A History Worth Preserving
Hike the Appalachian Trail or Bigelow Mountains, bike or ski Sugarloaf, snowshoe or Nordic ski the Maine Huts & Trails system, snowmobile or ATV over hundreds of miles of maintained trails, and experience the outdoors in Maine. The nearly one-hundred-years-old historic Herbert Grand Hotel in Kingfield, Maine, is one of a kind. The hotel is 14 miles from Sugarloaf Ski Resort in Maine’s western mountains and near the Maine Huts and Trails hiking system and the Appalachian Trail. Wonderfully priced ski-&-stay packages are available. We combine the quirkiness of a historic hotel with the rich cultural history of the mountains of Maine. In 2016, we completed renovations of all 26 guest rooms in time for ski season at Sugarloaf – and larger plans for the 2018 centennial year are in the works. Our lobby is a stunning vision of beauty. The classic fumed oak woodworking coupled with the plush couches and warm fireplace transforms the Herbert Grand Hotel’s lobby into the most friendly and comfortable place to grab a drink on either side of Sugarloaf. The Lobby Lounge is open every day from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. and features an assortment of beers, wines and spirits but no bar. Orders are placed at the front desk and we bring your drink to you in front of the fireplace or the television or wherever you decide to relax. The Lobby Lounge at the Herbert Grand Hotel is the perfect place to grab a drink (or three) after a day of skiing Sugarloaf, snowmobiling the Black Fly Loop, four-wheeling the Moose Loop or hiking the Appalachian Trail and before heading out to dinner. To view details and photos of individual rooms and rates, visit www.herbertgrandhotel.com. Stay tuned for more announcements.
Built in 1918 at the gateway to Sugarloaf and Saddleback mountains, the Herbert Hotel was once a gathering spot for Prohibition-era Maine politicians to indulge in bathtub gin and unsavory women. Some of these guests never left and are rumored to haunt the hotel to this day. Nearly 100 years later, the Herbert Hotel continues a tradition of providing lodging to snowmobilers, Sugarloaf skiers and snowboarders, hikers, mountain bikers, hunters and visitors to the western mountains of Maine.
1830: A boarding house is constructed on the site that will become the Herbert Hotel.
1851: Prohibition begins in Maine.
1871: The boarding house burns to the ground.
1873: The Kingfield House hotel is built on the ashes of the former boarding house.
1917: Construction on the Herbert Hotel begins. The owner, Herbert S. Wing, is a local lawyer and state representative who owns the local bank, mill and electric company. In short, Herbert is a power hungry tyrant who aspires to become governor of Maine. The hotel is designed to entertain (read seduce and/or blackmail) politicians from Augusta, Maine with illegal booze and unsavory women.
1918: The Herbert Hotel opens its doors. Construction costs approximately $200,000 and the new hotel features electricity and indoor plumbing (both amenities remain to this day). The Herbert Hotel is the first hotel north of Boston to feature in-room and table side telephone service. Also present is a speakeasy in the basement with easy rear access in case of a raid from the police.
1925: Herbert Wing loses the Republican primary for govenor. Later that year, Wing gets upset with the local townsfolk and shuts down the town's electicity for several days to teach the people a lesson.
1933: Fearing that a New Deal Democrat might "soil" his hotel, Herbert Wing sets a policy of renting rooms only to those persons who can establish their credentials as members of the Republican party.
1934: Fed-up with the lodging industry, Wing stops renting rooms to the public. The hotel becomes his private residence for Wing, his ailing wife and his "housekeeper." Rumors abound regarding the interpersonal dynamic in such a dysfunctional household.
1956: Wing sells the hotel to Mr. and Mrs. Alvin P. Westman. The grand re-opening occurs on December 20th. Herbert dies four days later on Christmas Eve.
1958: Herbert's son, Earl Wing, gets the hotel back. Having inherited the local bank (and a penchant for tyranny) from his father, Earl proceeds to sell the property to Sugarloafers with his bank financing the transction on bank-friendly terms. Wing waits for the slightest of defaults, forecloses and takes back the hotel. Earl pulls this stunt multiple times.
1973: Two brothers from Northern Jersey buy the hotel.
1977 (or thereabouts): Don and Siouxsi Klein purchase the property. Don and Siouxsi are the picture of the 1970s disco-era. Complete with big fuzzy boots and a serious cocaine problem, the Kleins re-name the hotel the "Paradise in the Wilderness" and host bizarre parties in what was formerly a speakeasy in the hotel's basement.
January 1980: The Kleins are faced with a moral/professional dilemna. Somehow they accidentally double scheduled a tour bus full of Sugarloaf skiers and an airplane full of cocaine. After much deliberation, the cocaine wins and the hotel doors are locked. The Kleins never returned. After several days, the furnace runs out of fuel, the pipes burst and the hotel is ruined.
1981: Now in forclosure, the hotel is purchased by a group of "investors" from Chicago (legend has it that the Chicago mob was behind the deal). A man named Bud Dick (you can't make this stuff up) is assigned to bring the hotel back to life. Bud inherits the mess of all messes and performs nothing short of a miracle. Bud brings back the skiers, re-opens the dining room and the Herbert Hotel thrives yet again.
1998: Bud falls ill. The hotel is leased to a middle-aged couple known only as the Uzmecks.
2000: Although they do not actualy own the hotel, the Uzmecks proceed to "sell" the hotel. Their fraud is uncovered. Legend has it that, when law enforcement came to arrest these tricksters, they were found throwing documents and other evidence of their chicanery into the fireplace.
2001: The Herbert is purchased by Lynn and Marcie Herrick.
May 2009: The Herricks sell to Rob Gregor and his wife, attorneys from New York.
December 31, 2009: Rob leaves the hotel and hires a manager for the Herbert.
January 1, 2010: Rob's manager "no-shows" for work on her second day. Luckily, Rob's mom, Dawn, was onsite and agrees to stand-in until a new manager can be hired. Dawn is still there.
2012: Maine Ghosthunters performs a paranormal inspection and the Herbert Hotel is certified "haunted" (click here for video of their findings). The Herbert Hotel remains the only certified haunted hotel near Sugarloaf Mountain (click here for the National Paranormal Association post).
July 2015: Plans for the Herbert's second century of operation are unveiled and include renovations to all 26 rooms and bathrooms and a new pub that will feature only wines, beers and spirits made in Maine.