Vander Sr. and Marguerite Forbes founded this hotel. They started working at Wells Beach around 1919. The first building was the Marguerite Hotel, which was named for Marguerite Forbes and stood where the Driftwinds building now stands. The Marguerite Hotel was razed in 1965 and on that site are now located the Deluxe and Panorama buildings.
Vander Jr. worked in the family business, attended Maine Maritime, and then served his country in the US Army during the Korean War. He continued to work at the hotel and married his wife Mary who was an English teacher from Massachusetts. Around 1965, Vander Jr. and Mary Forbes built the Wells Beach Motor Inn and began keeping the hotel open year round. The Beach Front Lodge was built in 1973 and the Ledgeview Inn was built in 1988 on the site of the former Casino.
Vander and Mary ran the former Wells Beach Casino, which had a bowling alley and dance hall, and was a landmark building in its day. They built a new landmark in the Ledgeview Inn that has great ocean view rooms and an indoor pool and hot tub.
Vander and Mary Forbes have always been generous with their time and money. Vander served on the Wells town board of selectmen, board of directors for Ocean National Bank, with the Maine Innkeepers and many other civic organizations. If you ride around Wells, you will see some of the many donations that Vander and Mary have made such as Forbes Field for track or the lights they gave for night football games. Vander and Mary also have endowed a scholarship fund that will enable deserving Wells students to further their education if they do not have the means.
Mary Forbes worked the front desk for over thirty years and wrote many of the promotional brochures that the hotel used. Vander handled the maintenance and was always an entrepreneur. Any construction or remodeling of motel buildings was done with the idea of enhancing Wells and Wells Beach.
The Forbes family owned and operated these hotels and the Forbes Family Restaurant on Wells Beach for over 75 years. It was through their hard work, honesty and dedication to their guests that Forbes Wells Beach Resort became well known throughout New England as a premier hotel. A third generation, Karen Forbes Darling and her brother Joe Forbes still own and operate Forbes Family Restaurant on a seasonal basis. They have food that makes the beach fun.
Vander Jr. and Mary Forbes retired in 1996. Danny and Carla Lafayette now own and operate the hotel and attempt to emulate the dedication and service to their customers that the Forbes family established over so many years.
These words are engraved on a plaque hanging in the lobby near the front desk at the Ledgeview Inn. This plaque was presented to Vander Jr. at a ceremony shortly after he retired.