By AML Publisher
Photos Courtesy of Jubilee Photography
Christine Mullen always loved the Blue Max Inn and was involved in the banquet and bridal industry for years in Maryland’s Cecil County. When she found out the owners of the Inn were putting the gorgeous historic house on the market, in 2004, she quickly took the chance for her dream job. Today, Mullen is the proud owner and innkeeper of one of Chesapeake City, Maryland’s four beautiful Bed and Breakfasts. “People come from Philadelphia all the time and always say to me, ‘This is the best kept secret, we had no idea this great town was here.’ I think Chesapeake City evokes the charm of a European village because we have the (C&D) canal so we see the large ships going through; we have a beautiful historic district, fantastic shops and great dining. It really is such a wonderful place for me to call home and welcome my guests,” said Mullen.
The Blue Max Inn started as a B&B in 1990. The house was built in 1854 and was once owned by renowned writer Jack Hunter who penned the runaway best-selling novel, “The Blue Max.” Hunter was a well respected and well liked man in the Chesapeake City community. The book was made into a movie in 1966 with George Peppard (best known for his role in the ‘80s hit television show The A Team) as the lead role, and costars Ursula Andress and James Mason. Mullen has a vintage movie catalog, with Peppard on the cover, on a breakfast nook to display to guests.
Known affectionately across town as “the house with generous porches,” the Blue Max also boasts Chesapeake City’s ‘most photographed man’, Max. Max is large, impending, albeit friendly looking ceramic pirate statue that stands guard from the top balcony. “When I bought the Inn, I found Max (my mascot) in a shop in Florida and shipped him up here. I knew he was the perfect touch! And, he is quite the conversation piece. You certainly can’t miss him when you arrive in town and drive by,” explained Mullen.
Mullen boasts a strong marketing background. Via her website, BlueMaxInn.com, she offers online gift certificates which are popular in the fall with the seasonal activities the town plans. Christine also works hard to come up with creative ideas and fun adventures to keep her guests coming back and the pipeline of new customers growing. In the winter, her now popular Blue Max Inn Murder Mystery Weekends are a big hit. Think of a modern day version of ‘Clue’ with up to twenty strangers converging on the Inn for a weekend with unknown outcomes. “It’s a total hoot. People really get into the murder mystery weekends. A week before they come to Blue Max, everyone receives their instructions and character in the mail. I have guests arrive in full character and garb on Friday evening! Others, of course, it takes a bit of time for them to warm up. By Saturday evening, after we have a fun cocktail hour, someone has been murdered and then we go to dinner as a group and have some conversation, try to figure out the winner,” explained Mullen. At dinner at The Bayard House just down the road, the murderer is revealed and prizes are awarded to those who ‘cracked the case’ successfully.
Mullen has a loyal following of return guests who make the short drive from the Main Line and Philadelphia suburbs. Another portion of her clientèle come up from Baltimore, and to stay for the night in Chesapeake City after a tour of the nearby Brandywine Valley. The Inn is spacious-with seven luxurious rooms and two suites-all with private baths. There are four relaxing porches, charming décor, fireplaces and whirlpool tubs.
With the rich culture and community of Chesapeake City offering monthly activities, Mullen said guests are steady at The Blue Max year round. She admits running your own B&B is a tremendous amount of work but says the experience of owning a business she admired from afar for years is very rewarding. “This is a tough job doing it all yourself, but I absolutely love it. The best part of having your own bed and breakfast is that you meet the nicest people. Because your average person (who is not social) will go to a hotel. But, it’s a certain clientèle who chooses the experience of a B&B. And, I love the chance to meet my guests and welcome them into the beautiful Blue Max Inn experience.”
The Blue Max Inn, Chesapeake City, MD
RATES: $135-$300/per night ($150-160 average, $300 a night peak season)
UPCOMING MURDER MYSTERY WEEKENDS:
January 1st & 2nd – Roaring Twenties Rub Out
February 5th & 6th – Four Duces
March 26th & 27 – Murder at Chesapeake High
SCRUMPTIOUS BREAKFAST: Mullen’s specialty for her lucky guests when they come down to enjoy breakfast is her baked ham and cheese croissants, which are accented with a little bit of orange marmalade, dipped in egg wash and baked in the oven for ten to fifteen minutes. Christine also whips up delicious eggs Benedict, Mimosas (on request), fresh coffee, great company and more.
UPCOMING EVENTS IN CHESAPEAKE CITY
Visit chesapeakecity.com and check under their activities calendar at the top left of page for ongoing event details.
Pet Parade with Santa: Saturday November 21st
An annual event always the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Details online (chesapeakecity.com activities calendar) pending
Festive Christmas Tea w/Lunch: Saturday December 5th
Catch the Christmas Spirit in Chesapeake City in a 250-year-old Farmhouse full of tradition!
11:00am – 2:00pm
Location: Sinking Springs Herb Farm and Retreat
Two sittings: 11:00 am to 12:30 pm and 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm. Reservation required. $18.00 each
Candlelight House & Walking Tour- Saturday December 12th
An annual event always the 2nd Saturday in December
Self guided walking tour of private homes, churches and bed and breakfasts decorated for the holiday season. Carriage rides and Victorian carolers add special ambiance for the event.
6:00pm – 9:00pm
Advance sale ticket available from 11/01/2009 to 12/11/2009 will be $10. Tickets on the day of will go on sale at 4:00PM in Town Hall and will be $15. Rain, snow or shine. Call Mary at 410-885-5995 or 443-553-0071.
To make reservations or inquire about availability at The Blue Max Inn, contact Christine Mullen at 410-885-2781 or toll free at 877-725-8362 (410) 885-2781 Toll free 1-877-725-8362. You can also visit the website at bluemaxinn.com. Online gift certificates are also available. The Blue Max Inn has year round events and specials for her guests, including her popular murder mystery weekends.