April 23, 2018
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Manager of century-old golf course says tournaments, weddings will go on after fire

Wakefield (NH) Fire Department | BDN
Wakefield (NH) Fire Department | BDN
Fire ripped through Province Lake Golf Club in Parsonsfield during the nor'easter that swept through Maine Wednesday and Thursday.
By Tammy Wells, Journal Tribune

PARSONSFIELD, Maine — The manager of Province Lake Golf Club says the golf course is undamaged and there are plans to rebuild the restaurant after a fire swept through it, the pro shop and the clubhouse Wednesday night.

Sabin Beckwith, the property, food and beverage manager for the 100-year-old golf club said construction of a new restaurant is expected to take three to five months.

He said golf tournaments will go on as scheduled, and that summer events and weddings will take place as planned.

“We will assist our clients in any way we can,” Beckwith said by telephone on Thursday afternoon. He said he is already reaching out to those who have planned functions at the century-old venue.

Firefighters from several communities in northern York Country and from neighboring departments in New Hampshire fought the blaze at Province Lake Golf Club Wednesday night into early Thursday morning.

The golf club, at 18 Mountain Road, near the New Hampshire border, was about to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

“We will try to make sense of this and then we will do what we do best,” Beckwith said on the club’s social media page early Thursday. “We will make plans, we will stand together.”

The fire was reported at the height of a nor’easter snowstorm. Firefighters from Kezar Falls Fire Department — which serves both Parsonsfield and Porter, along with Newfield, Limerick, Cornish, Acton, Shapleigh, Ross Corner Fire Company and the Wakefield (New Hampshire) Fire Department were called to help, whether by fighting the fire or providing station coverage.

The restaurant was open year around, offering meals three days and five evenings a week during the winter months. About 10 to 12 employees work there during the off season, Beckwith said.

With the snow falling, Wednesday night was quiet, with just four customers, and the restaurant closed at 7 p.m., he said. Not even the coffee pot was turned on, because it wasn’t needed, he added. Then, at 9:40 p.m., Beckwith got word there was a fire.

Beckwith took steps to reassure clients, both on social media and in a telephone interview Thursday afternoon.

“If you’re a bride and groom, we will give you a wonderful wedding day, if you’re hosting a tournament, it will go on,” he said. “We lost a piece of history but not PLG itself.”

Beckwith said 90 percent of weddings at the golf club are held outside, and there are alternatives — like Lake Edge Farm just across the road from the club. Some couples with weddings planned for early in the season could choose tents designed for special occasions, he noted.

Clients may reach Beckwith at: sbeckwith@provincelake.com or by calling 793-9612.

Province Lake Golf Club was originally built in 1918 as a 9-hole course along the shores of Province Lake by Joseph Emery and his friends and business associates, according to the club website. Emery, a native of Dover, New Hampshire, was president of Lord & Taylor in New York City and visited Province Lake each summer.

The original golf course was designed by Lawrence Van Etten. In 1988, a second nine was built, designed by renowned East Coast architect Brian Silva.

Attempts to reach Kezar Falls Fire Chief Ken Sanborn on Thursday were unsuccessful.

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