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History of Golden Pond


The Village Inn and Tavern first opened it's doors
in 1921 as The Locusts House, a rustic hunt-country lakefront hotel that offered fishing guides and fine 

food & lodging to sportsmen and hardy tourists amid
the pristine lakes and woodlands of central Maine's renowned Belgrade Lakes region.

During the roaring 20's, "The Belgrades" became a popular vacation destination for the rich, elite and famous, who looked to exchange cosmopolitan life for
a tranquil escape spent beneath the whispering pines and on the sunlit waters of the enchanting "Golden Pond".

From renowned cosmetics tycoon Elizabeth Arden who built her fabled "Maine Chance Farm" just up the road, to the L.L. Bean brothers owned a camp at the mouth of Mill Stream and hunted and fished the local woodlands and waterways of Kennebec County in the early part of
the century, the Belgrades have always drawn noteworthy crowds.


In fact, the Bean brother's first sporting goods
store stood here on Main Street in the picturesque
Village of Belgrade Lakes, before Leon Leonwood
(L.L.) Bean moved on to Freeport to establish what
is known today as the iconic L.L. Bean's Hunting
& Fishing Store. 

Celebrated American author E.B. White's life-long devotion to fishing on Great Pond is also celebrated
in his famous love letter to Bear Spring Camps, "Once More to the Lake", but perhaps a l
ittle known writer named Ernest Thompson is the one who fixed Great Pond in all of our collective memories, when he wrote his Academy Award winning screenplay, "On Golden Pond", about a generation of family and a little lake in Belgrade Maine, starring Katherine Hepburn & Henry and Jane Fonda.


LL Bean's Cottage.jpg

Since then, The Village Inn has gained national acclaim for our beloved "12-Hour Roast Duck"TM , a time honored tradition since the 1960's, that has earned the inn the distinction of selling more whole roast duck entrees than any other single restaurant in America. 

Whether you're celebrating a special occasion, taking the
boat to dock & dine with us for dinner, or simply staying in one of our newly renovated waterfront guest rooms, our legacy staff and historic lakefront setting will make your visit truly unforgettable. Dock up and join us today, we can't wait to host you!


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