One of Maine’s last Gilded Age mansions, or “summer cottages” as the wealthy called them, is for sale. With its picturesque New England coastline, it wasn’t too many years after the British settled the area in the late 1700s that the super rich decided Bar Harbor, originally known as Eden, would be perfect for their summer retreats. It was the summer stomping ground of the elites - John D. Rockefeller, Jr., J. P. Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt, the Astor family, and President William Taft who enjoyed his golf there. Nelson Rockefeller was born in Bar Harbor and kept a home in nearby Seal Harbor for many years. Today, the resort town’s summer season is filled with film and television celebrities, writers, artists, and ordinary people enjoying the scenery, lobster rolls, water sports and laid-back atmosphere.
Almost like stepping back in time, East of Eden, formerly Eegonos (the name of the first home on the site spelled backwards - Sonogee), is now on the market on Bar Harbor’s Frenchman Bay. Designed by Guy Lowell, a blend of Beaux Arts and Mediterranean Revival style, the 15,000-square-foot manse construction was completed in 1909. It was one of the few Gilded Age mansions in Bar Harbor that survived a fire in 1947 that destroyed most of the town. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
The 2.5 story house is positioned on nine private acres of waterfront with a deep-water dock to tie up a yacht or to enjoy the sunset. There is plenty of room for guests and extended family with fourteen-foot ceilings, eight bedrooms and twelve baths. Old world features include a large marble foyer, columned separations between major public rooms, fireplaces finished in marble and wood, ceilings with decorative friezes and medallions, and hand-painted wall murals. In addition to the detailed restoration, all mechanical systems have been updated plus an eight-bay garage to accommodate owners and stay-over guests. It is a quick drive to Arcadia National Park and Bar Harbor’s restaurants and shops.
One of Maine’s few remaining Gilded Age mansions, East of Eden is priced at $15.5 million. The listing agent is Susan Ferrante-Collier of The Knowles Company, Northeast Harbor, Maine.
Photo credit: The Knowles Company Realtors
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