Structures are man-made constructions that serve a variety of purposes such as bridges, dwellings, commercial buildings, lighthouses, churches, monuments, and docks.

Quick Picks

Good to Know

  • Houses and cottages may be known by more than one name in which case an item will have more than one title. In these cases, alternative titles will also appear in search results making them easier to find.
  • A house or cottage may be listed by the owner’s name or a descriptive name given to the dwelling such as “Fox Dens.”
  • In many cases, multiple owners may be listed as titles.
  • Many of the historic houses and cottages in Southwest Harbor have a Maine Historic Preservation Commission (MHPC) Survey associated with them. These surveys were completed in 1999 and include interesting details about the houses.

From the Curator

There are all sorts of structures here, but the dwellings are probably the most important. You will discover wigwams, shacks, early houses, bungalows and chalets. When the rusticators arrived on the island architecture became even more interesting. Their dwellings are mostly known as “cottages” no matter the size or style. These people “from away” added a breadth of imagination to the local scene, along with jobs and entertainment. Our curator remembers a locally born friend saying, “They even served ice cream differently from the way we did.”

Another interesting feature of the structures built on the island was that, before the advent of advanced plumbing and electricity, it was considered faster and more thrifty to move a structure than to build one. There are only one or two photographs of buildings actually being moved, but many of them were. One researcher said that, after studying structures in Southwest Harbor, she drove down Main Street and mentally watched buildings moving back and forth across the street.

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