- Lookout Point Road in the Hulls Cove neighborhood, Bar Harbor, and Mount Desert Island
Oceansedge is located on Lookout Point Road, above the shoreline of Hulls Cove, within the Town of Bar Harbor.
Lookout Point Road joins Route 3, the main highway connecting the mainland with Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island.
Bar Harbor is the preeminent community on the Island.
It always has been that way for Bar Harbor, ever since the town’s erstwhile oceanfront lawns were primarily the residence of flocks of sheep. (The sheep were presumably contented with the spectacular ocean views not yet taken from them by pushy hotel developers).
Mount Desert Island includes: Bar Harbor, 3 other towns, and the predominant Acadia National Park occupying 3/4 of the Island’s 40,000 acres.
- The Hulls Cove neighborhood
The subject property is a part of a 50-acre private enclave within the Hulls Cove neighborhood.
That enclave, a peninsula on Frenchman’s Bay with the North Atlantic beyond, contains perhaps ten oceanfront homes, all of obvious distinction; plus a few additional homes on the summit at the center of the peninsula.
Hulls Cove is a quiet and distinguished neighborhood.
It is Bar Harbor’s most historic and elegant neighborhood as well.
The village of Eden, a place for farmers and fishermen and ship-builders, was here before there was a Bar Harbor.
- Lookout Point Road
PrivacyLookout Point Road is a private and posted road: admission is restricted to property owners and their guests.
At least one exception to the rule is plumbers whose rattling trucks residents are sometimes very glad to see coming down the road. And, of course, a snow plow – any will do – after a winter storm.
Old signs insouciantly re-nailed to telephone poles on Lookout Point Road declare that the speed limit on that still 1-lane road is 10mph.
The call for patience is good therapy for some visiting New Yorkers. It would be the same for teenage drivers living on Lookout Point Road, but we have no one of that age.
The building of the roadLookout Point Road, perhaps 2 miles in length, circumnavigates the peninsula. It follows the same route first constructed from beach sand in 1883.
The developer was from New York, only a summer visitor to Bar Harbor, very socially prominent in NY, a graduate of Yale and Yale Law School, and devoid of any actual development experience.
His wife would have brought with her the archly Confederate sentiments of her even more socially prominent and ferociously unforgetting family in Maryland and Northern Virginia.
(Her family had lost in the War most of their plantation fortune along with more than a few sons and brothers – the gunfire and cannonades that killed some of them at Antietam could be heard from her family’s front porch as they died. She was also related to the first Governor of Maine whose Missouri Compromise of 1820 kept the peace for 40 years but also kept slavery.)
The NY developer used as his capitalist for the project a family from affluent Bangor steeped for generations in banking while also being one of the country’s most significant investors in timberlands; mills; railroads; ships; real estate; dams; banks; and during, the Civil War, iron foundries that produced cannons and railroad wheels. The developer used as his lawyer the son of Abraham Lincoln’s initial vice president, from Ellsworth and from Bangor.
Christmas cards exchanged between these families during the post-War years must have required careful thought.
BeginningsAt the time, nearly 150 years ago, Lookout Point Road’s first destination was a mansion being created at the summit of the peninsula for a former plantation owner, railroad tycoon, and US Senator from Florida.
(That same new property owner at Hulls Cove had also been a Confederate jailed for awhile immediately after the Civil War for nearly succeeding at helping Jefferson Davis escape the clutches of the Michigan cavalry pursuing Mr. Davis and his wife and members of the CSA Cabinet through Georgia, night and day).
Lookout Point Road itself has remained largely unchanged, although its name was changed some decades ago .
Eliot Ness may have had a hand in causing TV-watching residents on what is now Lookout Point Road to change what had originally been the road’s socially acceptable name, “the Syndicate Road”.
Ocean viewsLookout Point Road is a modest road.
The road passes along heavily treed hillside slopes – initially a nearly primordial forest – descending distantly to a shoreline not always visible from above.
(The Fire of 1947, which began in the Hulls Cove neighborhood and lasted for 10 days, inexplicably stopped at the entrance to Lookout Point Road, but then turned south to continue to destroy Bar Harbor and to devour 17,000 acres and almost half of Mount Desert Island).
