Jesup Memorial Library

02 - jesup 1The Jesup Memorial Library was entered onto the National Register of Historic Places on April 1, 1991 for its architectural and educational significance to Bar Harbor and the state of Maine. Included on the National Register as part of the Maine Public Libraries multiple property submission made in 1988 [1], the library was a gift to the town from Mrs. Maria DeWitt Jesup in memory of her late husband Morris Ketchum Jesup [2]. The library is a brick, colonial-revival building designed and built from 1910 –1911 by New York architects Delano & Aldrich and local contractor Chester A. Hodgkins [3]. As part of Maine’s multiple property submission, the Jesup Memorial Library exhibits the “local, state, and national history” of industrialism and humanitarianism that resulted in these establishments’ existence [4] and continued significance.

Maine libraries exhibit an array of architectural “diversity”[5], and the colonial-revival style used by Delano & Aldrich in the Jesup Memorial Library was popular throughout New England from 1880–1955 [6].  This library is thought to be “more highly embellished” with decorations, such as the “paneled walls” and “domed rotundas,”[7] in comparison to most of the other Maine public libraries.

Like most Maine public libraries, the Jesup Memorial Library owes its existence to the endowment and funding of wealthy patrons [8]. Its first benefactors, the Jesups, were summer residents who came to Bar Harbor from New York City [9]. Mr. Jesup worked in banking before retiring, and he involved himself in many humanitarian efforts in both New York and Bar Harbor [10]; according to the biography his wife commissioned for him, “Wherever he lived he had the social and moral welfare of the community at heart” [11]. Today, the Jesups have both a memorial path and plaque in Bar Harbor, and the Jesup Memorial Library continues to serve as an educational center for the area’s permanent and summer residents.

By Marisa Higgins


[1] National Register of Historic Places: Multiple Property Documentation Form. Maine Public Libraries, Maine. National Register #64500266.

[2] National Register of Historic Places. Jesup Memorial Library, Bar Harbor, Maine. National Register #91000323; “Bar Harbor’s New Library.” Boston Evening Transcript. August 30, 1911.,3042917&hl=en; “New Yorkers at Bar Harbor: Mrs. Morris K. Jesup Gives Town a Memorial Library.” The New York Times. July 31, 1911.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Register #64500266.

[5] Ibid.

[6] “Architectural Style Guide.” Historic New England. accessed September 29, 2015.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid; Register #91000323; Lenahan, D. P. “The Return of a Restored Beloved Memorial.” The Memorials of Acadia National Park. July 31, 2014.

[9] Brown, William Adams. Morris Ketchum Jesup: A Character Sketch. New York: Charles Scribers’s Sons, 1910.

[10] Waltz, Robert B. and David G. Engle. “Bar Harbor By the Sea.” Folklore: The Traditional Balled Index. accessed November 11, 2015.; Brown, 1910.

[11] Brown, 1910 (214).

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