Windham Life and Times – April 27, 2017

Eastern Illustrating Company

ROBIN’S NEST TOURIST CAMP

The Robin’s Nest Tourist Camp was established by Mooney Robinson. It was another tourist operation that opened as a result of automobile travel and the improvements to Route 28 in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. It was soon one of the main routes to the lakes and mountains. Later the business was expanded. Rural Oasis states, “A well-known place that should not be forgotten (because it was the watering hole of the local establishment including Maurice Armstrong and George Dinsmore Sr.) was Mooney Robinson’s on Route 28 where the Robin’s Nest Motel is today. Mooney Robinson’s Restaurant and Beer Parlor was the official business name. It opened in 1928, closed in 1944, and was the most colorful places in town. It was a popular rendezvous for local people to discuss politics and other subjects. The restaurant had the first beer license.  As the liquor flowed, so did the stories. From all reports no place came even near to replacing it.” My father tells a story of his father and Maurice Armstrong at Moody

Matchbook from the Robin’s Nest. Maurice Armstrong’s car in front of Mooney Robinson’s

Robinson’s place. After a few drinks an argument broke out over who was the fastest runner. The drinking continued and the argument got more and more heated. Finally, there was no more place for debate, it had to be settled, man to man in the street. The whole establishment including George and Maurice headed outside and an unofficial track was established down Route 28. The two slightly tipsy Windham Olympians then raced up Route 28, shouting at one another as they went. Who won?  I would like to believe that it was my grandfather, George Dinsmore, however, no one has breathed a word since of who was victorious, or even if either one of them  made it back to Mooney’s.  My grandmother was a saint! Hey wait a minute, there’s an idea here, maybe the Dinsmore and Armstrong families should establish the “Mooney Robinson Memorial, Three Sheets to the Wind 1K Race.”  I’m joking, I’m really joking, but that sure would make an interesting race and level the field, wouldn’t it!?

After Robinson sold, a Middle Eastern restaurant operated out of the place for awhile. Later the LaChance family purchased the property and constructed motel rooms. Of course, The Robin’s Nest, is now the Manor Motel.

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