Maybe it's the ghosts. Everyone in Freeport seems to be scratching their heads over what led the historic Jameson Tavern to shutter without warning on Friday. In existence since 1779, the tavern dubbed "The Birthplace of Maine" is believed to be the site where papers were signed granting Maine her independence from Massachusetts. Nothing on the website offers a clue to the sudden closing — although there is a 2004 story from the Coastal Journal about the regular appearances of the tavern's resident (and apparently benevolent) ghosts.
The building is currently for sale for $2 million and the tavern downsized last November, leasing its dining rooms in the front to high-end woolens retailer Brahms Mount, according to the Tri-Town Weekly. Beth Brogan of The Bangor Daily News writes that attempts to reach owner John Stiles were unsuccessful.
No one answered the phone on Monday, nor did anyone answer a knock on the locked door, although a fire burned in a fireplace inside the empty dining room. A sign on the door of the tavern states, "Jameson Tavern is closed until further notice. We are very sorry for any inconvenience. Thank you."The latest posting on the tavern's Facebook page touts the Mardi Gras menu.
· Freeport's Historic Jameson Tavern Suddenly Closes [BDN]
· Jameson Tavern Downsizes [TTW]
[Exterior photo: Official site]