They’re Baaack!

Halloween has traditionally been viewed as the time of year when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest, enabling those from the spectral realm to visit the world of the living.  Perhaps not uncoincidentally, as we head into the fall months, we at the Mira Monte tend to experience events that are, shall we say, a little unconventional:

When things go wrong around the inn, we often jokingly blame the spirit of “Henry”, a former owner whose dour visage looks down from his portrait in the hallway.  One morning, our guests alerted us that the cold water taps in all rooms had hot water coming out of them.  The taps had been functioning perfectly the day before.  After tinkering with the plumbing with no success, the innkeeper on duty turned to Henry’s portrait and shouted “Henry, you stop that right now”  The water immediately returned to normal.  Coincidentally (or not) this occurred on the anniversary of Henry’s death…

One quiet afternoon while working at her desk in the parlor, the evening innkeeper heard what sounded like a small girl’s voice playfully calling “hi…, hi…”.   The innkeeper turned to see a faint shadow disappearing down the hallway…

A live-in housekeeper reported that her bed shook in the middle of the night, as if someone were trying to rouse her from her sleep.  When she looked up, no one was there…

Of course, all of these things can easily be attributed to perfectly normal factors; voices carrying from outside, vibrations from a truck rumbling down the street or simply the typical, everyday problems that come with a very old house.  As afternoons grow short in the dying days of summer, routine events can take on an eerie, almost sinister air.  So, all’s well….  Nothing supernatural to see here.

Then there’s the pen incident.  Just days ago, three of our staff were gossiping in the kitchen about yet another employee, when a pen “flew into the air and exploded” with a pop, sending pieces across the kitchen. No one else was in sight. This happened in full view of the three gossips, who concluded that the phantom pen-thrower had been very disappointed by their indecorous behavior.

Is the Mira Monte haunted, or are all the incidents simply a product of overactive imaginations, stimulated by the arrival of Halloween, when images of death abound and our attentions are drawn to to the world beyond?  If there are any spirits here, it’s good to know that they’re helping to keep the staff in line.  Happy Halloween!

Mira Monte’s Long Lost Twin

This postcard of the Miller Cottage Inn from the 1930’s left us puzzled.  It shows a building that looks suspiciously like the Mira Monte, or Ash Cottage as it was then known.  The similarities are notable, right down to the Greek-style portico, the stacked bay windows and even the sloping driveway to the right of the building.  Like Mira Monte, Miller Cottage Inn was said to have been on Mt Desert Street.  Could the Miller Cottage Inn and the Mira Monte have possibly been one and the same? The known history of Mira Monte offered no clues.  If the buildings were not the same, we wondered, who would build a home that was virtually identical, and on the same street?  Adding to the confusion, most of the pictorial archives of Bar Harbor depict a Miller Cottage that was an entirely different building, a much larger 4 story hotel.

After much painstaking research, Bar Harbor historian Brian Armstrong has unraveled the mystery:

“The original Miller Cottage was built in the early 1880s for Henry H. Miller from Tremont. The completed cottage resembled the Mira Monte because Miller was Orlando Ash’s brother-in-law, and they most likely used the same plans and builder. Miller was married to Orlando Ash’s wife’s sister, Fanny Welch. Miller and Orlando Ash both lived in Tremont in the 1870s and moved to Eden (Bar Harbor) in the early 1880s. The Miller Cottage was destroyed in the 1947 fire.”

So, Mira Monte once had a twin just a few doors down the street!  After the fire of ’47. Mira Monte alone remained as the surviving sibling.  In the following photo from the 1880’s, both Miller Cottage and Mira Monte can be seen.  Miller Cottage appears toward the front of the image behind the tree on the left side of t he street.  Mira Monte (Ash Cottage) can be seen 4 doors down behind a home with a small tower.

The photos of the “other” Miller Cottage are of the hotel that took the cottage’s place following the fire.  The second Miller Cottage appears below.

Introducing the Echo Lake Suite!


Our newly renovated suite is called “Echo Lake” after one of our favorite spots on the “quiet side” of the island. As with our other renovated rooms, the suite features the blend of contoporary and traditional design elements that the Mira Monte is known for.  The suite already has a waiting list for much of the season, and we can’t wait for you to see it in person!

