1902  Bethel House Sold—Lovejoy Property to Change Hands

Hotel Property bought by Charles P. Lord of Boston—$10,000 to Be Spent on Improvements

April 9, 1902 The Bethel News 


The entire hotel property which has been known for many years as the Lovejoy Hotels, has been sold to Charles F. Lord of Boston, Mass., and Mr. Lord will take possession as soon as arrangements can be completed.


Mr. Lord comes to Bethel highly recommended.  Work will begin at once to put the property into first-class order.


Mr. F.H. Lovejoy began extensive improvement to his hotel property last season. Mr. Lord  plans to renovate the houses, put in bathrooms and grade the grounds. He also plans to built a large two story stable 112 by 42 feet  and fill with 40 fine horses. *


1904—Special Illustrated Edition of the Bethel News


Within the past two years the former Bethel House has been entirely remodeled and refurnished. Many rooms have been equipped with private baths, large roomy offices and reception rooms have been arranged.


Dining is very much first-class. An excellent livery is connected with the house and careful, experienced drivers are at the service of the guests at all times.


A coach of  “ye old times” is ready to take picnic parties to the many points of interest in and about Bethel.


Mr. Charles F. Lord who purchased the old Bethel House has evolved it into the modern Prospect Inn. Mr. Lord  was a native of Brownsville, Maine. He first was the driver of a stage in the famous Moosehead region. Later he was keeper of a large livery stable in Omaha, Nebraska, and still later operated two livery stables in Roxbury and Brookline, Mass.


However, just a few weeks ago (1903), Mr. Lord died from a fatal disease he contracted soon after coming to Bethel. The Prospect Inn continues under the management of Mr. Charles H. Gates.


Not noted in the Prospect Inn remodeling printed in the Bethel News was the relocation of the Elms Hotel to become a connected structure of the former Bethel House—at the time of sale both buildings were Lovejoy properties.


January 26, 1911  FIRST BANQUET OF BOARD OF TRADEAt Prospect Hotel, Bethel Last Friday Evening


The Board of Trade was organized less than a year ago.  This event was the first annual banquet of the Board of Trade.  Organizing the first banquet was in the hands of Elmer H. Young, Herbert C. Rowe and Fred L. Edwards.


110 tickets were sold for this first event. The banquet was under the efficient administration of the Prospect Inn’s Mr. King.





Saturday, July 22, 1911: Bethel Hotel Burns - loss of $20,000 on one of Maine’s oldest resorts   Oxford County  Advertiser


One of the oldest summer hotels in Maine, the Prospect House, was destroyed by fire Saturday, at a loss estimated at $20,000. The blaze started around the chimney and the 20 guests had time to save of most of their effects and a considerable part of the furniture.


The building was a three story frame structure owned by Mrs. Eleanor B. Lord of Worcester, Mass., who has an insurance of $10,000. The three story wooden annex was saved as were three nearby residences which also caught fire at one time. The hotel which was built in 1861 was leased to Frank R. Green & Co. for ten years, seven of which had expired.


The fire was discovered about four o’clock in the afternoon. It had made much headway and was bursting through the roof when discovered. It was a hard fought fire by the firemen for four or five hours.


Mr. Harry R. King was the Inn’s manager. The owner Mrs. Charles F. Lord arrived in town on Monday after the fire;  she  expressed no plans to rebuild. W.J. Wheeler was the building’s insurer.


Prospect Hotel

1902 –1911


Bethel Maine History

The Bethel Journals

Last updated—March 13, 2013

Prospect Hotel—postcard mailed in 1911 by my grandfather, Ed Bennett

Prospect Hotel—Talley Ho coach and guest riders

Prospect Hotel— 1904 photo printed in the January 1904 Bethel News

Prospect Hotel—July 22, 1911—smoke billows up as fire starts and guests watch—fire destroyed so much of the main building that the entire inn complex was torn down.

The Prospect Hotel fire put such a high demand on the  town’s water system that the Bethel Water Company took immediate steps after the fire to build another reservoir on Paradise Hill in order to insure better emergency supply in the future.

The Bethel Journals is a completely free publication of Bethel area history and local news prepared especially for the Web.

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Bethel, Maine 04217

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* The stable was not destroyed in the fire and two years later became part of the new Bethel Inn. In 1928 it was converted to a Bethel Inn guest house named the Harriette for the manager at the time, Harriette Cilley. It was renamed to the Oaks and is part of the Bethel Inn today.

Sources include Bethel Historical Society collections, Bethel Journals files and a special illustrated edition of the 1904 Bethel News.