Reverie Cove

Reverie Cove has both architectural and social significance on Mount Desert Island and was entered onto the National Register of Historic Places on February 19, 1982 [1]—and again on July 22, 2009 as a part of the Harbor Lane-Eden Street Historic District nomination [2]. Its architectural significance extends from its survival as one of Fred Savage’s (a local architect with hundreds of projects on Mount Desert Island) summer cottages; and, its social significance from the original owner’s (Dr. John Jones) family relations [3].

Fred Savage was a Mount Desert Island native who lived and worked in the area for most of his life [4] and completed hundreds of projects on the island [5]. Savage is important to the evolution of Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island architecture because of his role in “defining” the cottage era on the island [6].  While shingle style architecture is often associated with Savage’s fame, he also had many projects expressing the colonial revival architecture seen in Reverie Cove [7]. Savage’s work on Reverie Cove is thought to be both his first major summer cottage project [8] and some of the best overall summer-cottage work (especially using the colonial revival style) [9].

14  - Reverie 2

The extended family of Reverie Cove’s original owner gives the cottage an unusual link to a small part of our nation’s social history. Dr. Jones was an internationally known agriculturalist [10], but his daughter Martina’s marriage to the Marchese Giuseppe Lanza d’Aneta of Italy is believed to be one of many marriages at a time when American women married foreign high-society members in business-type arrangements [11]. Though the marriage’s motives are unknown, it was revealed in Mrs. Jones’ will that she paid $100,000 (approximately equivalent to $2.4 million today [12]) to marry the marchese [13].

By Marisa Higgins


[1] National Register of Historic Places. Reverie Cove, Bar Harbor, Maine. National Register #82000743.

[2] National Register of Historic Places. Harbor Lane – Eden Street Historic District, Bar Harbor, Maine. National Register #09000550.

[3] Register #82000743.

[4] Register #82000743; “Architectural Drawing & Early Sketches of Fred L. Savage: Drawings from the Gerrish Collections”. Mount Desert Island Historical Society. accessed October 31, 2015.; Roths, Jaylene B. “Fred Savage, The Cottage Builder.” The History Journal of the Mount Desert Island Historical Society II (1999): 38-53.

[5] Bryan, John M. “The Breakwater Cottage.” Maine Cottages: Fred L. Savage and the Architecture of Mount Desert. New York: Princeton Architectural Press: 2007 (202).

[6] Roths 1999; Edgecomb, Misty. “Savage beauty; Northeast Harbor native was MDI’s most prolific architect.” Bangor Daily News. April 16, 2002.

[7] Roths 1999; Register #09000550.

[8] Edgecomb 2002.

[9] Register #09000550.

[10] Register #82000743.

[11] Register #82000743; Hutto, Richard Jay. “Crowned Women.” American accessed November 13, 2015.

[12] Bureau of Labor Statistics. “CPI Inflation Calculator.” accessed December 20, 2015.

[13] The New York Times. “$100,000 to Marry Marquise: Disclosed by Will of Mother of Marchesa Lanza d’Aneta.” Oct. 10, 1913.

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