Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ebenezers Pub

When I first started renting our Stoneham/North Lovell Maine vacation condo I would often hear the questions: “How far are you from Ebenezers?”    Huh?  What the heck is Ebenezers?  The answers that I would get were: ”It’s a tavern, it’s a pub”, and "it’s a restaurant”.  

Well, it’s really all of the above.  Ebenezers has been rated the number one beer bar in America by Beer Advocate magazine.  It’s located in a remote location in a small town not far from Kezar Lake. Some of my guests have rented specifically to go there, it’s like a destination.  According to their web site, they have 35 Belgium beers on tap and 700 well-kept bottles.

I recently visited (March 2014) with other members of my family.  We visited on a Saturday night and we had made reservations for 5 people.  Our table was the only table not occupied when we arrived. 

My son tried a few of the Belgian stout beers which he enjoyed.  My daughter and daughter in-law ordered cocktails and were pleasantly surprised at how good there were. 

We shared two appetizers.  Crispy tortilla chips in melted Jack cheese and a special appetizer of the night, Wontons filled with brie.  We loved them both. 

Three of our group ordered the steak tips.  Ebeneezer's consider this their signature dish and the tips come from locally grown Angus beef and are marinated in a barbecue type sauce.  The beef was very tender and tasty.  The entrees come with your choice of potato or rice pilaf and vegetable.  On that particular night they had run out of rice pilaf which would have been my choice but the fries that I ordered were very good.  The vegetable of the day was a mixture of zucchini and summer squash.  I choose the coleslaw which is coarsely chopped and dressed. 

My daughter who always picks the pasta dish had the Veggie Pesto Sauté.  This would also be a good vegetarian choice.  It has fresh seasonal vegetables sautéed in a pesto sauce and served over pasta.  My husband ordered the Hungry Ebenezer Burger.  Described as massive and served topped with sausage, marinara and provolone.  It was most definitely massive!   It was served with fries and a pickle and he loved every bit of it. 

We finished off the meal by sharing 3 homemade desserts.    Fruits of the Forest pie is a mixture of berries and a little rhubarb, served a la mode.  The second choice was warm Blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream.  Third choice was a special they were offering that night, cheesecake covered in a Belgium chocolate sauce.  I tried all 3 and every bite was a delight!

                To get to Ebenezers take route 5 to West Lovell road and then a quick left onto Allen road.  Follow until you see Ebenezers on the right.  Don’t; miss that quick left like we did.  The roads out that way are dark and lonely.  For more information see their web site.

Ebenezers Pub 44 Allen Road Lovell Maine 04051


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Gem hunting at Deer Hill by Deborah

      Just 3.5 miles from our condo is the Hobby Mineral Site known as Deer Hill.   Gem hunters and rock hounds have searched for minerals here since the late 1800’s.  This particular area has produced some impressive gem quality amethyst (purple quartz) as well as beryl, garnet, columbite, pyrite and muscovite. 

    I visited this mineral site one summer day with 3 other family members.  Located on Shell Pond road it is owned and operated by the White Mountain National Forest.  The area where you can dig is marked and there is small self service station at the trail head.  Make sure to read and follow the guidelines as they are posted.

       Follow the yellow marked hiking trails one tenth of a mile to a fork in the trail.  You can follow the trail to the right for 4 tenths of a mile to Area 1 or you can turn left and follow the trail 4 tenths of a mile to areas 2 and 3.  Hobby mineral collecting is allowed with the blue painted boundaries seen on the trees.  You will see areas that have been previously dug.  You should go prepared with a shovel for digging and a sifting screen.  During warm weather you should also bring, sunscreen, hat, water and bug spray although the day we visited there were no bugs.   We met a couple of young men who were serious rock hounds and they both brought pointed shovels and dug down quite deeply in their search.  On previous visits they claimed to have found good specimens of amethyst. We were not as well prepared and only had a small fireplace shovel and kitchen colander.   Despite our unpreparedness we were able to find small chips of amethyst and one good size quartz crystal.

             This is a fun and inexpensive way to spend a few hours as a family.   The hike is short, you could pack a picnic lunch and who knows maybe even find a true gem.

             For more information see the Forest Services web site


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wilhelm's Chalet by Deborah

       Last time I talked about the man who built the 1930’s chalet that can be viewed on a short hike in Stoneham Maine (Hiking with some history and mystery.)  This week I would like to talk a little more about the chalet itself, as well as, the goat barn.  According to The Sun Journal the chalet is owned by the developer Bob Bahre.  The property is part of 1700 acres that have been on the market for some time along with an interest in the timeshare company Evergreen Inn. 
            Since Wilhelm’s death the chalet has been mostly vacant except for some restoration in the 1970’s.  Since the closing of the Evergreen Valley ski area it has been unoccupied.  The chalet was built to replicate the style of a Swiss chalet and has five bedrooms each with a sink as well as two bathrooms.  The second floor has birch railings and above the dining area hangs a wagon wheel chandelier.  The fireplace is made of rose quartz and has the year of the chalets birth, 1932 carved in granite. 
            The chalet boasted all the comforts of home when it was built and probably was nicer than most.  Wilhelm installed indoor plumbing, heat was provided by forced hot air heat from a wood furnace and electricity from hydropower from a local stream. 
            Part of the property also houses a large barn where Wilhelm raised his cattle and goats.  One of the more interesting facts that surrounds this remarkable property is that the Green Berets used the barn for training exercises during the 1970’s.  The bunk beds they installed for soldiers still remain in the barn.
            The view from the front of the property allows visitors to see for miles.  The condition of the chalet is deteriorating and I sincerely hope someone restores it before it is too late. 
  The Lovell Historical Society has many photos that show the interior of the chalet when Roy Wilhelm lived and worked there.  You can see them at:


Monday, December 23, 2013

Hiking with some history and mystery by Deborah

            Just outside of our condo door is a short hike up Speckled Mountain.  The hike takes you to a three story log chalet built in the 1930s by a man named Roy C Wilhelm.  According to the Lovell historical society, Roy was a businessman who was the head of his family’s coffee company in New York City.  He left the city and built this chalet and outbuildings to raise Ayrshire cattle, Swiss goats and German shepherds.  Sounds like many who moved to Maine to escape the rat race of a busy city and enjoy a living closer to the land, right?  Well for the local townspeople, Roy was highly suspicious. 

            According to the Sun Journal Mr. Wilhem was suspected of being a German spy who gave away secrets to the submarines in Portland Harbor during WW II by flashing lights from his chalet with sweeping views that do not actually reach as far as the sea...    Why would the people think this?  It seems that there were many factors that raised this fear amongst the townspeople.  First his name was German.  Second, he was a member of the Bahai World Faith religion and acted as their treasurer.  He would often go to the local store to send telegrams and wire money overseas.  Third, he would signal children on Kezar Lake islands visible from the chalet, nothing more than child’s play except those flickering lights got him investigated by the FBI.

            To the people who knew him, he reportedly was a generous and welcoming man who often had guests staying at his farm.  Reports say he hosted thousands in the time that he lived in Maine.    According to the Sun Journal he was well dressed and proper and the sort who would water his flower beds dressed in a suit and tie.  Roy C Wilhem died and was buried on his property on December 20, 1951.  His large granite headstone can be found in the woods below his chalet.

The Lovell historical society has many photos and info on Roy C Wilhem.  You can see them at

Monday, December 9, 2013

Spectacular Raymond's Gourmet "Custard" Ice Cream by Deborah

If you are like me, you travel to Western Maine via Route 302 from the Maine Turnpike just north of Portland.  One place I can never resist and always recommend to my guests headed through Stoneham is Raymond’s Frozen Custard Gourmet Ice Cream.  The ice cream is made fresh daily and is rich, creamy and unbelievably delicious. Like most New England ice cream locations portions are generous.  They only make and offer a few flavors each day so make sure to look at the White Board next to the ordering window, those are the flavors of the day.  I have personally tried the vanilla, chocolate, coffee, black raspberry and blueberry. This ice cream is two hours from my home yet I would not find that too far to take a nice drive right now since my mouth is watering.  Custard ice cream is different because it’s made from eggs as well as cream.  Some of the other flavors that I have seen from time to time include Grasshopper (mint chocolate chip) Almond Joy, lemon, as well as seasonal favorites like maple walnut and pumpkin in the fall.  They also have a farm stand right next door if you would like to pick up some fresh vegetables.  Raymond’s is open spring, summer and fall and if you are lucky enough to be up there on the weekends before Christmas they sell Christmas trees and sometimes have the ice cream open. 

            I hope you start a new tradition on your way to Western Maine and stop at Raymond’s Frozen Custard Gourmet Ice cream.  Just be warned, you may find other ice cream lacking after you have had gourmet custard.

They are located at:
Raymond’s Frozen Custard Gourmet Ice Cream
857 Roosevelt Trail (Route 302)
Casco, Me 04015

There is some information on the web about their hours of operation here: