a service organization devoted to raising money for the betterment of the community. The major fund raisers are the fair — traditionally held on the 2nd Tuesday of August, but moved this year to the second Saturday (a change much debated in the league), and the design and execution of an heirloom quilt, all hand-made by the master quilters of the league.

The fair consists of a large “white elephant” sale (of lightly used toys, nick-nacks, household items, and miscellany), a bountiful luncheon of lobster or chicken salad (served with focaccia, fruit, macaroni salad, blueberry cake, and a drink, all for $12!), an extensive sale of art works by local artists, a kid’s tent with face painting, stories, music, and an entertainment tent with music continuing throughout the day.

Proceeds from the money-raising activities of the Working League support scholarships for local students, and grants by the League for various efforts to improve the community.

Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration Festival


A festive, if rainy, event

A festive, if rainy, event

One of the joys of summer in Maine is the number and variety of local festivals, fairs, and community events of every shape and color. We discovered over Memorial Day weekend – a bit of a washout weather-wise – a fair in nearby Damariscotta Mills (just up the river from Damariscotta) held each year to raise money for the restoration of the fish ladder that allows alewives to bypass the dam at the end of Damariscotta Lake and spawn in the upper reaches of the river. Alewives spend most of their lives at sea, but each spring fight their way up coastal rivers to spawn. They are an important part of the ecosystem, providing food for  both shore birds and fish, to say nothing of bait for lobstermen. They are also smoked for human consumption (though we understand they are an acquired taste.) The species has been much diminished by the dams along coastal rivers and this fish “ladder,”  actually a lovely series of rock pools and small falls that the fish can easily negotiate, is an important ecological success.

The three-day festival included music, a pig roast, roasted hot dogs, a beer tent, special “fish eye” ice cream (chocolate with M&Ms)  and other homemade deserts. Visitors to the festival are invited to walk up the cascading pools of the fish ladder (which actually runs through the back yards of a number of local families) and watch the fish jump their way to the lake. Here are some pictures of the festivities:

Spring Comes to Maine — Slowly!

First day of Spring?

First day of Spring?

We returned from Europe a few days ago, hoping to find the beginnings of Spring. But we found the remnants of a late winter snowstorm: Spring comes to Maine — slowly. The snow is melting fast, however, and we have high hopes that we’ll soon see the first stirrings of the season to come. In the meantime, we’re making plans for the summer season; Carolyn is testing new recipes; and we’re looking forward to our 16th year as innkeepers.

Snowshoeing in Georgetown

Robinhood Cove from Schoener Preserve

The end of the trail — a lovely view of Robinhood Cove

Robinhood Cove Snowshoeing

Carolyn on the trail

The winter weather has been spectacular. After a substantial post-Christmas snowstorm, the temperatures have remained cold and the skies sunny — perfect for outdoor pursuits. Carolyn and I snowshoed from Route 127 to Robinhood Cove, through the Schoener Preserve, one of the many largely undiscovered preserves open to the public in Georgetown, to the western shore of the cove.

Visit to Winslow Homer’s Studio

Winslow Homer Studio

The Portland Museum of Art has been working several years on restoring Winslow Homer’s studio on Prout’s Neck, south of Portland. The work concluded early this autumn, and visitor’s can now tour the house and grounds through a escorted minibus tour that leaves several times a day in Spring and Fall from the museum. The museum is celebrating the opening of the studio with Weatherbeaten, a major exhibition of Homer’s works that we  discussed in a previous blog post.  The location of the studio is spectacular.


Hurricane Sandy at Reid State Park, Maine

We survived Hurricane Sandy without even so much as a power outage.  Lots of wind and rain, but more like a moderate Nor’easter than the punishing storm that hit further south.  Sandy did make for some spectacular surf at Reid State Park, however.  Here are some shots Tom took this afternoon.

Damariscotta Pumpkinfest

The Damariscotta Pumpkinfest was held last week, complete with the improbable “Pumpkin Regatta” where contestants race their boats of hollowed-out pumpkins across the Damariscotta River.  Unsurprisingly, many don’t make it to the finish line!

We missed the festivities, but made it a week later for some of those fabulous Damariscotta oysters at the comfy King Eider’s Pub and to check out the entries in last week’s pumpkin decorating competition. Some of these beasts approach 500 pounds, so their decoration requires both artistic skill and a strong back!  Here are some of our favorites (click on thumbnail to enlarge):