Friday, June 24, 2016

Maine Seacoast Mission To Offer Centennial Tours

 In celebration of Acadia National Park’s centennial, the Maine Seacoast Mission will offer tours of its “rusticator” mansion in downtown Bar Harbor during July and August. Tours will also feature historical items from the Mission’s 111 years of serving the islands and coastal communities of downeast Maine.
The 35-room mansion, once known as “La Rochelle,” was built in 1902 for George Bowdoin, a partner of J.P. Morgan, and his small family and 21 servants. Located at 127 West Street and overlooking Frenchman’s Bay, the house was the first brick summer cottage to be built in Bar Harbor. The specially cut granite and marble used in the construction was imported from Italy.
The house, along with an endowment for its upkeep, was donated to the Maine Seacoast Mission in 1972 by Tristram and Ruth Colket, who purchased the mansion in the 1940s. The building now serves as the Mission’s administrative headquarters and is known as the “Colket Center” in honor of its donors.
Tours will be given at 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays from July 5 through August 30. Volunteer docents will guide visitors through the three floors of the building, including the servant quarters on the third floor and the impressive double stairway that leads from the entrance hall to the second floor. There is no charge for the tours, though donations will be appreciated.
For more information, call 288.5097 or email The Maine Seacoast Mission has brought healthcare, educational programs, pastoral support, crisis services, and scholarships to the people of eastern Maine’s islands and coastal towns since 1905.
Photo caption: The Maine Seacoast Mission’s headquarters on West Street in Bar Harbor
Photo credit: George Soules