Birds-eye view of Bar Harbor and Mt. Desert Island

G.W. Morris (publisher) / Geo[rge] H. Walker & Co. (lithographer), BAR HARBOR / MT. DESERT ISLAND / MAINE.  Portland, ME, 1886.
Two-stone lithograph, 16 3/4”h x 25”w plus title and margins

A rare and beautiful view of Bar Harbor and Mt. Desert Island, depicted when it was a favored summer resort of the Gilded Age elite.

The image depicts Bar Harbor as seen looking southward from an imaginary elevated viewpoint over Bar Island. The town’s sprawling hotels, clubs and mansions are prominently featured, as is its superlative natural setting on the Maine coast, with Cadillac Mountain looming in the background. There are also charming period details, such as a locomotive approaching the summit of Cadillac and a paddlewheel steamer laden with passengers arriving at the landing.

G.W. Morris was a Portland publisher of books, postcards and other images depicting the many charms of northern New England. Reps attributes to him just the present view and one of Peak’s Island, Maine also printed by George H. Walker and issued in 1886. Walker’s firm was established in 1882 and operated well into the 20th century. An advertisement in the 1882 Boston Business Directory describes them as “publishers and lithographers” doing “engraving in all its branches, map engraving and photo-lithographing.” Among other things, Walker issued an important atlas of Massachusetts, separate maps of Boston and its metropolitan area, and birds-eye views of tourist destinations such as Edgartown, Lake Sunapee and of course Bar Harbor.

This impression was deposited for copyright with the Library of Congress and deaccessioned in recent years as a duplicate copy. The “duplicate” stamp is visible in the lower right corner, and with magnification one can just make out traces of the original deposit stamp.

Reps, Views and Viewmakers, #1180 lists four impressions of the view (Library of Congress, Bar Harbor Historical Society and elsewhere). OCLC #5447748 identifies two additional examples at the University of Illinois and Penn State.


Some mends to edges and a small library duplicate stamp at lower-right corner, but the image is bright and clean