This historic house on the Maine coast provides comfortable and affordable lodging and transports guests back to the early nineteenth century.
Maine’s true Downeast coast begins in Ellsworth, and as travelers drive down east toward Lubec, lodging along Route 1 becomes more difficult to find. One very pleasant and affordable place to stay is in Cherryfield, at the Englishman’s Bed & Breakfast in the middle of the wild blueberry country.
Many Route 1 travelers miss Cherryfield entirely, taking the shortcut route 1-A to Machias. But even if they stay on Route 1 and drive through Cherryfield, they may very easily miss the charm of the old river town, since the highway slips through a small corner of the village that gives no hint of the character or life of this interesting spot on the Narraguagus River.
No, it will not do to simply drive through town. The only way to properly visit Cherryfield is to stop for the night at the Englishman’s B&B, enjoy a breakfast laden with Maine’s blueberries, take some time to stroll along the river and through the village, admire the dozens of historic houses, and learn something of the town’s stories and people.
Cherryfield is a small town of less than 1500 people. It’s heyday was in the nineteenth century, when it enjoyed great prosperity from the timber trade. Fifty-two homes in the tiny village still remain from that century. The downtown area along the river, known as the Cherryfield Historic District, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In the July 2008 Down East article entitled “The Heart of Cherryfield”, Virginia Wright calls this district “one of Maine’s most splendid collections of historic homes”.
Cherryfield Historic District
Clustered along the river, this community of seasoned structures is loved and cared for by those who tend the spirit of history in the town. Every house has its own stories of the last two centuries and the community life built around this waterway. At the historical society on River Road, visitors can pick up a guide to a walking tour of the Cherryfield Historic District.
Affordable Downeast Maine Lodging
The Englishman’s B&B sits on the edge of the Cherryfield Historic District. The Englishman is Peter Winham, still carrying his homeland’s accent. He and his wife, Kathy, met in England on an archaeological dig.
If asked, Peter and Kathy will tell their story (complete with years spent on a ranch in cowboy country in the States and a long hunt on Maine’s coast for the perfect B&B) that brought them to this little village where they seem to have found life exactly as they want it.
They’ll also tell stories of Cherryfield and the large federal style house they share with guests. Built in 1793, this is one of the oldest homes in the town. At one time it belonged to Joseph Adams, a lawyer and justice of the peace. The house has witnessed so many town events and ceremonies that volumes of history are sealed within its walls. The Winhams carefully restored the house, researching even the exact colors of paint and searching for appropriate antique furnishings.
Upstairs is the River Room, cool in shades of blue and white, and the warm and energetic Estate Room (with fireplace) that is both formal and comfortable at the same time. These two rooms are most appropriate for a family or friends traveling together. They share one side of the house and a bath.
The Carriage House is connected to the main house by a large deck and is positioned to overlook the Narraguagus River. This little cottage has a kitchenette, a comfortably furnished sitting room, a bath, and a sleeping area with a queen bed. A loft could accommodate more guests if they’re able to climb steep stairs.
The appeal of the Carriage House is its privacy, plus the views and proximity to the river. Windows face the water, and guests can relax in the leather chair while watching eagles, ospreys, and cormorants fishing in the river. The owners even supply binoculars and a bird guide. At night, the constant music of the river provides a peaceful lullaby.
The Englishman has been a formal, official house, but the B&B experience there is anything but stilted. Peter and Kathy are gracious hosts, offering privacy or friendly conversation according to the inclination of their guests. Breakfasts, replete with blueberries and tea served with English flair, are served in the keeping room, where the fireplace with wide hearth, period furniture, and pewter collection may convince guests they’ve been transported to Colonial America.
The Englishman’s location in Cherryfield makes it an ideal base for exploring Downeast Maine. It’s within an easy drive of everything from Acadia National Park to Lubec and Campobello. Reasonable rates also make it attractive for longer stays. One disadvantage to the Cherryfield location is that the town has no restaurant; guests will have to drive to Milbridge (5 miles) or north toward Machias to find more dining options.
This Cherryfield lodging is clean, comfortable, and affordable. The hosts are gracious and thoughtful. And the historic riverside village is a serene and interesting stop for any downeast Maine adventure.