Harbor House History

In 1964, a small group of people met in the tiny fishing and boat-building village of Southwest Harbor to discuss a big idea: How to create a youth program for the towns of Southwest Harbor and Tremont. What was needed, they believed, was a community center where kids could come to hang out, play games and interact in a safe environment. It was not an overnight success. There was no building available. There was no money. There were no volunteers. And, there were two towns with different agendas. Yet, there was a burning desire to do “something for the kids.”

After a few false starts, things began to percolate. Funding was raised by knocking on doors, sending letters to summer residents and generating a 90% response. Housewives, lobstermen, students, digging deep into shallow pockets, came up with small amounts. Then in 1965 an anonymous contribution arrived from a person of great vision and the impossible became a reality; a building and year-round programs.

As the need for more and varied programs and services has grown over the past 58 years, so too has Harbor House. Today, Harbor House is a vibrant and varied community house whose purpose is to serve young, old and in-between with our various programs and events.

Currently, the Harbor House complex includes two buildings — one on Main Street and our  facility on Herrick Road that houses the Children’s Center and the Health and Fitness center.

Our Mission:

To provide a diversity of services which conserve and enrich the quality of life for all on Mount Desert Island.