Fisherman’s Wharf Inn
Founded Circa 1946
With the ending of the second great war, Rowe Metcalf and Robert “Bob” Royall- good friends and Navy veterans- decided to start a joint business venture, a chandlery and hardware store in Boothbay Harbor. In 1946, they selected a site for their fledgling venture; the wharf on Commercial Street, built in the early 40’s, had burned down just four years prior, but was quickly restored. It was on this site that the Fisherman’s Wharf was born.
Both men knew their roles, with Metcalf providing the capital for the construction and Royall the energy and drive to run the operation. With an eye towards the expanding tourist industry in the area, the two men added a snack bar and four guest rooms in 1957. Thus from these humble beginnings sprung the Fisherman’s Wharf Inn.
Tragedy struck in 1958. Fire, it seems, had a taste for the wharf on Commercial Street. Unlike before, when it was just the wharf that was burnt, the blaze in 1958 consumed both the wharf itself and the burgeoning inn built atop it. Holding fast to their vision, the two men worked hard to rebuild the inn and evolve their business model to suit the economic future of the region.
In the early sixties, Rowe Metcalf’s son-in-law, John O’Keefe purchased the facility; the Wharf’s traditions remained intact as the next generation took over. In 1968, the motel extension was built, further expanding Fisherman’s ability to accommodate visitors to the region. Bob Royall “steered” the Wharf until illness forced him to retire in 1978; it was at this time that John “Jack” Gibbons, a longtime friend of John O’Keefe, took over as vice-president and general manager. Serving as the assistant manager and much more, was Laura Honey, who had begun work at the Wharf back in 1965.
Today, though the long years have seen many changes at the Wharf, many things have remained the same. Up until very recently Laura and Jack, or as they are affectionately known to employees and guests alike, Mrs. H and Mr. G, were still at the Wharf on a daily basis, lending their years of experience to the operation. Tragically, the Fisherman’s Wharf family lost John Gibbons this past winter, to a brief sudden illness. Though his presence will be missed, the Fisherman’s Wharf Inn will persevere.
Continuing in the tradition established those long years ago, the Fisherman’s Wharf Inn is now owned and operated by the Maine family-owned Lafayette Hotels. Now with thirty properties throughout Maine, New Hampshire and one in Michigan, including three in Boothbay Harbor; they bring the promise of a new era at the Fisherman’s Wharf Inn and the Boothbay Harbor Region.
With 54 guest rooms- including six suites- a beautiful dining room with unparalleled harbor views, a comfortable lounge and a perfect central location, the Fisherman’s Wharf Inn is proud to be a “Maine Summer Tradition.” As we move towards the future, celebrating our 66th season and beyond, we too remember where we came from- the vision of two hardworking friends, a wharf and a dream.