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 L L i i v v e e , , W W oror k k a a n n d d P P l l a a y y i i n n W W e e s s t t erer n n M M a a i i n n e e The Ultimate Stay and Play story and photos by Susan Atwood
 “Success is the sum of small efforts – repeated day in and out.”
~ Robert Collier
For the last seventeen years, my husband Tom Whalen and I have owned and operated Wilson Lake Inn in Wilton on the shore of scenic Wilson Lake. I was trained as a medical assistant, and spent most of my working life in professional offices. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined myself as a business owner, and certainly not in the hospitality industry. Yet, here I am.
Over the years, we moved many times as Tom was transferred or changed companies. We started married life in Boston, and in short time had lived in Philadelphia, western and eastern Massachusetts, southern Maine, and finally Wilton. When Tom was transferred to the Millinocket area, our boys were attending Mt. Blue High School and I refused to move again! The boys and
I remained in Wilton for the next couple of years, while Tom left for work every Monday morning and returned home on weekends.
Just after the New Year in 2004, a friend mentioned to us that the Inn was for sale, and suggested we look into buying it. He mused, “Wouldn’t it be great if you two could live and work together in the same town!” Well, we did, and it is!
Wilson Lake Inn, built in the mid-1950s as a 10-room property by a
local family that owned the land, is now a 31-room lakeside motor inn in Franklin County. When we purchased it, it had grown to three buildings, with 31 guest rooms of various configurations, and a large owner’s resi- dence. Our stewardship has allowed us to learn so much, and meet people from all over the world!
I’ve always loved gardening, but when you have a two-acre palette to play with, you can elevate that gardening to the “landscape design” level. I still remember the day I laid out my first big project with a garden hose. Tom
Arts, Entertainment, Adventure and More in Western Maine

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