Five Generations of a Family Tradition
The Edwards’ heritage began on a lakeside farm back in 1875 when Joseph Edwards moved his family from Searsport, Maine to Island Falls, Maine. This was the beginning of what is now five generations of being part of the tourism industry. My grandparents, William and Melvina Edwards then took over the farm where they summered, wintering in the nearby town of Island Falls so their children could attend school. In the 1920’s they began building overnight log cabins. They continued to build them through the 1930’s and 40’s. William ran a potato brokering business and operated the cottages and a dance pavilion along with his wife, Melvina. During the big band era of the 1920's the Dance Pavilion was built (in 1922) and was a major attraction. It was then that Birch Point got its name, from the white birch trees that surrounded the area.
After WWII my father, Joe Edwards came home, married, and along with my mother, Delma Edwards, took over the cottages, Dance Pavilion and farm while Joe’s brothers continued on with the brokerage business. In the winter of 1955 the character of Birch Point was forever changed with the collapse of the dance pavilion, which was never rebuilt but replaced in 1958 with a campground. The current lodge was built in 1956 as a dining room that offered meals to the clients at Birch Point. A full time chef was hired in the summer while family members fulfilled other essential duties. In addition to campsites and cottages the late 1950’s saw the addition of 30 ice-fishing shacks to supplement wintertime income. Capping off a highly transformative half decade six candlepin bowling alleys were added in the lodge in 1960, thus completing the modern day makeup of the business.
In 1984 the fourth generation of Edwards assumed ownership, Joe & Delma’s three sons, Scott, Steve, and Joey along with their wives. Scott and his wife Susan live in Bangor and have two children Hilary and Gregory. Scott keeps his hand in the business with his business expertise and consultations. Scott is a CPA and a partner in Edwards, Faust & Smith, in Bangor. Steve and his wife Andrea have two boys, Andrew and Logan. They live in Dyer Brook. Joey and his wife Mellissa have one son, Connor and live at the Point.
In the mid-eighties several new dimensions were added to the already eclectic business interests of Birch Point Inc., winter snowmobiling and a cable company. With local snowmobile clubs organizing, the Edwards brothers began grooming area trails for the state, one of the first areas in the state to enjoy such levels of trail maintenance.
In recent years the family has returned to the restaurant business with the opening of The Trails End Restaurant and continued the tradition of improvement with major renovations to the cottages.
With over 100 years in family recreation, we continue to look for new ways to improve our services and meet the demands of the ever-changing tourist. We look forward to the future of this family owned and operated business with the fifth generation of Edwards!
By Steve & Andrea Edwards