Police & Fire

Historic 150-year-old Chesuncook Lake House destroyed by fire

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CHESUNCOOK TOWNSHIP — A historic inn located on Chesuncook Lake in the Moosehead Lake region was destroyed by fire early on the morning of Saturday, March 17. The Chesuncook Lake House, located on Chesuncook Lake and accessible through a 52-mile drive up the Golden Road and another 15 miles on snowmobile trail, lost everything to the blaze, but everyone at the inn escaped without injury.

“Everyone is saddened by this tragedy, as the Chesuncook Lake House is such a special place to all who visited, with more than 150 years of history to it,” said Angela Arno, spokesperson on behalf of the Surprenant family. “Everyone is very grateful for the quick response in difficult conditions by the first responders, but very sad to lose a place so rich with history.”

Maine Forest Rangers and Greenville firefighters responded to the scene by snowmobile. In a Facebook post, the owners said all family members and employees escaped unharmed. The cause of the fire has not been determined.

“We have suffered a tragedy overnight and the lake house had been claimed by fire,” the post reads.

Hundreds of comments have been posted on the lake house Facebook page expressing sadness and support for the owners.

“While we share in the owner’s sadness over this loss, we are thankful that no one was hurt and no other structures were damaged,” a Maine Forest Rangers Facebook post reads.

The Chesuncook Lake House has been owned and operated by David and Luisa Surprenant for the past 20 years. A neighboring business has started a Go Fund Me to help with any rebuilding efforts that might take place. The page can be found at www.gofundme.com/chesuncook-lake-house-rebuild-fund.

While the Surprenant family appreciates the support, they have not made any decisions yet about whether or not to rebuild. They are asking snowmobilers and potential visitors to avoid the area in the short term so they can deal with this loss and determine the best way to move forward.

“The family is incredibly grateful, but they need a little bit of time to process their loss,” Arno said.

The Chesuncook Lake House was built in 1864, originally supplying logging camps in northern Maine. Featured by a number of publications because of its uniqueness and special location including Downeast Magazine, the New York Times, and the Boston Globe, The Chesuncook Lake House was on listed on the National Historic Registry. The Lake House was located 50 miles north of the Moosehead Lake region and 60 miles west of Millinocket, and very popular with snowmobilers as a destination on long rides and getaway excursions.

Photo courtesy of Maine Forest Rangers
FIRE DESTROYS CHESUNCOOK LAKE HOUSE — The 150-year-old Chesuncook Lake House in northern Piscataquis County was destroyed by a fire during the early morning hours of Saturday, March 17. All family members and employees escaped unharmed, and the owners have not made any decisions yet about whether or not to rebuild. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

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