Our mission is to collect, preserve, and educate the public about the history of the town of Yarmouth and the area of ancient North Yarmouth. Yarmouth Historical Society has one of the finest local history collections in Maine. The Society exhibits this collection at the Yarmouth History Center at 118 East Elm Street, Yarmouth, Maine. At the Center, visitors can view some of the collection’s thousands of objects, archives, and photographs that document our heritage from the early history to yesterday.
Adaline Crockett, owner of the nearby Royal River Inn at 51 East Main Street, expanded her hospitality business with a complex of tourist cabins, coffee shop, and other amenities at the intersection of East Main and Spring Streets. These Royal River Cabins operated from about 1930 until 1951, a time when automobile travel boomed and the main tourist thoroughfare followed the path of today's Route 88 (formerly Route One). According to contemporary advertising materials, the 14 cabins could accommodate about 80 guests and boasted amenities like electric lights, running water, electric ranges, showers, and flush toilets. A small coffee shop was on site. Also within easy reach were opportunities to fish, swim, boat, and golf. Indeed, the aerial view above shows the prime riverside location which would have been close to other roadside attractions, shops, and restaurants. Accommodation at the cabins was available for about $1 per person per night.
When the business closed in the 1950s, this area had already undergone significant changes. Route One had been relocated to its present path in the late 1940s, diverting a lot of tourist traffic away from Yarmouth's harbor area. Some of the cabins were repurposed as homes that still stand in this area today. A few were moved offsite to other locations and some were likely razed.
The Royal River Cabins made the news in 1946 when Eleanor Roosevelt and her dog Fala spent the night. Roosevelt, on her way to Campobello to dedicate a memorial to Franklin Roosevelt, had booked a room at the Eastland Hotel in Portland, but declined to stay when hotel staff informed her that Fala would not be allowed in the room and could instead stay in a kennel in the hotel garage. The two continued on their way and found accommodation in Yarmouth instead. In her syndicated newspaper column for August 6, 1946, Eleanor Roosevelt recounted: