has a wonderful rich history. Since the late 1890's TAW has taken in
"Summer Boarders" from the city. It all started when Forrest Abbott
moved from Harrison to "the ridge" to build a large elaborate house
for a wealthy women Mrs. Sanders from Providence RI around 1891. He
and his wife were then living in the white cape, located at the top
of the drive to the left. After a party at the big house in 1884 the
house burnt to the ground. Mrs. Sanders sold out to Forrest. Around
this same time Forrest's parents Charles and Sarah Abbott, living in
Harrison were lonely so Forrest tore down their house and rebuilt a
new house for them in the pasture behind his home. The house was too
big and Sarah began to take in boarders. Soon the care of the house
became too much and Forrest seeing people now flocking to the ridge
renovated his parents house to fully suit his boarders around 1909.
It was in 1910 that the guests named it "Tarry-A-While." Forrest and
Lizzie ran TAW for the next 30 years at which point their son Arnold
and his wife Ethel took over.
Arnold and Ethel
were now the third generation of the Abbott family to take over
During their tenure, many of the outer buildings were built. The
social hall, in which weekly socials, poetry reading and musical
performance took place. The cottages were built. The now "Abbott"
cottage was where Arnold and Ethel lived during the season. The
boathouse (now privately owned) was renovated into a bathhouse for
guests to change into their bulky swimwear. Three meals were
provided and many guests spent the full summer and came year after
year having the same room each season. Children were not allowed to
stay the night so if you had a child you had to find them a place to
board with a family close by. Meals were served at the same time
each day and the guess sat at the same tables year after year. New
folks were welcome to TAW only with a letter of recommendation.
Tarry-A-While was sold to the Jenni's. Hans (from Switzerland) and
Barbara (from NJ) had found their way to Bridgton in the 50's when
Haas became the first Ski Instructor at Pleasant Mountain. Unlike
their predecessors they had no experience in running a summer hotel.
They broke new ground at TAW. Opening the property to the public and
opening the "Stubli Switzer Restaurant". During the next 27 years
they made many modern improvements to the "resort". Hans built the
Jenni chalet and put in many private baths and the first air
condition units in Bridgton!
family came on the scene in 1994. Bridgton was not a new place to
them. Nancy was born here in Bridgton, Hans Jenni taught her to ski.
Marc a NJ transplant, found Maine (and Nancy) by attending Fryeburg
Academy. They were vacationing on Highland Lake when TAW was
advertised in the paper for sale. They fell in love with the place
and moved from their home of 23 years in Nelson, New Hampshire. They
built a new home on the hill above TAW in 1997. Little else has
changed, yet the commitment to maintaining TAW to be the special
place it is remains. Over 100 years old, TAW still offers its guests
the same tranquil pace it always has.
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