The Oakfield Inn

A story by Rodney Duplisea from 1914

"The Inn" Oakfield, Maine 1914 (Summarized from an article in the Bangor Daily News 1914)

In order for its employees and the traveling public to have adequate, sanitary, and comfortable accommodations in Oakfield, the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad Company has just completed a large hotel which is now in operation. The cost was $30,000.00.

The new hotel is beautifully located on a knoll about 1,000 feet from the Oakfield station. It is painted the standard color adopted by the B & A, a dark green body with very dark brown trim. It is set off by a background of evergreen trees and presents a most attractive appearance.

From the building itself, is a view of several miles up and down the valley of the Mattawamkeag Stream which runs nearby. It is called "The Inn." It is a real home like comfortable hotel with all necessary conveniences. It is designed primarily for the Bangor and Aroostook employees that live in Oakfield, or it makes their junction point between their runs. Although, it is open to the public. Traveling men appreciate it as much as others.

The new hotel is under the supervision of W.C. Creamer, who has charge of the company’s dining car service. He also has charge of the "Piscataquis House," in Derby. The resident manager in Oakfield is H. P. Hunt.

Previous to the opening of the new hotel, the question of accommodations at Oakfield was a serious problem for men that were employed by the company. Because of the conditions in Oakfield, the company was forced to make the outlay of the large amount of money. This was in order to make certain the men were well cared for. Outside of the train service, the B & A has some fifty men employed at Oakfield. On the trains, there are some sixty to seventy men that come there each day.

The hotel is a three story frame structure with a main building of 85x35 feet, and an ell of 40 x 28 feet. It is placed on a concrete foundation providing for a large basement. The main floor has the office, a large room, a card and lounging room. Further down the corridor, is a women’s parlor and a dining hall that is 60 x 40 feet. The culinary department is especially well equipped. The kitchen is well arranged with a large pantry and scullery. A competent chef has been engaged to reside over this part of the house. The floors are of hardwood. Throughout the house is steam heat with a radiator in each room. There are electric lights throughout. The company generates its own electricity at the Oakfield shops. It’s then transmitted to the inn.

Upstairs, there are two floors devoted entirely to sleeping rooms. There are forty eight rooms in all. They are as neat, clean, attractive, and well furnished as one could wish. Rigid rules apply to the occupants of the house. Large baths have been provided in the basement. Men coming off their work either by train or in the shops must first bathe before going to their rooms.

The walls are plastered with a smooth surface and all the woodwork in the rooms is of a pleasing gray shade. Metal bed stands, a bureau, and a chair complete the furniture in each room. The rooms are cleaned by a vacuum system installed in the house and connected to each room.

The basement contains a large heating boiler and a separate boiler for hot water. There is a laundry room of generous dimensions and a drying room. There is also a vegetable storeroom and a refrigerator for meat and perishable foods. The refrigerator was built by an expert in that line of work. A deep artesian well striking a vein of the purest water furnishes the supply. It is forced to each floor through an air pressure system. Provisions are made in the basement for a billiard room for the men. It will undoubtedly be much appreciated when it is put in. It will aid in whiling away the time when off duty.

Convenient and well arranged quarters are provided for the resident manager and his family in the part of the building over the culinary department. And there too, the help will be quartered.

The sanitary arrangements of the house are particularly good. On each floor there are two baths for general use. Besides private baths, two showers are installed in the basement. Each room is equipped with a fire escape. Provisions have been made for preventing danger from fire.

The general contractor for the building was A.I. Ames of Houlton. C. H. Babb and Company, of the city did the heating, plumbing, and wiring. Installations of fixtures and lights were done by the company's own employees from the Oakfield Shops. F.A. Patterson of this city was the architect.

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