St. Edward’s Convent

The Bar Harbor Historical Society is currently located in the former St. Edward’s Convent of the Holy Redeemer Catholic Church [1]. This convent was entered onto the National Register of Historic Places on October 8, 1998 for its significance as a distinct example of a local architect’s accomplishments and because it was formerly part of a religious institution and exhibits the influence of Bar Harbor’s summer residents during the resort era [2].

The former convent is a Jacobethan Revival structure and was designed by the local architect Milton Stratton [3]. Stratton was born in Hancock, Maine [4] and worked on many projects on Mount Desert Island during the early 1900s. He had a firm with Fred Savage for several years [5], and Stratton was the sole architect behind several local projects which included the Y.W.C.A (1912) and the Bar Harbor Medical and Surgical Hospital (1898) [6].

Money for the convent’s construction came from General Edward de Veau Morrell and his wife Mrs. Louise (Drexell Morrell), summer residents who came to the area from Philadelphia [7]. Beyond the General’s military and congressional service, Mrs. Morrell is also known as the sister of Anthony J. Drexel (founder of the Drexel University [8]) and of St. Katherine Drexel (who was canonized by Rome in 2000) [9].

By Marisa Higgins


[1] National Register of Historic Places. St. Edward’s Convent (Former), Bar Harbor, Maine. National Register #98001237; “About: Building History.” Bar Harbor Historical Society. Accessed November 15, 2015.

[2] Register #98001237.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] “Cultural History Project: Schools of Mount Desert Island.” Mount Desert Island Historical Society. Last updated July 29, 2013.; Maine Historical Society. “St. Ignatious Church: Northeast Harbor.” Maine Memory Network. Accessed November 12, 2015.

[6] Shettleworth, Earle G. Jr. Postcard History Series: Bar Harbor. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2001. 47.; “Village Hospital: The Edifice Where Eden’s Sick Will Be Cared For.” Har Harbor Record. December 28, 1989.

[7] Register #98001237.

[8] Ibid.

[9] “About: Building History.”

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