Sea Ledges – Manset, Maine

Posted by on Jun 21, 2014 in Architecture

Sea Ledges is located on the Shore Road in Manset, Maine on Mount Desert Island. Its views of Southwest Harbor, Somes Sound, and Acadia National Park are spectacular. With kind permission from the owners, I made the panorama below on the summer solstice at 5:23 AM. I used a Canon 5D3 and a Canon 45mm f/2.8 tilt/shift lens shooting 1/125 sec, f/5.6 at ISO 100. The pano is a combination of 16 images stitched together to capture a view of approximately 270°.

A hundred years ago a hotel called The Stanley House stood on this site as described on pages 192-193 in the 1938 book Traditions and Records of Southwest Harbor and Somesville, Mount Desert Island, Maine by Mrs. Seth S. Thornton:

"The Spahr house, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Boyd Lee Spahr of Haverford, Pa., and built for them by R. M. Norwood in 1932, is on a site where formerly two summer hotels have stood, both being destroyed by fire. The first one was built by Sans Stanley about 1875 and was very popular as a summer hotel and patronized by many Harvard professors. It was burned July 10, 1884. Mr. Stanley built another and larger hotel on the same site and this was burned March 18, 1927. A few years later the land was sold to Mr. Spahr, who also owns one of the small cottages nearby which is used as a guest house."

The black & white photos below are courtesy of the Southwest Harbor Public Library. The first is of the original Stanley House with a Mansard roof. The second photo shows it burning in 1884. The last two are of the rebuilt structure which burned in 1927. The color photos are of the property as it looks today. One of the current owners told me:

"I am one of three 4th generation of Spahrs to own the property. My great-grandfather Boyd built the house in 1932 and it has been passed down through the generations to my two brothers and me. The other two small cottages on the property are owned by my father's cousins."

When the Spahrs are not spending time at Sea Ledges themselves, they make it available for others to enjoy. Click here to learn about renting the house for a week in the summer. With seven bedrooms and five baths, it sleeps 14 and can accommodate almost any sized family. The rental also includes use of the deepwater dock with two moorings for your boats!

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