Bar Harbor

Welcome to The First Coast’s Bar Harbor Exhibit!

The First Coast’s mission is to document and share stories of Maine residents through audio archives and multimedia exhibits. The exhibit you see here features interviews by me, Galen, and by College of the Atlantic students and graduates. In those interviews, we aimed to document the sentiments and feelings of Bar Harbor residents. The interviews span years of immense change in this very popular little town and these stories and insights reflect that.

I think Kaitlyn Mullen says it best: “We are definitely a fishing island… We are also a tourism island. It takes both to make the population on this island viable year-round.” More than any other town on Maine’s coast, Bar Harbor straddles these identities. It is a cruise ship destination, a tourist attraction, a stop along the way to Acadia National Park, a working waterfront, and a multi-use harbor. These identities, while sometimes at odds, make this place what it is. The interviews featured here are with year-round residents of Bar Harbor. The people who make a living on the waterfront, who rely on a busy summer season, who lament the changes happening to our climate and our communities, and who hold all of Bar Harbor’s multiple identities close.

I hope this exhibit provides a glimpse into what makes this town so special, beyond (but not excluding) the draw of the tourist attractions. This project is for everyone: for those that are visiting and those whose ancestors consider this place home. Wherever you come from, however long you are here, this exhibit is for you.

— Galen Koch, Founder and Lead Producer of The First Coast

This exhibit features voices from The First Coast archives, recorded in 2019, and from interviews conducted by Camden Hunt, Tiegan Paulson, and Katie Culp in 2022 and 2023. The audio was edited and produced by Camden Hunt and Galen Koch. Photographs by Greta Rybus.

Listen to the Story
Chapter Intro
Listen to the story: