St. Saviour's Episcopal Church
An official history of St. Saviour’s Church, located on Mount Desert Street in Bar Harbor next to the Town Burying Ground, notes that “From the outset local people were attracted to Anglican worship which offered an alternative to the gloomy emphasis on sin and the emotionalism so prevalent in Maine during the late 1800s.”
This Episcopal church, which held its first services in 1878, was enlarged seven years later to house summer congregations of more than a thousand. It is named for the settlement of Saint Sauveur (“Holy Redeemer”) by four priests and about 45 other men on the western shore of Somes Sound in the summer of 1613. This was both the first French mission in what is now the United States, and the first attempt at a European settlement on Mount Desert Island. Unfortunately for the Frenchmen, within a few weeks an English expedition led by Captain Samuel Argall of Jamestown, Virginia, happened by and destroyed the colony, killing a few of the men and taking about a third of the others prisoner.
A special attraction for visitors to St. Saviour’s is its outstanding selection of more than thirty memorial stained glass windows dating from 1886, including the dozen that make up Maine’s largest collection of Tiffany windows.
FUN FACTS: The church parish hall served as a Navy barracks during both World War I and World War II. At St. Saviour’s on September 18, 1904, the Most Reverend Randall Davidson became the first Archbishop of Canterbury to celebrate the Eucharist on American soil.