The Best Gym on Mt Desert Island is now open to Mira Monte Guests


Mira Monte summer guests can now enjoy the facilities of the Mt Desert YMCA free of charge thanks to our group membership.  Don’t snicker; the Y may not have the glitz of a high-end health club, but if you can do without a barley grass smoothie during your workout, you’ll find that the Y is far and away the best-equipped facility for miles around.

Mount Desert Island YMCA Offers:

  • Full Gymnasium w/ pickleball, volleyball, basketball, TRX and badminton equipment.
  • Indoor Walking/Running Track (16 laps to the mile)
  • Fitness Center with cardio, selectorized, Olympic, cable and free weight strength equipment.
  • Heated 6 lane, 25 yard pool with diving well.
  • All fitness classes free.
  • Discounted member pricing on programs such as personal training, summer camps and swim lessons. (subject to availability)

All programs and facilities are for men, women and families alike.  Ask your host for details upon check-in.


Fall Color Has Arrived

Fall has arrived, and leaf-peeping season is here!  The forests in and around Bar Harbor are alive with color, and you don’t need to travel far to experience the spectacle- just our back yard, as shown in the photo!

Mira Monte History Re-Discovered

When we first arrived at the MIra Monte, we never suspected that our unassuming cottage on Mt Desert Street would belie such rich history. If you’ve followed our blog, you already know what recent research has brought to light. Now our local paper, the Mount Desert Islander is sharing the story of the inn with the wider community: Mira Monte’s Lost History

Is the Mira Monte H-H-Haunted?

With Halloween fast approaching, we tend to get this question quite a bit. We hate to dissappoint, but in a word, no. Well, that is, mostly no…

The Mira Monte has always resonated with the sounds of happy vacationers. Nary a specter, it seems, would dare to intrude upon our festive holiday makers. If there are any spirits here, they seem to us a very private and well-behaved bunch indeed. Then again, over the years several former staff members and guests have described having a decidedly different take on things:

One long-time caretaker who spent winters alone at the house claimed to have heard heavy footsteps and other strange noises emanating from the vacant floor above.

An erstwhile cook who worked in the kitchen in the wee hours before dawn described being greeted regularly by a shy little ghost boy peering at her from the kitchen door… and of hearing the quiet laughter of children emanating from the empty dining room.

A recent guest, a self-described psychic medium, emphatically reported encountering numerous spirits during her visit, including a 19th century housekeeper keeping vigil at the top of the stairs and another “more contemporary” woman, who she took to be a former owner, in the parlor.

Another guest reported encountering a mysterious gentleman at the end of the hall who vanished before his eyes.

A live-in housekeeper turned off the lights to her room and locked her door before retiring for the night. At 2 AM she awoke with a start- the light in her closet was on and the door ajar.

So, is the Mira Monte haunted? Or are all the tales simply a case of imagination run amok, piqued by this somber time of year when chill winds rustle withered leaves and shadows fall long across the land? So much history has transpired at the Mira Monte and so many people have resided within it’s walls- is it at all possible that some former residents never left? We have our opinion, what about you?

Building a Better Breakfast!

Our new professional kitchen has enabled us to offer a range of breakfast options that were never before possible! Shown here is our Char-Broiled Pork Chop with Grilled Polenta and Rainbow Chard.

The Parlor

We love our artists- we think you nailed it! Thank you for the lovely sketch JC and Jane- you’ve made our day!

Blaine Letter Returns Home

Recently, we came upon this letter, written by Senator James G. Blaine, at auction. The subject is unremarkable, a brief note of thanks to one Theo F Reed for an unspecified favor. The significance of this particular item is that it was penned while Blaine was living at Ash Cottage during his presidential run. It almost certainly would have been written in his study at the home, where he spent considerable time answering “cords” of correspondence. Thankfully, few people need to have Blaine memorabilia these days so we were able to acquire the letter for the inn. After 138 years, we are delighted to return this small piece of history to the Mira Monte so that we may better tell the story of the many people who have stayed within its walls. We hope to have the letter on display soon. The note reads:


August 13, 1884
Bar Harbor, Maine

Theo F Reed, Esq.
Spring Valley, N.Y.

Dear Fr-

I thank you for your kind favor of the 1st instant, and I return the enclosure as requested.

Very truly yours

James G. Blaine