The Asticou Inn
Northeast Harbor, Maine
The Asticou Inn is located just outside of Acadia National Park in Maine, USA. Situated on Mount Desert Island in the town of Northeast Harbor, the Inn was originally built in 1883. It burned down in 1899 and the current building dates from 1901. The current Inn building survived the great fire of 1947 that burned most of the historic hotels and homes in the area. The Asticou Inn is open Spring through Fall yearlyThese photos show the Inn as it looked in summer of 2007 when my wife and I visited. What you see here is not necessarily how it looks today. Hotels typically remodel every 5-8 years.
If you're looking for a hotel that still retains all of it's original charm, the Asticou fits the bill. Additions in the early 1900's changed the exterior slightly and added rooms to the Inn. However the Inn's exterior has changed little in the last 60 years. Interior remodeling has enlarged many of the rooms, primarily by removing walls to combine adjacent rooms rather than relocating walls. Careful remodeling and restoration have allowed the Inn to retain it's historic charm, with polished wood floors and the craftsmanship of a bygone era.
Photo provided courtesy of the Asticou Inn. ci 1890's
The Asticou Inn was established when Augustus Chase Savage and his wife Emily built a home called Harbor Cottage in 1854 and began taking in summer visitors. Harbor Cottage still stands across the street from the Asticou Inn. It is called Cranberry House now. In 1883 the Savages expanded their small summer lodging business and built the first Asticou Inn building across the street from their house. The photo above is of the original Asticou Inn building. The original Inn shown in that photo burned down in 1899. The Inn was rebuilt by A.C. Savage's son, George Savage, and reopened in 1901. The new Inn building was designed by architect Fred L. Savage, who was another son of A.C. Savage. Fred Savage went on to design many of the grand “cottages” on Mount Desert Island and is a famous architect. The new Asticou Inn was operated for years by George Savage and his wife. When George died, the hotel management passed down to the next generation; George's 17 year old son Charles. Charles later married Katharine Larchar and together they ran the Inn until the mid-1960's.
Asticou Inn Exterior Views
Asticou Inn Lobby, Dining Room, and Public Rooms
Stepping inside through the front doors, the first thing we see is this fireplace opposite the doors in the small lobby.
To the right from the front doors is the concierge's desk and the grand staircase. The glass door on the left is the dining room entrance. The door to the left of the dining room entrance with the yellow tinted light shining from it is a very small elevator.
Outside the dining room windows is a large deck for outdoor dining in nice weather. Or just sit and relax out here enjoying a drink and the view of the harbor.
Adjacent to the lounge is the living room. Notice the window on the left wall. You'll see it later from the other side. It originally was an exterior window to the veranda area.
Looking toward the front of the inn from the back windows in the living room.
Asticou Inn Guest Rooms
Panorama view of room 116.
This is a panorama of the view from the window of room 116 of Northeast Harbor. Not a bad view, even on a foggy day!
This is a fancier room, with a non-working fireplace. Notice the beautiful hardwood floors found in most of the rooms.
Like Ghost Stories?Like all old hotels this one has one, although the staff were a little reluctant to talk about it. This one is a modern ghost too. This ghost is not the typical romantic Victorian era female ghosts searching in vane for their lost lovers that are found in most of the historic hotels we have visited! (See our other historic hotel photo blogs for more ghost stories!)
A while back a guest was checked into her room, only to return to the front desk claiming that they gave her the wrong room. At that time the Asticou Inn assigned rooms at the time you reserved them, and a confirmation with a complete description of the room, including the room number, was sent to guests. How could she now think she was given the wrong room? A double check was made and she did not have the wrong room, however she was very upset and insisted that she be switched to another room. She would not stay in the room she had reserved! The Inn staff was able to switch her to a different room, but were somewhat baffled by her claim of the wrong room. She eventually admitted that they had given her the correct room, but stated that she simply could not stay in the original room she had reserved. When asked why, she rather sheepishly confided that when she went into the original room she saw a ghost in the room. She then described the apparition in great detail, and her description matched perfectly the that of Guy Toole, a former Inn employee who passed away in 1998! Guy loved the Inn, and everyone there loved him. He started working at it when he was 16 years old and worked there his whole life. Did Guy refuse to leave his beloved Inn even after his death?
Like all good ghost stories this one has a possible non-ghost explanation. Guy makes for the perfect ghost, as he was well known and loved the inn. But it should also be noted that there is a memorial to him in the Inn, which includes a photo. So our ghost spotting guest had access to a good description. Was she using Guy as a convenient explanation for her sudden desire for a different room? Or did she really see the ghost of Guy Toole? One thing is for sure, if the ghost of Guy Toole haunts the Asticou Inn, you need not fear him. If you see him, smile and ask how are things going? After all, he worked at the Asticou Inn for many, many years and was said to be friends with everyone!
Short answer, it's inside the Asticou Inn's attic. We're not really supposed to be up here in the attic, but the door was open and if you have read my other tours you know I tend to snoop around looking for anything unusual. This view is from inside the attic, looking up toward the roof hatch that opens to the widow's walk. Ventilation fans have been installed in the hatch door to help cool the inn. (No air conditioning!) Originally on hot days the staff would have opened the hatch to allow the hot air to escape. OK, I here someone coming so I need to get down from here or I may have some difficult explaining to do. Wouldn't be the first hotel to tell me to stop taking pictures.