Media Archive

Former Sebec homestead provides income as wilderness vacation rental

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 165, No. 3, January 15, 2003

By Jessica Lee
Staff Writer

Observer Photo/ Jessica Lee
THE COTTAGE ON THE LAKE - The view of the Bear Shadow Cottage from a dock on Sebec Lake.

SEBEC This family's home in the woods is sure to become many an outdoorsman's home away from home.

Bear Shadow Cottage is a log home that features two bedrooms, and all the amenities, includng a large deck and a gas grill. It has shore frontage on Sebec Lake, is just a short jaunt from the ITS snowmobile trail system, and it's surrounded by, conveniently, lots of Maine woods.

The home was in Sue Streuffert's family for more than 30 years, before she and her husband, Jim Lott, purchased it a few years ago.

"We couldn't stand to see it go out of the family," said Lott, in a telephone interview, from the couple's winter home in Port Richey, Fla. "It was Sue's primary residence for many years."

The couple bought the Trask Road home and intended to use it as a summer residence, but decided it would suit a need in the region for vacation rental property.

"Last year, we had heard there was a real shortage of vacation rentals for snowmobilers, hunters and fishermen," Lott said, emphasizing the later, as "you can walk right off the front deck and into the lake."

The name of the camp came naturally, and it features a bit of family history. Streuffert's father, it seems, once shot a bear on the property and hung the bearskin proudly on one of the walls. As the years went by, the bearskin protected the wood underneath and prevented it from aging and changing color. Now, the "shadow" of the bear remains on the wall, although the skin is long gone.

There is plenty of wildlife on the property, as well, Lott said. Last summer brought a family of fox, with three little kittens. Every year there is a herd of deer that graze the property. "And there are porcupines, and owls and of course the loons on the lake," Lott added.

The property is now managed by next-door neighbors, Jeff and Beth Commeau.

According to Lott, owning a vacation rental helps to make life a bit easier, although the family doesn't depend on the income. Lott runs a professional courier service in Florida on a full-time basis.

But thanks to advertising in a few specialty publications, Lott said, there have already been some bites. He said the camp is booked ahead for next Thanksgiving, and a few more dates as well.

"I think it's something that you have to crawl before you walk, and walk before you run," he said. "I think, ultimately, this works due to referrals."

The camp can comfortably sleep eight people, and there is a fully equipped kitchen, linens are provided and there is an oil furnace for heat. There is a dock, for boaters, and the public boat launch is located almost immediately next door, Lott added.

For more information or reservations, call Jeff and Beth Commeau at 564-2065 or e-mail or

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.