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The Inn at the Rostay - Bethel Maine
Inn at the Rostay
Bethel, Maine

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Bethel, Maine
Bethel, just over 1 hour north of Portland, 1.5 miles from the Inn at the Rostay and 5 miles from Maine’s most popular ski area, Sunday River, is a year round resort community nestled in Maine’s Western Lakes and Mountains Region.

Bethel is a town where the common is uncommon; where Brooks Bros. sells pliers and wrenches, Victoria’s Secret is a chocolate raspberry dessert and the Timberland Outlet is an exit for logging trucks. Astride the Androscoggin River, nestled at the base of Paradise Hill, Bethel is truly “just this side of Paradise.”

Most rural villages are one-industry towns. Bethel is a rare blend of farming, forestry, woods product manufacturing, education, and tourism. In the past decade, the community has become home to active retirees, eschewing the world of Sun City and professionals who have chosen the small town lifestyle over that of the megalopolis.

Settled in 1774 by land grantees from Massachusetts who had fought in the campaign to conquer Canada in 1690, Bethel’s original name was Sudbury Canada. Farming was the mainstay of the region until 1851 when the country’s first international railroad connecting Portland, Maine to Montreal was built. The trains brought summer visitors from the cities to breathe the fresh air and partake of homegrown food. The railroad carried lumber and milled wood products back to the urban markets.

The town is a significant educational center thanks to the generosity of William Bingham II (a modern day patron saint) who endowed Gould Academy and whose foundation continues to provide funding for educational and social purposes in the community. In the early decades of the 20th century, Bethel was home to Dr. Gehring’s famous clinic for the treatment of nervous disorders.
The National Training Laboratory, now known as the NTL Institute, was established in 1947. NTL specializes in human dynamics and organizational development, attracting participants from around the world. In 1981 Hurricane Island Outward Bound School for outdoor experiential education established its Mountain Center in nearby Newry.

In 1959 a group of local businessmen formed the Bethel Development Corporation. To develop four-season recreation, their first project, funded by local shareholders, was Sunday River Skiway. Over forty years later, Bethel is busier as a tourist destination in the winter, thanks to the success of Sunday River Ski Area, than the summer.

The townspeople continue to embrace innovation while maintaining their small town culture. Bethel was one of the first communities in Maine connected to the Internet. They built the World’s Tallest Snowman and continue to host the National Wife Carrying Championships.
Bethel Chamber of Commerce: Click Here
The Inn at The Rostay
186 Mayville Road - Route 2
Bethel, Maine 04217

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