Bar Harbor Historical Society Museum, Bar Harbor

4.2
#6 of 6 in Museums in Bar Harbor
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
The Bar Harbor Historical Society is the principal historical society of Bar Harbor, Maine and Mount Desert Island. The society's museum is located at 33 Ledgelawn Avenue in the former St. Edward's Convent, an architecturally distinguished building designed by local architect Milton Stratton and built in 1917 in the Jacobethan style. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.
The Historical Society Museum is set on the west side of Ledgelawn Avenue, a residential side street in the main village of Bar Harbor. It is a 2-1/2 story brick building, three bays wide, with a cross-gable roof configuration caused by a projecting section at the left half of the front facade. This projection is fronted by a large flat-roof bay two stories in height, with a band of three windows across the front, and single windows on the angled sides. The first-floor windows have foxed lower sashes topped by diamond-pane transoms, and the second-floor windows have larger diamond panes in a fixed sash, and are set in a stone frame with a Tudor arch. The main entrance is slightly recessed in the rightmost front bay. The other windows of the front are smaller, but also feature diamond paned sashes and stone surrounds with Jacobethan styling.
The building was designed by the Bar Harbor architect Milton Stratton, and built in 1917 with funding from Mr. and Mrs. Edward de Veau Morrell of Philadelphia, who owned a summer estate in Bar Harbor. The building is locally distinctive as the only significant example of Jacobethan architecture. Louise (Drexel) Morrell was the founders of Drexel University and sister to Saint Katherine Drexel.
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Bar Harbor Historical Society Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
14 reviews
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3.8
TripAdvisor
  • The history of the guilded age is on full display at this outstanding local museum. Numerous pictures of the cottages which lined the shores of bar harbor in the days of conspicuous consumption and...  more »
  • This Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic places. It all began when a committee for formed in 1945 and they decided to exhibit old photographs and pamphlets showing Bar harbor's...  more »
Google
  • We were visiting and noticed we could visit the new location for the Bar Harbor Historical Society. The write up of the home was great noting 35 bedrooms, over a dozen bathrooms, housed over 20 servants, and mentioned it was 13,000 sq. ft. Our family visited and while I was a bit surprised it was $20/person...even for an 8yr old. It was fine, it was a unique experience to be able to see this home. We spent some time enjoying the 6 available rooms on the first floor. Half of the house on the first floor wasn't finished so we couldn't go in, but when we asked about going upstairs we were told that we could not. I was speechless. $60 to see 6 rooms, while nice the rooms were not restored to the period of the home. They were well done and beautiful, but visiting other historical museum homes they are generally restored to the period of the home. Needless to say this was an extremely disappointing visit. We could have gone whale watching or done something else with $60. I just can't believe they feel justified charging that to see what is available. In the end it goes to a cause that is good, but this was extremely disappointing. You would think there would be a family price, and you would think they would disclose that you can only see a small percentage of this grand space. I would not recommend this visit as of July 2019. Had I know that we could only see 6 rooms, I definitely would not have spent the money, but that was not disclosed until we asked to go upstairs.
  • Small Museum. Very interesting. You can get a really good feel for what life has been like over the years.
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