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 Berlin.
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