About Pete

Who’s Pete

The legend whose name graces this entry was as humble as this establishment.  The third of six children born at home in Southwest Harbor, Peter T Benson III lived an extraordinary life.  His father, Peter Jr., was a fisherman, among other things.  His mother, Gertrude Katherine (Gatcomb) Benson was a concert pianist before she married Peter Jr. and became a homemaker and mother.

Peter III was daring and adventurous right from the get-go.  He could often be found running across the rocky shore at Seawall Beach or digging clams at Ship Harbor.  His father made sure he had a work ethic, and it stuck with him for his entire life.

Pete’s work ethic was matched only by his sense of adventure, and his willingness to change careers on a whim (often).  Pete wasn’t content with merely serving as a second lieutenant in the Air Force during WWII.  That was not enough.

Hard work and new challenges were what made Pete tick.  So much, that by the time of his death, the business card Pete carried in his wallet was exhausting.

Captain Pete Benson – Coast Guard Licensed 100 Tons

Also professionally trained for:

  • Gasoline and Diesel Mechanic
  • Hydraulic Systems
  • Rope and Wire Splicing
  • Home Construction
  • Boat Building – Fiberglass and Wood
  • Real Estate Broker
  • High School Math Teacher
  • Cross Country Trucker
  • Commercial Fisherman
  • Licensed Charter Captain since 1938
  • Life and Auto Insurance Sales
  • Bulldozer and Backhoe Operator

But that’s not it!  Pete and his wife of over 60 years managed to raise five children as they marched up and down the East Coast, catching fish and hauling trailers.  He also worked as a lobsterman, high school principal, built and owned a motel (called Swamp Fox, named after General Francis Marion of the Revolutionary War), was a licensed pilot, and served as the self-appointed (unofficial) mayor of Seawall until his death at the age of 97.

There is no record of Pete ever stepping foot into Bethel.  We are certain he never skied at Sunday River or Mount Abram.  He sure was not foolish enough to own a restaurant or manage a bar.  But if he did, it would look like this: Simple Good Food, built on hard work and a blind sense of adventure.  So, eat up, drink up, and toast to a jack of all trades and an unsung surly Maine legend.  Welcome to Pete’s!