The Origin of Rideout's Maine Fishing Lodge
In 1947, the USA had just emerged from World War II, Harry Truman was president, and Jackie Robinson was breaking the color barrier in the major leagues. Here in Maine our founder, Larry Rideout, had just opened his Maine fishing lodge to his first customers.
Early Memories of Rideout's Maine Fishing Lodge
Those early years at Rideout's Lodge have become the stuff of legend: Larry caught a state record, 12-pound salmon that put his new fishing lodge on the map. The Lodge building was a quarter of its current size, and a lean-to canvas shelter served as our first make-shift kitchen. Still, the fish were quite often trophy-sized, and many of the guides exceptional. What matters is that the Lodge flourished, and Larry’s warm and gracious manner kept customers coming back year after year. Larry thought so much of his fishing lodge, he even wrote to Ike to see if he’d make the trip up. Although he was respectfully declined, Larry was heartened by the arrival of other notables, including Maine’s own L.L. Bean, who visited on more than one occasion. Later in his tenure Larry opened a Johnson Outboard Motor franchise and a Lone Star Boat dealership. Both ventures were quite successful, and every once in a while you might just see one of Larry’s old Texas-made Lone Stars cruising on East Grand Lake.
Ten Pound Landlocks Were Common In Those Days
While Larry Rideout founded this great Maine fishing lodge, George & Jean Graham can be credited with ushering in Rideout’s Golden Age. When Larry retired in 1963, the hustle and bustle of urban life was becoming more and more of a burden to Americans. People needed a place to escape...a place where they could step back in time and leave behind phones and traffic jams. With their strong commitment to peace and quiet, cleanliness, and rustic simplicity, George and Jean made Rideout’s the ideal place for wholesome family fun or that much needed rest. During the Graham era, the Lodge was enlarged and many cabin rentals were added to accommodate the increasing numbers of fishermen and summer vacationers. And friends were made every year. Playing ping-pong and board games in the Lodge at night, and fishing with new acquaintances in a semi-wilderness location by day pretty quickly made you part of the larger Rideout’s “family”...whether you planned it or not.
Today, we routinely greet returning guests who have been coming to Rideout’s for 30, 40 and even 50 years. Now they bring their children and grandchildren to enjoy that special Maine fishing lodge experience. They still enjoy the fabulous fishing and the quaint, rustic Lodge built by those who came before. And we continue to provide memorable vacations in our wholesome natural environment by keeping one thing in mind: we value and maintain the fine traditions of customer service we've inherited.