Originally incorporated as the Town of Eden, the
original document signed by Samuel Adams in 1796 and a warrant
calling the first town meeting are on display, the town's name
was changed to Bar Harbor in 1918.
Bar Harbor's fascinating history as a summer resort began long
before Champlain's visit in 1604. The Abnakis were the original
summer people. In the 1850's, painters such as Frederic E. Church,
Thomas Cole, Fitz Hugh Lane, William Hart and Thomas Birch popularized
the area thru their exhibits of the island's beautiful mountains
and seascapes. The first Hotel on the island was built in Bar
Harbor by Tobias Roberts, the Agamont House in 1855. Alpheus Hardy
was the first summer resident to build a "cottage" called Birch
Point in 1868. More and more hotels and cottages were built as
people "rusticators" came to the island by train and the Mount
Desert Ferry to dock at Bar Harbor.
The land boom continued until the 1880's when such notables as
Joseph Pulitzer, William Proctor, Mary Cadwalader Jones, Frederick
Vanderbilt, George Vanderbilt and Evelyn Walsh McLean came and
built magnificent "cottages". When you visit the museum library
you can see pictures of these and many more of the summer "cottages".
It was at this time that Boston native George B. Dorr worked
tirelessly with Charles W. Elliot and later with John D. Rockefeller
Jr. to bring about the National Park, which was organized in 1916
as Sieur de Monts monument. The name was changed in 1919 to Lafayette
National Park and in 1929 to Acadia National Park. George B. Dorr
was the first Superintendant of the Park. There is a permanent
exhibit of Mr. Dorr that is worth checking out.
ADMISSION IS FREE