Dyer named historian of Bar Harbor Historical Society 

Deborah Dyer, shown here with a hat from a Royal Canadian Air Force pilot who made an emergency landing at Kebo Valley Club during World War II, has been named the historian of the Bar Harbor Historical Society. 

BAR HARBORDeborah Dyer of Bar Harbor, who served as the volunteer curator of the Bar Harbor Historical Society for nearly three decades, will continue that tradition of service as the organization’s formal historian, a position established to honor her commitment to local history and her deep personal knowledge of the subject. 

“In taking us from a single room in the basement of the Jesup Library to a full-fledged museum on Ledgelawn Avenue, Debbie helped position us for the next big step, which was the acquisition of LaRochelle on West Street where we have taken the preservation and interpretation of the town, park and island’s history to new levels,” explained the society’s president, Earl Brechlin. 

“No one knows more about the stories of this place and the significance of the objects, artifacts, photographs and documents in our collection than Deb.” 

Having outgrown its building, a former convent, on Ledgelawn Avenue, the society began consideration of expansion options in 2018. After purchasing land on Cottage Street, the society pivoted its attention to LaRochelle, a 13,000-square-foot Greek Revival “cottage” from the town’s Golden Age, when the Maine Seacoast Mission decided to put it on the market. 

The society’s voluminous collections were moved to 127 West Street in 2019 and the main floor of former private mansion was opened as a museum in the summer of 2020, within pandemic safety protocols. The exhibits and displays have expanded to the second floor, which, along with the rest of the building and grounds, will be open to the public later this month. 

As historian, Dyer will work with society members, Executive Director Carolyn Rapkievian, visiting authors, researchers and scholars to assist in the sharing, preservation and interpretation of collections. A member of the society’s all-volunteer Board of Directors, she is also the chairman of the Collections Committee. 

“I look forward to the work ahead and to continuing to document, preserve and celebrate the stories of this community’s proud past,” Dyer said. 

For more information about the society, the museum, tours of LaRochelle, volunteering or upcoming events, visit www.barharborhistorical.org. 

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