The Plymouth House was founded in 2002 by Thomas D. Shaffner, beloved by many as “Tom.” Tom grew up in a farming family in Freeland, Michigan during the Great Depression. He received his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University in 1958, then attended Georgetown University Law School, graduating in 1963. In 1975, Tom joined one of his patent clients, Howard Dearborn, in Fryeburg, Maine to help manage and grow Dearborn Tubular Products, which went on to become one of the area’s largest employers.
While Tom was a dedicated engineer, his even greater passion was helping people find recovery from their addictions. Tom had struggled with addiction for a number of years until he found the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, which he credited with transforming his life. He was an active member of the recovery communities in both Maine and New Hampshire, and in 2002 founded The Plymouth House. His vision for The Plymouth House was to create a retreat for individuals to come and focus intensely on working the 12 Steps to find freedom from addiction.