History of the Hotel
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
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.
A History of the Town of Wells