Originally part of the ballroom, Cleftstone is architecturally stunning. The ceiling is high with dark beams, and a magnificent fireplace dominates one wall. Feel like staying in? A comfortable couch in front of the fire and a writing nook by the window invite a day of repose, but the faint sound of music from this room’s history may tempt you to take a twirl first.
King canopy bed
Large flat panel TV
The Cleftstone room takes the name of the manor as a whole, which was named after a large boulder with a cleft in it that rests along Eden Street by our home. In the early 1880s, the cottage was referred to as both the How Cottage and Cleftstone Cottage. It was owned by the How family, led by Boston real estate developer Charles T. How.
In 1883, How began selling individual lots for cottages in the area around Cleftstone. In order to sell these lots he constructed a road that connected Eden Street with Eagle Lake Road. He named this road Cleftstone Road after the cottage. At the time, the Bar Harbor Record stated that Cleftstone Road was one of the prettiest drives in town. The land along this hillside, across Eden Street, and all the way to the shore was largely free of trees and offered an excellent view of Frenchman Bay. The Cleftstone Road area become one of the best neighborhoods for mansion building in Bar Harbor, eventually including Mizzentop, Stanwood, Highbrook, and Blair Eyrie.
Starting out as a modest summer cottage of six bedrooms and 5,000 square feet, Cleftstone was typical of the early summer homes built during the end of the hotel era of Bar Harbor. By 1885, the mansion era was underway driven by Charles How, DeGrasse Fox, and other developers. Cleftstone was rapidly dwarfed by newer companions. In order to keep pace, owners Frank and Laura Ellis undertook expansions in 1894 and 1903 and Cleftstone grew to eight bedrooms and over 10,500 square feet.
The great fire of 1947 claimed the mansions along Eden Street and Cleftstone Road that were not previously torn down, with the exception of Cleftstone—the sole survivor on this side of Eden Street. Converted into an inn after the great fire, Cleftstone now has 17 guestrooms and 12,000 square feet of living space.
The Cleftstone room is located in the former ballroom, added in 1903. The ballroom was quite large with over 1,200 square feet of space. If you stand at the door to the Cleftstone room and turn to your right, you will see the original fabric wall coverings of the ballroom.