Dennysville is a extended way from the Hamptons, the wealthy Extensive Island, New York, enclave known for its summer months inhabitants — substantial-profile celebs, Wall Street financiers and politicians.
Which is specifically why, in 2002, Southampton indigenous Jonathan Jaques relocated from there to the Washington County village, inhabitants 342. That, and the truth that he and his spouse, Melinda, were equipped to invest in the Lincoln Dwelling, a previous inn created in 1787 and one particular of the oldest properties nevertheless standing in Washington County, for a pittance — when compared with the multimillion-dollar residences in the Hamptons, that is.
“You just could not defeat the selling price,” stated Jaques, now 80. “Southampton was obtaining as well huge. It was time to go. And I like the individuals in Maine. What you see is what you get.”
The few really don’t function the making as an inn anymore. But inside of its walls lies a little something significantly far better than your usual mattress and breakfast. Significantly rarer, and definitely substantially stranger. As Jaques claims, it is “the most absurd bar in the world”: The Hansom Household, only open up on weekends in the course of the summertime, and for the occasional potluck supper in the wintertime.
Technically, in Dennysville, it’s the Hansom Household 2.. For a lot more than 30 several years, Jaques and his bar, the unique Hansom Home, ended up fixtures in the Hamptons nightlife scene. Jaques obtained the original developing, a previous resort in Southampton, on April Fool’s Working day in 1966, and renovated it into a unusual, wild oasis for artists, students, hippies, freaks and townies.
The New York Instances praised its “Alice in Wonderland” aesthetic. The clientele was straight out of a Tom Waits track. Andy Warhol frequented a handful of occasions. And, according to Jaques, regional cops raided it on a near-weekly basis throughout the 1970s.
Each individual corner of the place was packed with antiques, or as Jaques far more succinctly calls it: junk. The aged adage that a person man’s trash is yet another man’s treasure rings true for Jaques, who considers his much more than 50 yrs of amassing odd merchandise an ongoing art venture.
“Junk isn’t the stuff that will make you revenue or keeps you heat,” he mentioned. “It’s the things that helps make lifetime worthwhile.”
After decades of preventing with neighborhood code enforcement, even so, and dismayed by the switching demographics of Southampton, Jonathan and Melinda moved to Maine, wherever he right away bought to do the job recreating the idiosyncratic vibe of the primary Hansom Home at his new home — a approach that took just about 6 years and was completed in 2008.
According to its listing on the Nationwide Register of Historic Places, the Lincoln Household was designed in 1787 by Theodore Lincoln, son of Gen. Benjamin Lincoln, who was George Washington’s next in command at the Struggle of Yorktown. Theodore Lincoln oversaw the American settlement of the location, extended occupied by the Passamaquoddy folks, as properly as the advancement of its lumber trade. Over the decades, several noteworthy company stayed at the residence, which includes John James Audubon, who stayed there though he was learning the birds of Maritime Canada in the 1830s.
Jonathan and Melinda generally intended to retain the total condition of the Lincoln Residence as period of time-particular as feasible, and have not changed substantially of nearly anything in the rest of the building. The bar area, nevertheless, is one more issue.
Some issues from the Southampton bar had been difficult to bring to Dennysville, like the substantial rock waterfall Jaques built on the front garden of the house, but plenty of points did make it to Maine, like the antique horse-drawn Hansom cab for which the bar is named.
Most notably, he brought the 5-panel stained glass window, which Jaques manufactured by hand about the study course of 13 many years though he was continue to in Prolonged Island. “My Excursion By way of Southampton on a Starry Night” is now mounted as the again wall of the terrific home, and as the sun starts to sink under the Denny’s River, it illuminates the brilliant blues, purples and reds.
“That was the beginning and the end of my career executing stained glass, the moment that was completed,” Jaques stated.
Jaques crafted the wonderful area, an addition onto the original woodshed, exactly where the stained glass window resides, as properly as a hanging installation set on a grid that Jaques can elevate or lessen with a winch. The set up is composed of Jaques’ beloved “junk”: almost everything from unusual dolls and toys to an array of chook decoys and wooden fish. Bicycle wheels, beer steins, old cameras, masks, maps, satisfies of armor, mannequins, replicas of Egyptian sculptures and whale vertebrae — it is challenging to just take it all in in just 1 go.
“I constructed it as a sculpture, so when you appear here, you are truly in the ecosystem,” he explained. “You’re portion of the sculpture. It doesn’t functionality devoid of men and women.”
Jaques has not misplaced his want to build, build or tinker, far more than 50 decades after his lifelong art task started. Though operate on the bar itself was finished in 2008, he’s bought tons of other tasks in the works, like the community of trails he and Melinda have created in the acres guiding the residence. His aim for most of his everyday living has been to be ready to pay for the flexibility to do what he would like.
“I can’t stand business enterprise, even nevertheless I was in business enterprise all these many years. I like constructing issues,” Jaques said. “I normally had a plan that if the expenses are paid out at the conclusion of the thirty day period, I’m cost-free.”
Because 2008, Jaques has opened the Hansom Household on weekends in the summer time to bar patrons. On a excellent night, 60 people could possibly arrive. He does not advertise and does not have any social media, so his clientele is crafted solely on term of mouth. The bar menu is straightforward — beer, wine and classic cocktails, in addition espresso drinks and a modest meals menu. Sometimes there is dwell audio in the bar, or outside on the lawn or in the gazebo just outside the house the property.
In 2020, even so, the bar did not open because of to the coronavirus pandemic (“Not worth the threat,” Jaques explained). But he’s hunting forward to a 2021 summertime year, delivered everything is protected by then.
“I’m not in this article to make any cash, genuinely,” explained Jaques. “Some people don’t get it, and that’s fantastic. The people that occur in this article want to be in this article, and as very long as men and women go away here with a smile on their deal with, I’m joyful.”