A Prodigal Inn &
Gallery, Bethel, Maine
by Norm Goldman
Artwork by Lily Goldman
Just what possessed innkeepers Tom and Marcey White to move from Texas
to Bethel, Maine in order to open a most unique inn, A
Prodigal Inn & Gallery, is the question I had recently posed to
this charming couple.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Bethel, this tiny village is
located in the western mountains of Maine 70 miles from Portland. Since
its settlement in 1768, its population at approximately 2360, including
the surrounding school district communities, has remained quite stable.
However, during the peak seasons it swells to about 6000.
What is noteworthy about this
scenic area in the heart of Western Maine is its convenient location to
the popular Sunday River Ski Resort, as well as snowmobiling, hunting,
tubing, snowboarding, fishing, hiking, antiquing, kayaking, canoeing,
golfing, historical research, and not to forget the brilliance of the
indicated to me that when she and Tom moved to Maine, they were trying
to find a way whereby Tom could leave the construction/carpentry field
and concentrate solely on his art career. Apparently, about ten years
ago Tom discovered that he had an innate artistic talent for sculpting
and painting. Quite amazing is that Tom is a self taught artist--hardly
having taken a lesson! Their objective was to find a property that would
permit them to have an inn and at the same time a place to display Toms
The result was the purchasing of an 1813 historic property that Tom unbelievably
single- handed renovated into a magnificent inn with an adjacent art studio.
Previous to running the inn, Marcey had experience in the food and service
industries and thus she was able to easily transfer her skills.
The inns most unusual name is patterned after the parable of the
Prodigal Son and Toms exquisite bronze sculpture reflects its message.
It is the hope of the innkeepers that guests will experience the same
welcome as depicted in the sculpture and story.
One very popular site for weddings in Bethel is The Sunday River
Covered Bridge, where many couples have exchanged vows. The
bridge is very close to the Prodigal Inn & Gallery.
Check out Wende
Gray's Site, where you can view wedding photos celebrated in
Bethel. Wende is the popular owner of Gray
Marketing in Bethel.
If you are in need of a competent wedding planner, or a residential,
commercial interior & floral designer, Janet C. Black, owner
of "Designs," has many years of experience. Tel: 207-824-0888,
Fax 207-824-0889 Email: email@example.com
Story: Weddings in Bethel,
Maine: Traditional & Non-traditional
Initially, the property had
been owned by one of the founding fathers of Bethel, the Twitchell family,
who had been proprietors for about 150 years. For twenty years previous
to Marcey and Toms ownership, the inn had been billed as the first
"Bed and Breakfast in Western Maine." However, it had only consisted
of six rooms with one shared bath and kitchen privileges.
Today, the inns six rooms deserve top marks for their spaciousness
and tasteful decor, each having their own private bathrooms, and some
even with Jacuzzis tubs. Rooms are named after the innkeepers children
and a grandchild. According to Marcey, she adopted the personalities of
each of them to reflect their favorite colors.
Prevalent throughout the inn is its peace and calmness. We also found
the rooms devoid of uniformity and exuding a great deal of warmth and
Entering the inns living room, we were immediately taken in by Toms
original one-of-a kind bronze sculptures. Marcey indicated to us that
guests are invited to watch this "world-class sculptor" as he
goes about creating his magnificent works of art. It did not take us very
long to take her up on the offer and we visited the adjacent studio that
is set up in an adjacent renovated barn.
No doubt, Toms artistic inspiration has been enhanced by the spectacular
scenery surrounding the inn with its meadows, nearby rivers and ponds,
(the inn is across from the Androscoggin River), and mountains.
It is also little wonder why this inn has proven to be popular for couples
celebrating intimate weddings in the gazebo located within the inns
stunning perennial gardens. Incidentally, leading to the inns front
door are private hiking trails and there is access to cross-country and
During the fall foliage and winter seasons, when the weather becomes a
little nippy, there is nothing that can beat sitting in front of the inns
wood- burning fireplace enjoying afternoon tea and delicious cookies that
Marcey prepares and sets out for her guests.
When the weather permits, you can sit out in the garden Gazebo after an
exhilarating walk in the woods and perhaps spot a deer or pick berries.
Marcey serves a scrumptious breakfast in the dining room with a wide assortment
of goodies from juices, cereals, breads, eggs, to practically anything
you palette may desire.
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