The Waterford Puzzle Company started in 1987 as ELMS Puzzles. Betsy Stuart (whose initials are E.L.M.S.) had a lifelong fascination with wooden jigsaw puzzles thanks to an uncle who cut puzzles when she was younger. She began cutting her own puzzles and slowly built up a business around it. Soon she was hiring and training others to help her.
After a courageous fight with ovarian cancer, Betsy passed away in 2007. Her husband, Fred, and artisans Lisa, Rose, Debby, Chris, and Kristin, continued the business and continued delighting avid puzzlers as a way to honor Betsy's legacy.
In 2018, Fred retired at the age of 90 and passed the torch to Debby's niece, Lizzy Bean, her husband, Spencer Bean, and their closest friend, Joseph Ogden. Like Betsy, Lizzy grew up with a family member cutting puzzles and wanted to keep the tradition alive. ELMS Puzzles continues on as The Waterford Puzzle Company, in honor of the nearby town in Maine, Waterford, where Debby has lived and Lizzy spent her childhood summers doing puzzles.
Today, we're the same group of artisans hand-cutting the same beautiful puzzles. Our name may have changed, but our commitment to Betsy's vision and our love of puzzles will always be the same.
Fred is the proud husband of Betsy Stuart who founded ELMS Puzzles in 1987. He sold his previous company in Baltimore, Md. to the employees in 1990 and retired to Maine. Betsy designed their large log home to contain the puzzle company in the lower level and their living space on the upper level.
After Betsy's untimely death in 2007, Fred became the Owner/President of ELMS Puzzles and worked tirelessly to continue Betsy's vision of beautifully handcrafted puzzles that will someday become, as Betsy called them, "future antiques." Now that he's retired, Fred is spending more time with family and friends, and stopping into the office occasionally to help with the business.