Leonard and Phyllis Hutchins smiled as they looked at a drawing of the Oxbow Lodge that they owned for about 18 years. They talked about memories they had there between 1968 and 1985. It’s a place where people – hunters especially in the Oxbow area and beyond, hold fond memories. Sadly, the more than 100 year old building burned down this weekend.
“The place is so big in our lives..that I just couldn’t believe that it was gone..and I felt like I lost one of the family,” says Leonard Hutchins.
The lodge was built back in 1903 – it had numerous owners over the years, and the Hutchins say they did a lot of renovations on it – including adding a dining room. And now, there’s a huge hole left in the community. Around 1:30 Saturday morning the building caught fire, and firefighters don’t know how it happened. Though no one was injured, community members can’t help but feel heartbroken.
“The lodge brought a lot of people here..hunters, tourists, it’s been a busy place in the center of town for a long long time,” says Judy Sherman.
The Hutchins say owning the lodge was a huge amount of work, but they wouldn’t trade the experience they had for anything in the world.
“Meeting the people from different places, different states, we used to do wedding receptions and things like that..it just was a part of us for so long,” said Phyllis Hutchins.
The lodge’s current owner Chad Deabay didn’t want to go on camera – but said this is a very difficult loss. Deabay also says he’s thankful for everyone who has supported the lodge over the years. And he says the best way people can help is to get involved with the Save The Bear Hunt. He had a number of people booked to stay there in the coming year, and at this point he’s not sure what he’s going to do as far as rebuilding…though Leonard Hutchins says it won’t be the same.
“It’s not going to be replaced. But I’m glad it had its place in Aroostook County, in the sporting business, and I was glad that we were a part of it.”
So many were a part of this lodge – and though it’s just charred remains now, the memories will last forever.