Calm and melodic, Reginald de Koven is named after the famous musician who frequented Bar Harbor in the early 1900s. Originally part of the master sitting room from 1903, crisp stripes and a square headboard create a simple, no-fuss atmosphere.
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Reginald de Koven
Reginald de Koven was a famous musician of his day and a long time visitor to Bar Harbor. De Koven was a composer, music critic, and founder of the Washington Symphony Orchestra.
De Koven and his wife visited Bar Harbor frequently after the turn of the century but never purchased their own cottage. They rented Cleftstone for the 1910 season, as Laura and Frank Ellis, the owners at that time were to travel abroad. During his time in Bar Harbor, de Koven would often give concerts at the Building of the Arts or other locations about town. Although not as well known as her husband, Mrs. de Koven was notable in her own right as a published writer of several books, including The Life and Letters of John Paul Jones.
During the years from 1907 through 1921, Frank Ellis and his wife Laura used the home infrequently, often leasing it to others. We do not know why they stayed away so often during those 14 years, except that for some years The Bar Harbor Record did report that they had traveled abroad. It was during this time that Laura Ellis divorced Frank and remarried. It is possible that turmoil in the first marriage and her new life in a second marriage helped to keep Laura away. Frank Ellis was apparently uninterested in Bar Harbor social life and it is not surprising that he did not use the summer home. Nonetheless, this period is a bit of a mystery as it was the longest absence from the property for Laura during the 47 years she was associated with Cleftstone.
During this period, the cottage was leased by several notables of the day besides the de Kovens, including Mrs. Robert Hall McCormick of Chicago and Colonel and Mrs. Clarence Wadsworth of Middletown, Connecticut.
During the season that the de Kovens were here at Cleftstone, there was an interesting turn of events. President Taft decided to visit Bar Harbor in the summer of 1910 and the Ellises, being loyal Taft supporters from Cincinnati, decided to come to Bar Harbor for this visit. As their cottage was leased to the de Kovens, the Ellises stayed at Clearfield in the Albert Meadow. The Ellises hosted a luncheon for President Taft and 100 guests at the Kebo Valley Club, and a dinner at the Jordan Pond house.
The de Koven room, along with the adjacent Blaine room, made up the former master bedroom sitting room that was added to the building in 1903.