About the Innkeepers
Jeanne and Rob Short traveled cross country in June, 2008 to fulfill a dream and take ownership of the 7-bedroom, 1889 Victorian-era summer cottage. The couple had resided in Oklahoma City, OK, for 20 years prior to moving to Maine.
The move to ownership of a B&B is something the Shorts had been planning for several years. All it took was finding the right property to begin their new careers as B&B hosts. “We really liked the idea of owning our own business and setting our own destiny, and also of meeting people from all over the country, the world, in fact, and welcoming them to our home,” said Rob.
Built in 1889 as a summer home for the Sawyer family of New York City, Victorian by the Sea has been an inn since the early 1980s. The home, like many in the area, has an interesting literary connection. The Sawyer's only daughter, Ruth, became an award-winning author, winning the Newberry Medal for her book, Roller Skates. Another of her 15 published works is The Year of Jubilo. An autobiographical tale, the book chronicles a year spent in the home. Ruth’s daughter married author Robert McCloskey, widely known for Make Way for Ducklings and Blueberries for Sal. Collections of Sawyer’s and McCloskey’s books are included in the Inn's library for guests to enjoy during their stay, and the Shorts are interested in reviving the storytelling history associated with the home.
According to the Shorts, the transition to the Northeast was not as unusual as some may think. Rob Short, whose late father was a native of New Brunswick, Canada, was born and raised in New Hampshire. He left New England to obtain a geology degree from Michigan Technological University in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It was there he met Jeanne, a native of the U.P. and graduate of Northern Michigan University.
“We loved Oklahoma City – as well as the many other cities our careers have taken us to,” said Jeanne. “But since we both grew up with very moderate summers and snowy winters, Maine is somewhat of a ‘return to our roots’ with the bonus of the ocean!” Before this career change, Rob had been employed in oil and gas exploration as a seismic data analyst. His early career took the couple to North Africa, South America, Russia, and most recently China, as well as Oklahoma, Colorado, California and Texas. Jeanne had been in fund development for a number of non-profit organizations for more than 25 years, most recently for Oklahoma City University and prior to that, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater.