Peter Marie

One of Bar Harbor’s more colorful summer denizens was New York philantropist and socialite Peter Marie. His family, having made it’s fortune in banking, enabled Marie pursue a life of leisure relatively early in life.  The consummate bon vivant, Marie was host to a variety of social activities throughout the summer colony.  One of these, a ladie’s putting contest, was a regular event that was held on the back lawn of Mira Monte.  The accompanying photo shows one such competition, circa 1900.  These events were embued with all the pageantry of the guilded age- note the banners and floral garlands surrounding the green and the imported palms decorating the gallery.  The ladies in the competition are seen elegantly attired in the latest 19th century “sportswear”.

Henry Cadwalader Chapman

Mira Monte History:  In 1890, eminent Philadelphia physician and naturalist Henry C. Chapman bought the Ash Cottage from Orlando Ash to use as a permanent summer residence. Among his many distinctions, Dr. Chapman had been Professor of Medicine and Medical Jurisprudence at Jefferson Medical College and served as curator of Philadelphia’s Academy of Natural Sciences from 1875 until his death. Upon purchasing the cottage, Dr. Chapman and his wife Hannah added the Greek portico and columns that now surround the porch and renamed their estate Mira Monte, meaning “behold the mountains”.

Mrs. Chapman enjoyed entertaining, and Mira Monte was to become something of a social hub in those days.  While not unknown to the society pages of the era, Dr. Chapman is remembered in Bar Harbor as first and foremost a humble and amiable man of science who “endeavored in every way in his power to minimize the distinction between the summer colony and the year-round residents” of the village.  As recalled in memorium in the Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences:

“Here for nearly thirty years he pursued his studies of the flora and fauna of Mt. Desert island, the latter in a little laboratory on the water’s edge. Here the fishermen, all his devoted friends, brought whatever of interest they succeeded in securing from the waters.”

Chapman was also to play an active role in the civic life of the town and became a director of the local library.

After Dr. Chapman’s sudden death at the home in 1908, likely from a gastric ulcer, his widow continued in the role of hostess until her passing on Christmas day, 1931, exactly 90 years ago.

Mira Monte’s “Almost” President

Each year we continue to discover new details that add to the rich history of the Mira Monte.  New research has revealed that the inn was the summer home of  one of the preeminent politicians of the gilded age, James G Blaine, during the presidential campaign of 1884 .  Though little discussed today outside academic circles, he was a household name to his contemporaries.  Nicknamed “the plumed knight” Blaine held numerous public offices throughout his long and storied career including speaker of the house, United States senator and US secretary of state. A perennial presidential favorite, Blaine eventually secured the Republican nomination in 1884, the very year that he signed the lease for the Mira Monte. The accompanying newspaper illustration from this period depicts Blaine enjoying a leisurely buckboard ride. Amid the convivial chitchat of his companions, Blaine appears resolute, as if in contemplation of the impending battle. The inset captioned “Blaine’s Cottage” shows Mira Monte as it appeared in Blaine’s time; the profile of the house with it’s distinctive stacked bay windows and turret-like dormer easily recognizable despite the passage of time. Ultimately, the object of Blaine’s greatest aspiration was not to be his; following a bitter and scandal plagued campaign, Blaine lost the election to Grover Cleveland by a mere one quarter of one percent of the popular vote.

Stay at Home Recipes- Mira Monte Popovers!

Stay at Home Recipes- Popovers! makes 10-12 medium popovers

Maine’s shelter-in-place directive has been extended until the end of May, so it looks like we’ll all be doing a lot more baking!  You’d pay quite a bit for popovers at the local eateries, but you can make them yourself for just pennies. When it comes to popovers, success isn’t about fancy ingredients, it’s all about technique! It took me a few tries to come up with a recipe that I could live with, but I think this one’s a keeper.  These popovers are nice and crusty on the outside, soft, light and eggy on the inside, with a nice cup-like shape.  Enjoy!

  • Vegetable oil to coat pan
  • 3/4 C all purpose flour
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon salt according to taste
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1 1/4 C milk
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 450° F. Pour about 1 Tbsp cooking oil into each well of a muffin pan, generously coating the bottom and sides. Place in preheated oven for 5 minutes or until oil is hot.

Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Mix to combine.

Combine the milk, butter and worcestershire in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for about 1 minute, allowing the butter to melt completely. Mixture should be warm but not hot.  Add eggs and whisk to combine.

Gradually add the flour to the milk mixture and whisk until just combined. The mixture will be thin and a little lumpy- don’t over mix or a rubbery texture will result.

Pour batter into the hot muffin pans filling each cup halfway. Bake in oven for 10 minutes until the batter has puffed up and set.  Reduce the temperature to 350° F  and continue to bake for 15 to 20 minutes more until golden brown.  Serve immediately with jam and butter.

