History of the Inn - The first known house on the property was built by Ebeneezer Webster, Jr. during the mid 1800’s. He used lumber from his own mills to build double walls, a frame within a frame. A large social gathering was held when it was finished with ladies in gowns and children entertainers. The third floor was a schoolroom and servants’ room. The second floor was mostly bedrooms and guests rooms. The first floor held a library, a parlor, dining room, butler’s pantry, and kitchen. The chalet (currenly the service station) was the personal cottage for Ebeneezer’s uncle. The Webster estate included land from the railroad bridge to about the current Phi Kappa Sigma house. The park by the Stillwater River was donated by the Websters in 1910. Most of the estate has been broken up and sold. Around 1914, a Webster daughter built the dining room extension and “smoker” where a tearoom overlooked the beautiful gardens that reached down to the riverbank. The stable housed many horses and ponies for the children. In 1937, the University of Maine purchased the house and converted it to a girl’s dormitory called the Elms. In the fall of 1939, the stable was converted to sleeping rooms and a reception area known as the Annex. In 1963, John & Cornelius Russell, Larry Mahaney and Thomas Walsh purchased the property and constructed the University Motor Inn, a 50-room colonial style motel with dining room and banquet facilities. Tracey Whitten purchased the property in 2001 and changed the name to the University Inn Academic Suites. Since that time, many improvements have been made including new carpets, beds, solid doors with key swipes, new bathrooms, and many other upgrades. Clearing the lawn and adding a pavilion has restored the magnificent view of the river.
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