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Bar Harbor Historical Society

Bar Harbor Historical Society
General Description

The Bar Harbor Historical Society is a nonprofit organization that strives to collect, preserve, promote, and celebrate the history of our community. The Museum, listed on the National Register of Historic places, is located at 33 Ledgelawn Avenue in Bar Harbor. The concept that eventually grew to be the Bar Harbor Historical Society originated in the summer of 1945. In that year, a committee was formed from the directors of the Jesup Library. They decided to exhibit old photographs and pamphlets showing the town’s past in memory of George B. Dorr, the father of Acadia National Park, who died in 1944. The exhibit was such a success that when it closed, the committee was inspired to maintain a permanent exhibit of all historical materials relating to the town of Bar Harbor.

Since then many gifts of memorabilia, maps, antique clothing, and pictures continue to expand the displays. From the town’s incorporation in 1796, through the visits of Frederic Church and Thomas Cole of the Hudson School of painters, into the Gilded Age and the summer colonies of the Rusticators, until the devastating Fire of 1947, the Bar Harbor Historical Society includes many exhibits of “old Bar Harbor.” The Historical Society gained its permanent home in 1997, at the former St. Edwards Convent at 33 Ledgelawn Avenue. Open the third Monday in June through Columbus Day weekend, Monday through Friday, 1 to 4 pm.

Centennial Plans

The Acadia Centennial is a welcome opportunity for visitors to Acadia National Park and the people of the communities surrounding Acadia to learn more about George B. Dorr, founder and first Superintendent of the park.   The Bar Harbor Historical Society has a significant collection on Mr. Dorr.   On permanent exhibit at our Bar Harbor museum are books and photos of Mr. Dorr, dishes and silverware from his Oldfarm home, a watch fob and even his baby chair.  The Society holds important and well-indexed George B. Dorr papers and much of his correspondence with David Ogden, a lawyer and summer resident who was a close friend and collaborator on village improvement and the park mission.  The Bar Harbor Historical Society will welcome visitors with an interest in Mr. Dorr and Acadia and work with other Acadia Centennial Partners to help tell the story of George B. Dorr and the making of Acadia National Park.


33 Ledgelawn Avenue
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609
(207) 288-0000