Tips:

  • When making popovers, steam is the sole leavening agent so a hot oven and pan are imperative.
  • Heating the butter with the milk in a microwave results in a firmer crust that will resist deflating.  Cold milk will yield lighter, souffle-like popovers.
  • Try adding some chopped herbs, blueberries or a little cheese for a creative twist.

We Offer the Best Rate on Our Website- Always!

Everywhere you look, there are a myriad of options for booking your vacation. From Expedia and Booking.com to Trivago and AirBNB, offers are everywhere. Most guests don’t realize that when they click on one of these links they are booking through an Online Travel Agency, or OTA, and not the inn they’ll be staying at. A Google survey of 1000 travelers found that 70% of travelers think they are going directly to a lodging website when they press the Book a Room button, but instead they are booking through an OTA.

OTAs such as Booking.com and Expedia charge commissions for a reservation.  Unfortunately, the OTAs often have to pass those commissions along to you in the form of rates that are higher than on our site.

At the Mira Monte we can guarantee that our best rate is the one you’ll find when you book directly with us on our website. Not only can we guarantee the best rate, but we can also help you avoid common problems that guests encounter with an OTAs since you will be working directly with us and not an intermediary.  You may also have access to special promotions and discounts not available through an OTA.

We appreciate your willingness to BOOK DIRECT and work with.  Call us or click “book now” to make your reservation today!

Mira Monte Cares – Our COVID-19 Response

We understand that you may be anxious about the safety of traveling during these extraordinary times.  We want to assure you that your safety and well being is our greatest concern.

Here are a few of the things we offer in order to protect our guests from COVID-19:

  • Private Entrances. Many of our ground-floor guest rooms have exterior entrances, allowing you to come and go without passing through common areas (Please see room descriptions to check for the availability of this feature).
  • No Contact Check-In. Keys are sanitized and distributed in clean envelopes.  Guest receipts are delivered by email unless otherwise requested.
  • Decreased turnover.  We be scheduling additional time between guest room bookings in order to facilitate sanitation and reduce overall building density.
  • “Grab and Go” breakfast.  Consistent with the state mandate for COVID-19 prevention, we will be temporarily suspending our buffet-style breakfast in favor of individually packaged meals.
  • Increased Spacing in Dining Areas. We have removed several seats in our dining areas in order to help meet social distancing requirements.
  • Enhanced Sanitation Procedures. We’re taking even more time than usual to ensure that all our rooms are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized between guests.
  • Frequent sanitizing. High-contact points in public areas such as stair rails, door handles, reception counters, bathrooms and dining tables receive extra attention.
  • Additional Staff Training. Our staff has received special training in sanitation techniques necessary to reduce the threat of COVID-19.
  • Hand sanitizer.  We have placed hand sanitizer dispensers in common areas of the inn.

No environment can be completely sterile, but we are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure that your stay is both enjoyable and safe.  As the situation continues to evolve, we will modify our policies accordingly.

Your Hosts,

Bruce and Cheryl

 

Give the Gift of Maine with a Mira Monte Gift Certificate!

For a limited time, we’re featuring an amazing offer on our Mira Monte Gift Certificates!  From now through May, we’ll add an extra 25% value to any purchase!  For example, when you purchase a $100 certificate, we’ll upgrade it to $125! Buy a $200 gift certificate and we’ll make it $250!  These certificates have no expiration date, and you can use them for yourself or gift them to a friend.  Call us today at (207) 288-4263 to take advantage of this special offer.

Stay at Home Recipes- Almond Florentine Cookies

Stay at Home Recipes- Almond Florentine Cookies- makes about 2 dozen cookies

  • Ingredients
  • 1 C blanched whole almonds (slivered or sliced almonds can be substituted)
  • ¾ C all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1/8 tsp fine salt
  • ½ C fine sugar
  • ½ C or 1 stick unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

Procedure for Chocolate

Microwave ½ C chocolate chips in small oven-proof glass bowl on high for 20 seconds.  Stir.  Add remaining chips and microwave for 20 seconds more.  Stir until smooth.

Procedure for Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. Pulse whole almonds in a food processor to a fine meal (or pulse slivered or sliced almond to the desired texture). Pulse in flour, orange zest and salt until just combined
  3. In a medium saucepan, mix sugar, butter, cream and corn syrup together. Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
  4. Take off heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into dry ingredients.  Mix thoroughly.  Set aside until cool enough to handle.
  5. Round tablespoon sized pieces of dough into balls. Place on parchment paper 3” apart to allow for spreading.  With wetted fingers, pat down gently.
  6. Bake cookies until thin and golden, about 10-12 minutes. Turn pan in the half way through cooking time.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes. For best results, remove cookies from baking sheet and place on a wire cooling rack.
  8. Place cooled cookies closely spaced on parchment paper. Dip a whisk, honey dipper or fork into the melted chocolate mixture and coat generously.  Using a back and forth motion, drizzle chocolate over the cookies.  Set aside until chocolate has hardened.  Enjoy!

Tip:  A silicone baking mat is perfect for florentines.  In addition to it’s non-stick properties, the mat will also help to distribute heat evenly.

Need a break after the crisis ends?  Reservations now being accepted for summer!  Book now at http://www.miramonte.com

Stay at Home Recipes- Maine Blueberry Muffins

Maine Wild Blueberry Muffins- Makes 24

Other states may cultivate more berries, but Maine is the largest producer of wild blueberries in the world, and with good reason.  Maine berries are special.  They’re small, exceptionally sweet and have a pleasing reddish-blue color; nothing like those bland commercial varieties!  We bake our blueberry muffins every morning at the Mira Monte and serve ’em til they’re gone!

Ingredients

  • 4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 C wild Maine blueberries (you can use those other berries if you’d like, we won’t tell)
  • 1/2 C applesauce
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 C milk
  • 2 eggs

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. Sift together dry ingredients
  3. Add wet ingredients
  4. Fold in blueberries
  5. Scoop into greased muffin tin (a #12 disher works well)
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean

The pandemic won’t last forever!  Reservations now accepted for summer!  Book now at http://www.miramonte.com

Monty Presents: “Talk Like a Mainah”

Monty the Beaver is our resident mascot, and he’s been after his new guests about the funny way they talk:  “Yah gotta talk like a real Mainah if yah wanna fit in” he says….  so he’s put together this little guide to help you get started:

Words
Ahwah = 60 minutes, amount of time it takes to find a parking spot in downtown Bar Harbor in the summer.
Ayuh or Yuuh = Yes, yup, yep, uh-huh, “eh?”.
Bah Habbah = Bar Harbor, best place in the world to visit, even better place to live.
Bangah = Bangor, second largest city in Maine, closest city to Bar Harbor that has a Sams Club.
Beans = sportswear and sporting goods company LL Bean, the only Maine company known outside of Maine.
Bettah = Better, should, oughtta, opposite of worsah.
Bug = Lobster, spiny shellfish that turns red when you boil it, tourist food.
Cah = Automobile, collection device for parking tickets in downtown Bar Harbor.
Californier = California, where Hollywood is.
Centah = Center, what’s inside the outside.
‘Chout = Watch Out, look out, don’t be stupid.
Chowdah = Chowder, a thick white soup with potatoes, may contain lobster or clams but mostly potatoes.
Crittah = Creature, particularly those that burrow in your yard, live under your house, or have babies in your attic.
Cunnin’ = Cute, particularly when referring to crittahs.
Deah = Deer, furry, antlered garden-eating animals that own the town, or the girlfriend that owns you.
Finest Kind = The best, how Mainers say “da kine”.
Maahden’s = Mardens, a Maine junk store where everyone shops but no one admits to going.
Mainah= Mainer, anyone from heah.
Nor’eastah = Nor’easter, large storm that blows in from the northeast and really, really pisses people off.
Pahk= Park, what you do with the cah, also place where little kids play.
Pahtlan‘ = Portland, largest city in Maine named after Portland England or Portland cement, one of the two- we’re not sure which.
Pissah = Something or someone that (who) is very unpleasant or nasty, the old lady at town hall who you need to see for everything.
Wicked = Great, very good, the opposite of wicked.
Yahd = Yard, place where your house sits.  Also 3 feet.

 

Phrases
Down Cellah = In the basement, dark scary place where junk is stored.
From away = stranger, newcomer, anyone who’s family hasn’t lived in Maine for at least 150 years.
Go Upta Camp = Visit a vacation/hunting/fishing cabin, camping, what Mainahs do on vacation.
It ain’t theyah no moah = reference to a long ago landmark that everyone (but you) knows about.
Snow Machinin’ = Snow mobiling, riding a motorcycle that has a track and skis instead of wheels.
Yah cahn’t get theyah from heah = You’re lost, budddy.  Really, really lost.
You people = your group, your kind, your ilk. Anyone from away- especially Californier.

 

Now You Try a Few:
“‘Chout when yah go down cellah, it’s dahk”
“I’m goin’ upta camp to go snow machinin'”
“It’s two ahwahs from Pahtlan’ to Bangah”
“Last night’s nor’eastah was a wicked pissah”
“The chowdah at Thurston’s is of the finest kind”
“The deah that ate my gahden was a cunin’ crittah”
“Yah cahn’t get theyah from heah. Take a right at Bob’s place (it ain’t theyah no moah), and go from theyah”.
“You people can pahk yah cah ’round back in the yahd”
“Come to Bah Habbah, ain’t nothin’ bettah- ayuh!”

 

So what do you think?  Did Monty get it right?  Are there a few other Mainerisms that you know of?