Rent a Cottage in Midcoast Maine’s
What Bayside offers today are glorious morning walks along the shore roads of Bayside. The natural world around you is pristine, the bird life is plentiful, loons swimming within easy view, occasional seals looking for breakfast, the scent of flowers in bloom, incredible sunsets and sunrises, and the living history of this 1800’s community reminding you of how life was over 100 years ago.
Come take a summer yoga class or sailing lessons, golf, kayak, read, scour for beach glass, shoot a few baskets, swing on the swing set, play monopoly, sleep, rest and restore.
Bayside was founded in 1849 by the Methodist Episcopal Church in Maine. The first purchase of land was only 25 acres. The intent of the church was to have a summer recreational area where they could gather once a year for worship and spend time socially in this beautiful area of Penobscot Bay. Annually for 25 years after the original purchase, these pioneer churchmen and farmers pitched their tents under the oaks and birches they had acquired and enthusiastically worshipped God with sermons, songs and old fashioned religious fervor.
As years passed, the tents first occupied by the worshipers gave way to wooden cottages built of hemlock and native pine. The first of these cottages was built in 1869. In 1875, the complexion of the community changed greatly by the construction of a hotel called the Wesleyan Grove House. This major project launched the campground on its fate as a summer resort in addition to its religious mission.
As more acreage was purchased, building lots were being sold at prices from $5.00 to $15.00. By the end of 1879, 40 cottages had been built and many more were to come. Ultimately, over 300 cottages were built and most of them are still here today!
By the 1880s, Bayside was in full swing as a summer resort. Many steam ships would come from as far away as Boston. One report mentions as many as seven steamers coming to the landing dock (still here today) in a single day. The report goes on to say that 250 Hampden belles and their beaux came down Tuesday on the steamer “Clifford” Bayside was the place to be!
In the 1890’s more cottages had been constructed and several retail shops were also developed to handle the needs of hundreds of visitors. This was the era of clam bakes, picnics, hay rides, firemen’s musters, band concerts and excursions. The first hotel had burned down but a new and larger one was constructed. Even a bowling alley was constructed (which is one of our rentals) along with parks, ball field, tennis courts, etc.
In 1916, one of the wealthy property owners, constructed a 9 hole golf course and country club. This club, the Northport Golf Club, is still in existence today with many Bayside residents and renters enjoying this facility. The course is public and tee times are not difficult to obtain.
The glory of the late 1800’s is no longer present in Bayside, however, the character of that old community still lies in the architecture and the people who come here year after year. Many cottages have been owned by the same families for generations and there is a strong community involvement by those owners to keep Bayside as a place “preserved in time”.
Today there are no commercial activities in Bayside, other than a small real estate office and a few resident artists. The closest store is a mile away. The golf course is still active, and a yacht club is present offering sailing lessons to children and an occasional adult. There are four lovely parks, one of them with basketball court and playground and a large dock for swimming and fishing. The rocky shore provides opportunities for beach combing, swimming, or launching your kayak. Many sailboats are moored on the Bay offering a beautiful backdrop to the island in the distant and Blue Hill mountain in the horizon. On real clear days, the mountains of Acadia are the distant shadows.