Rowenda Tearoom

If you are traveling on Route 26 in Gray in the 1920s – perhaps on your way to the Poland Spring House – you would have passed the Rowenda Tearoom where you could enjoy the respite of a Victoria-style tea.

The Woodbury house is across from the Warden’s service and state police barracks on Route 26. Alice Welch purchased the property in the 1970s and currently [2021] operates an antique shop named the Barn on 26.

A women’s association met at the tearoom during the early 20th century, with Frances Woodbury serving at the honorary president of the Optomystic Club. When she died in 1932, her son Roliston inherited the property and returned to summer in Gray for many years. The property – originally 25 acres – included some camps along the Crystal Lake shoreline.

The restored English barn, where Welch’s antique business is today, had an icehouse on the north side. Ice cut from Crystal Lake was stored here and covered with sawdust. 

Additional information about the property is available at the Gray Historical Society in the “Old House Survey” binder.

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