A New Chapter for Historic Glamour in Bar Harbor 

In the mid-1900’s the Bar Harbor Club had a legacy as one of the premier clubs on the East Coast. But it was hit by the fire of ’47, and when the club closed in the late eighties it stayed dormant for years. Through that time, though– many folks couldn’t forget their history there.”A lot of people have waited a lot of years for this,” says club director Eben Salvatore.This is the result of years of hard work and renovations. After a long hiatus, the Bar Harbor Club is again open for membership.”It was originally founded in 1929 by a lot of the money that was up here at the time, the wealthy families from Philadelphia, Boston, New York… and it was a social club. Very exclusive,” he says.Salvatore says things are more relaxed today, but it’s the memories of the past that make this spot so important to people.”Since we’ve been open, a lot of people have been coming in with old stories they have of them, or their parents being members, working here, playing here, sneaking into the pool at night,” he says, with a smile.”I think what they’ve done is really just extraordinary, and complementary to what was here before,” says Peter Whitman, who was visiting the club Thursday.Salvatore says great care was taken with new additions, like the poolhouse, to maintain the craftsmanship of the original club.”We’ve had a lot of uphill battles which, fortunately for the building and the property, we were able to overcome,” Salvatore says.The cost of membership is still exclusive, at more than 900 dollars for a couple for the season, but more people are signing up every day.”I’ve met so many people that share their stories from when their grandparents first came here, they had their first date here,” says spa director Chawnacee Bryan.The spa and the restaurant are open to the public. They say now that the club’s original glory has been restored, a whole new generation can make their own memories here.”This is the place where I learned to swim and to play tennis,” Salvatore says, “and to be back again, to be a part of it still, is pretty special to me.”