The Dolphin Marina and Restaurant was established by Malcolm and Jean Saxton in 1966. It was their dream to have a small marina and restaurant and to create a gathering place for locals and visitors. Good food and a warm welcome made them a popular destination for a bowl of fish chowder and a blueberry muffin, or a cup of coffee and a game of cribbage. Their hard-work and dedication made Basin Point a place you wanted to visit.
In the early 1900's, while visiting the inn on Pott's Point, Malcolm's grandmother looked across the water and fell in love with Basin Point. Soon after, the family acquired the 14 acre peninsula and a few years later a summer home was built on the hill. Her love of the land was passed on through the years and 2 generations later Malcolm and Jean made their decision to settle permanently in Harpswell and raise their family.
An original wharf existed on the property that the family had used for recreation. It had been built from the lumber accumulated after clearing the tree covered peninsula. In the late 40's a hurricane swept away the wharf, and with its reconstruction the Marina was begun. Malcolm rented boats from the dock house, sold BP gas, and was in charge of OMC-Johnson motor sales and service. Jean decided a "coffee shop" would be a nice compliment to the budding Marina business and the original building was simply a counter, some booths and a grill. Over the next 2 years a kitchen and dining room were added and Dolphin Marina and Restaurant was incorporated.
The Dolphin has been family owned and operated for 40+ years and currently is solely owned by Bill and Mimi Saxton. Their lifetime commitment and hard work took a vision and built a business which they have shaped and defined over the years. Bill grew the small marina to a full service marina with moorings, boat yard, and repair shop and added an over the road boat hauling trailer. Mimi’s diligence in the restaurant not only allowed for its growth but her warmth and welcoming made the restaurant a local favourite.
Dedication to family, business, and to the land, is the Dolphin’s legacy. As the business passed on through the generations so did this understanding. With this in mind, the building of a new restaurant facility and a major refit of the marina was completed in the Spring of 2011. Throughout the planning and construction process acute attention was paid to conservation and environmentally friendly practices. Green space was increased by 4 acres, 3 additional acres were preserved through a family trust, the Marina was certified, and continues to maintain, a gold status as a Clean Marina. A recycling program was implemented, and the restaurant features all Energy Star certified equipment, eco-friendly no VOC paint, low flow water fixtures, and LED lighting.
Over the next few years continuing changes and improvements will be occurring at the Dolphin. While planning for the future there is a continuing commitment to the past.