Merryfield Cove …
… on the east shore of Highland Lake, Bridgton, Maine, has been welcoming summer guests since the late 1800’s.
In 1881 Oliver J. Merryfield (sometimes spelled Merrifield) built the
main house for his own family, but after Merryfield’s death in 1895
Ruel A. Dodge, who owned a summer hotel just up the road on Highland
Ridge, bought it. The hill on that section of the road is still known
as Dodge’s Hill.
Ruel Dodge’s summer guests, known in those days as “Rusticators”, were
then able to enjoy the lovely waterfront on Highland Lake. Dodge added
a summer wing to the main house, and remodeled the house into a 14-room
summer hotel, the Lakeside House. Later, it was owned by a succession
of owners: Rosemont Lodge in the 1930’s; Mitchell’s Inn in the 1940’s;
and Holiday Inn starting in 1948.
Carl (Chip) Spark and his wife Ginny owned the place from the
mid-1950’s until the mid-1960’s, and then it was owned by Ernie Spark
(Chip’s brother) and wife Ruth.
The cottages were built in the mid-1950’s and mid-1960’s. In addition
to renting rooms in the Inn, and renting 4 cottages, the Sparkses
operated a public restaurant until the mid-1960’s.
Holiday Inn was a popular name for hotels and inns, because of the 1942
movie “Holiday Inn”, which starred Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, and
Marjorie Reynolds, and launched the song “White Christmas”, by Irving
In 1953 a chain of hotels named Holiday Inn started up in Memphis,
Tennessee, and acquired the copyright to that name. In the next few
years representatives from the Holiday Inn chain roamed the countryside
to find places using the name, but when they came here and discovered
that this place’s use of the Holiday Inn name pre-dated the start of
their hotel, the tables were turned. Athough they were not able to
force the owners to give up the name, the owners accepted $100 and a
new sign that read “Holiday Cottages”.
We purchased Holiday Cottages in Dec. 1986, and moved into the main
house that month in the middle of a snowstorm. When we learned Oliver
J. Merryfield had built the main house we changed the name to
Merryfield Cove, and we have continued the tradition of renting the
cottages under that name.
For well over 100 years, summer guests have found a special place here,
where they could relax together, enjoying Highland Lake and the
surrounding area. We have lived here for more than three decades,
welcoming families to Merryfield Cove and watching generations of
children grow and fall in love with this place. It has been one of our
life’s greatest pleasures.
In July and August we welcome guests for weekly rentals in our
two cottages, Birds and Bees, and to the “Ledge” apartment. We are not
able to accept pets, and do not accept credit cards. Please
contact us for information.
Bill & Jean Preis