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.
I thank you for your kind favor of the 1st instant, and I return the enclosure as requested.
Very truly yours
James G. Blaine
Mt Desert Island’s popular shuttle bus, the Island Explorer, is back for the season! After running on a limited schedule last year, operations are now back in full swing. Most routes begin at the Village Green, just a short walk from the Mira Monte. The Explorer offers visitors the opportunity to stop at the most popular attractions in Acadia and Mt Desert Island without having to battle the island’s notorious summer traffic. For more information on the shuttle and schedules, click the following link: Island Explorer Shuttle
These little guys look innocent enough, maybe even cute in a caterpillar kind of way. You might even be tempted to pick one up and let it crawl around a bit. Be forewarned that if you do it will likely mean the beginning of weeks of misery. This is the caterpillar of the brown tail moth, an invasive species commonly seen in Maine in the spring and summer. In addition to devouring the leaves of local deciduous trees, the thing that makes these caterpillars so troublesome is that their hairs are filled with a toxin that can cause severe itching and pain similar to that of a poison ivy rash. The hairs can also become airborne and drop from trees onto unsuspecting travelers. Breathing the hairs can cause respiratory distress and require medical attention. Over the counter remedies such as hydrocortisone, diphenhydramine, and lidocaine offer some relief, but there is no cure for the caterpillar toxin and prevention is the best way to avoid the dreaded itch. Stay clear of the caterpillars and their nests which take the form of a tangled, tent-like web woven between the branches of trees and shrubs. Thankfully, caterpillar encounters and severe reactions to the caterpillar toxin are relatively rare and shouldn’t dissuade anyone from visiting Acadia this season. Due caution will help to ensure that your visit remains pleasant and itch-free.
Thank you to all our guests for helping make Mira Monte a Trip Advisor “Traveler’s Choice” for the third year in a row! Only the top 10% of all hotels are accorded this distinction, and we are grateful to all who have joined us through the years.
We’ve noticed an alarming trend among Bar Harbor’s Bed and Breakfasts over the past year. Many independent inns have been bought out by large hotel companies and have closed their kitchens and eliminated breakfast service completely. We understand why they’ve done this; it’s a whole lot less expensive for them and it makes their businesses much easier to run. We think that’s just wrong. At the Mira Monte we still believe in providing the home-style hospitality that you’ve come to expect from a B&B. Instead of taking breakfast away, we’re investing in a brand-new professional kitchen so that we can bring you an even better breakfast experience during the coming seasons. Our breakfasts are hot, upscale and served at the table. From time to time, we’ll update you on our progress here in our blog- stay tuned!
The Governor’s office has released new, less-restrictive guidance for out-of-state visitors with regard to COVID-19 restrictions:
“As of May 1, 2021, Maine no longer requires proof of a negative test or quarantine for travelers to the state. If one or more states see a spike in cases of highly contagious COVID-19 variants, Maine will apply its test or quarantine requirement to travelers to and from that state. The Maine CDC will publicly announce any such states when they are identified.” This means that for now, we will no longer be requiring a written attestation upon check-in. We and all of the shops and restaurants here in Bar Harbor look forward the return of a semblance of normacy following a long hiatus and await your visit!
For our many blessings, we give thanks. Wishing you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving from Bruce, Cheryl and the Mira Monte staff.
Relax and enjoy a few days in our “Sweet Suites”, some with kitchenettes and fireplaces, for some holiday fun and getaways! Bar Harbor is a “winter wonderland” from November through March. Most people are unaware that the Mira Monte Suites are behind the main inn and open all through the winter at reduced rates! As a reminder, breakfast is not offered during winter months.
According to Maine’s website, leaf season won’t reach the island for a few more weeks. We have it on good authority (our own eyes) that fall has already arrived in spectacular fashion! We only have a few remaining openings available for October, so this is effectively “last call for fall.” We hope to see you soon.