Post card promoting Poplar Hotel said: “Located at the foot of Mount Puzzle. Its railroad station is Bethel. A pleasant summer home for Ladies and Gentlemen…”

A parlor layout of furniture at the Poplar Hotel shows the typical furnishings that would be found in country hotels of that day.  Quite likely the frame pictures on the walls of the parlor were painting or prints of wildlife, mountain landscapes and trout fishing scenes.

Above photograph was taken during the construction of an 1895 addition to the Poplar Hotel building. According to the Newry Profiles, this may have been the work reported in 1895.


More about the Poplar Tavern history.


By 1903 he had built some cabins, torn down the old Frank Monroe shop and built a store onto the hotel, and added a piazza. At this time the Dixon family, Mr. Goss, Eli Stearns, and John Mencher may have been occupying the cabins.


By 1911, Wallace Kilgore had gone to Bethel and was operating a similar business there.  Poplar Tavern was run mainly through the summers at this time and his brother Dennis would manage the place for him a number of years. In 1933, the property was reportedly purchased by a Massachusetts couple, possibly James and Inez Martin.


Wallace Kilgore regained ownership in 1939-40 and he in turn sold it to Sam Smith who called it The Appalachian House. Sam Smith owned it until 1948 and during his ownership the annex known as the club house , built in 1895  was torn down and the cabins moved away.


Mr. and Mrs. Mervin Rowland purchased the property in May of 1948. They continued to own it until 1955 when Mr. and Mrs. Bartholomew purchased it, however, the Bartholomews did not did not move into the hotel until September, 1969.


Thomas and Rae Bartholomew remained owners through 1980.




Text Box:  
How to Get to the Poplar Hotel from  New York City in 1901
“From New York, the most popular and enjoyable route is by the Maine Steamship Line.
This company will have in commission, for the season of 1901, three new and fast sailing steamships.  The “John Englis”, the “Horatio Hall”, and the “Manhattan” comprise a fleet in all their appointments and tourists will find their officers always ready to extend every courtesy to patrons.
During July and August one of these steamships will leave pier 38 East River daily at 3 P.M.
The John Englis and Horatio Hall will arrive at Portland the following morning in time to connect the 1 P.M. train on the Grand Trunk Railroad for Bethel, Poplar Hotel and the Mountains. The Manhattan will arrive in time to connect with the 5 P.M. train.
The Company have made arrangements for prompt transfer of passengers and baggage at Portland.
Parties taking this route will enjoy a beautiful ocean trip of 20 hours and arrive at Poplar Hotel in time for supper. Round trip tickets at reduced rates.
Parties may take the Fall River Line Steamers, leaving foot of Murray Street at 5:30 every evening, and connect at Boston next morning with the Boston and Maine Railroad as before mentioned, or leave New York on any of the evening trains via New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad connecting next morning with the Boston and Maine Railroad.
Davis Lake Stage Line connects at Bethel with all trains. This line will afford tourists a most pleasant ending to their journey.
The Hotel teams will meet all parties at the station on short notice.

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A Poplar Tavern postcard

Poplar Tavern—page 2