The Maine Sea Coast Mission’s headquarters on West Street in Bar Harbor will be open for tours in July and August. PHOTO COURTESY OF GEORGE SOULES

Maine Sea Coast Mission offers tours

BAR HARBOR — The Maine Sea Coast Mission will offer tours of its “rusticator” mansion during July and August in celebration of Acadia National Park’s centennial. Tours also will feature historical items from the mission’s 111 years of serving the islands and coastal communities Down East.

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 St. and overlooking Frenchman 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 Sea Coast 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 on Tuesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 30 at 1 and 2:30 p.m. 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.

Call 288-5097 or email [email protected]

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