To this day, travelers on Lookout Point Road periodically enter sunny glades where the azure North Atlantic can be seen beyond sentinel trees, coyly sparkling in the distance.
The enchanting view still seduces those travelers who almost always pause to look at the sublimely beautiful, like school boys powerless to resist a chance to glance at the forbidden.
- The approach to the property
The approach to the property along Lookout Point Road consists of a wall of hefty pink granite stones – stones not readily available any longer at any price lest the whole Island be quarried for landscapers in the Hamptons.
A fern garden accompanies the wall.
And a black metal fence at the edge of Lookout Point Road strives to keep the hurrying plumbers and others from meandering onto the lawn there.
Also, midway along that already pretentious display are lofty stone pillars and solid wrought iron black Victorian gates.
The gates are in the signature design of what was once the entrance to one of the great mansions and architectural masterpieces on Mt. Desert Island during the Gilded Age.
(Some of the descendants of the owner of that mansion – which property owner had been engaged in capitalizing with war bonds the Michigan cavalry and a million other Union troops – have lived on Lookout Point Road).
Lights mounted on the stone walls, and the muscular antique pillar lights which may have been converted from Boston Common gas lights, are almost always turned on.
The lights greet visitors who might understandably misjudge the walls and gates as, well, unwelcoming.
At night, motion detectors signal flood lights in the trees.
The overhead flood lights show the way for drivers unfamiliar with the entrance. The lights also serve as the equivalent of a meeting place under the Grand Central Station clock, for a deer possibly waiting to rendezvous late at night with an old friend from a different neck of the woods.
- The driveway from Lookout Point Road
Beyond the walled and gated entrance on that road, a driveway slopes down, for perhaps 1,000', past a collection of fruit trees on one side, and three ponds on the other side where ducklings learn to swim and would practice flying but for wings still too short.
The driveway leads to the house itself. The house fronts on the ocean.
- Ocean views
South-facing views from the house and from the broadlawn above the shoreline, include:
the Cadillac Mountain range of Acadia National Park, green with spruce almost to their stony summits,
the mansion-studded shoreline,
the active Bar Harbor waterfront and the Town’s boat basin,
the chain of Porcupine Islands, like stepping stones from Cadillac Mountain
gorgeous sunrise and moonrise views over the North Atlantic horizon.
working lobster boats, which are within hailing distance.
the Bar Harbor Yacht Club and its flotilla of sail boats coming and going.
Although invisible, the best aspect of that south-facing home is the warm summer sunlight mixed with bracing oncoming sea breezes.
- Acadia National Park
ProximityThe property is located within 1 mile of the Reception Area for the 30,000-acre Acadia National Park.
What to do in just a lifetimeThe Park offers with open arms 50 miles of: walking trails; bicycling paths; mountain climbing routes leading to lakes and ponds and mountain vistas; and both salt water and fresh water beaches for swimming and fishing.
PopularityAcadia may be the 2nd most-visited of the National Parks
Simply explained, Bar Harbor and Mt. Desert Island are considered among the most beautiful places in North America.
The Park was encouraged by Teddy Roosevelt, who was, of course, the foremost proponent of national parks generally – as President, he set aside for the public 230,000,000 acres of land for future American generations.
Roosevelt’s first lieutenant within the Republican and Bull Moose parties in New York, had a home just up the way from Oceansedge on Lookout Point Road.
Harvard visionaries largely organized the Park, beginning a permanent following among Harvard faculty and alumni, particularly including historian Samuel Eliot Morison.
(Morison lived on Mount Desert Island, and it was Morison who forever and gorgeously memorialized Mount Desert Island in more than one book).
John D Rockefeller, Jr. largely capitalized Acadia National Park, in the wake of the Ludlow Massacre. He also largely oversaw the construction of the Park’s 50 miles of carriage roads although he was devoid of any actual development experience.
The Park might have been the Rockefellers’ very best public work although not their most munificent, additional national parks and Rockefeller Center notwithstanding.
The Acadia National Park that was their collective achievement – as that achievement might be defined in terms of conservation and environmentalism and sheer public joy – was one of the most far-sighted and tangible and permanent American triumphs of the Progressive Era, which era was abundant in altruistic triumphs.