The Quiet Starbox
As we drove by the inn, I’d stare through the car’s window at the place with such a mysterious name. I imagined many scenarios for what that old house must be hiding within in its walls to be deemed The Quiet Starbox…
Were the ceilings painted the bluey black of a summer night and spangled with yellow white stars, a different constellation taking center stage in the sky of each room? Orion bringing home his take in the kitchen, Cassiopeia over the vanity’s mirror, goats gazing up at Capricorn in the barn…
I pictured tiny rooms with too many doors- I was familiar with historic houses -all black, adorned with glistening jewels, sparkling, and lit from within by some mysterious force.
Or a darker tale-maybe the people there collected fallen stars… rooms full of sad, unlit rocks, pools of ashes where they sat on shelves, lonely for their home in the sky.
It wasn’t until I was about eight- eight years of this! - that my mother mentioned we had once stayed at this enigmatic place! My reaction must have shocked her. I was so upset that I couldn’t remember (I was maybe two when we stayed). Why, she asked, was I so disturbed that I didn’t remember staying at The Squire Tarbox?
She laughed and laughed. My father laughed. And when she told her friends and my grandmother, they laughed, and said what a pretty name name I’d come up with, and wasn’t that nice?
But my dreams were dashed! The Squire Tarbox? Who was he to shatter my illusion of magic right here on Westport Island?!
And so, driving by ( countless times to and from my house -this is, after all, an island with only one way on and one way off), I ignored The Tarbox, scornful of the squire.
Last spring, I walked through the doors for the first time in, well… we will say for the first time I could remember.
And here’s the thing. It WAS magical!
Magic created in a sophisticated manner by the design and vision of The Tarbox’s owners, Lisa Dalton and Michelle Adams... with a cowhide console juxtaposed with painted wide pine floorboards, modern art mingling with daguerreotypes of the squire himself, the player piano ( here I do have another memory of The Squire Tarbox but that’s another story) placed by a plasma TV…
And better yet, The Squire Tarbox was magical like I wanted it to be when I was a child. Magic in that it is a 258 year old house- TWO HUNDRED and fifty eight years old! Magic in the worn grooves of the beams in the dining room, in the tiny door to the bathroom in The Maude, and the sweeping view off the back deck, weeping willows framing a little pond like an illustration from a fairy tale.
And I see the look of wonder on our guests’ faces as they come in the front door. If you have stayed here, you know!
Seeing that reaction to the stunning surroundings and the history of the inn is one of my favorite aspects of being part of The Tarbox team.
Westport Island is a little off the beaten path, and that is part of what makes this inn, The Squire Tarbox, so special. We hope you will stay with us for your Maine getaway and make your own magical memories here at The Tarbox in 2022! Don’t forget to look up at the stars while you’re here!
We are open weekends in March at a very discounted rate, and open daily in April. We are accepting reservations for weekdays and weekends June- July for your Maine summer vacation! Weekday reservations are open for late summer and fall -those weekends will be opened for reservations in April so please check back then!