Candlebay Inn has a long history in the Freeport area. Built in 1853, this beautifully restored shipbuilder’s home was constructed by Henry A. Bailey, Hezekiah B. Means, Philip A. Briggs, and John A. Briggs. It is a typical New England-style house, with the main house connected to the barn by a shed; however, it is not a “farm” house. The barn was constructed mainly to store merchandise until it was sold.
The barn has a unique construction feature, which can be found in many of the wooden ships built during this time period. The joints between the barn’s columns and floor beams are reinforced by large, bolted-on wooden brackets. This type of construction can also be seen at the First Parish Congregational Church on Main Street in Freeport.
The Candlebay Inn has been home to many important people over the years. John Alphonzo Briggs, one of the builders of the inn, was a seventh-generation descendant of Richard Warren and Thomas Rogers. These two men came to New England via the Mayflower in 1620. Briggs was a master carpenter for many of the ships that launched from the South Freeport shipyard and constructed the largest vessel to ever launch from any shipyard along the Harraseeket River. The John A. Briggs was a massive vessel having three decks and three masts, and had a gathering of about 7,000 people to watch the launch.
Candlebay Inn, previously Captain Briggs Bed and Breakfast, was purchased in 2014 by Connie Lay and her family. With many years of experience in business management, Connie’s purchase of the Captain Briggs Bed and Breakfast represents a lifelong dream of owning and operating her own business. She and her family spent eight years searching for the right community, and found it in Freeport.