Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Riders and Bikers Return to Maine

            Clear skies, warm temperatures and the sounds of motorcycles pulling up to the Herbert Hotel are welcome signs of spring.  
Some riders stay with us on their way from Quebec or other Canadian provinces to Bar Harbor or different areas of coastal Maine.  Others travel from New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and states further away as members of adventure touring groups.  We are one of their stops in what might be a ten-day itinerary.  All arrive filled with the exhilaration and the sense of freedom that come from viewing the beautiful Western Mountains of Maine from the seat of a motorcycle.
In a few weeks, a large group of riders will join us at the Herbert Hotel on their way to Americade in Lake George, New York, where they will spend a week at the Motel Montreal, our sister property.  Rob had a great time with J.P. and the group last year and is looking forward to their stay this year.  I can’t wait to meet them.
Today, Nathalie and Mario, our first two Canadian riders of the season, arrived on a Star Classic and a Suzuki, both beautiful and well-maintained machines.  They graciously allowed me to take their picture and to post it on this blog.  Don’t worry, they were wearing helmets when they rode up, but they took them off for the picture.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Shipping Wars--Herbert Style

            The Herbert Hotel's barber chair now resides in Texas.  We sold the chair on Ebay in July.  Weeks later, the producers of the A&E television series “Shipping Wars” filmed the pickup and delivery of the chair for a future episode. They also filmed the hotel lobby and asked us to talk about the history of the Herbert Grand Hotel and its relationship to the narrow gauge railroad and leisurely activities of the Western Mountains of Maine.  This week, A&E posted a bonus clip on its website of shipper Jennifer Brennan, aka “Texas Cowgirl,” delivering the chair to its new home. 
The new owner was not looking for a collectible vintage barber chair, only for a comfortable barber chair in which he could sit and watch television.   He may be a Texan, but he is also a hunter in the true Maine tradition.  He told “Texas Cowgirl” that his friends and he have bought three barber chairs to install in trees, where they can be comfortable and swivel around 360 degrees to watch prey approach.  This chair, however, is strictly home d├ęcor and meant to provide maximum comfort.
We look forward to seeing the complete episode during the second season of “Shipping Wars.”  Watch our blog, and you will be the first to know the date.  Something is always happening at the Herbert Grand Hotel!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Haunted Herbert Grand Hotel

Is the Herbert Grand Hotel haunted?  Are there any special rooms that have “stories” about them?  Do we ever hear sounds in the middle of the night?  Do we know that the lobby and the corridors remind people of “The Shining”?  Has anyone ever picked up the receiver of one of the antique wall phones and heard voices at the other end?  Has anything “strange” ever happened here?
          For the last three years, we have routinely answered “No” to all of the above, except for the questions about the resemblance to the hotel in “The Shining.”  We had fun with that when Rob showed the movie at our 2009 Halloween Party. The image of Jack Nicholson rushing toward us on a screen 102 inches wide and announcing “Here’s Johnny!” was scary.
Still, the questions have continued.  We decided to look for answers.  Two teams from Maine Ghost Hunters came to the Herbert Grand Hotel for two days to investigate the rooms in which guests have reported seeing or feeling something “strange.”  They brought with them an array of visual and audio recording equipment to capture images and sounds throughout the building.
          Is the Herbert Grand Hotel haunted?  We will wait for the investigation results.  The hotel does have an odd history. Herbert Wing had the hotel built in 1918 and chose to close it in 1929, but we don’t why he did so.  Maids remained on staff and cleaned the rooms regularly, but guests were not welcomed.  Mr. Wing sold the hotel in 1956 and died two weeks later, on Christmas Eve.  Much has occurred since then.  We are eager to learn what the MGH investigation will reveal, after the data is analyzed.