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Abbe Museum

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Address: 26 Mount Desert Street, Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, ME 04609
Phone Number: 12072883519
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Description:

The Abbe Museum shares the history and culture of Maine’s Native people,...

The Abbe Museum shares the history and culture of Maine’s Native people, collectively known as the Wabanaki (Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac, and Maliseet), and operates from two locations in Bar Harbor. At our downtown location, visitors find dynamic exhibitions and activities interspersed with spaces for quiet reflection. At the Abbe’s historic trailside museum at Sieur de Monts Spring, guests can experience early 20th century archaeological discoveries informed by 21st century science. The downtown Abbe Museum serves guests year-round, while the Sieur de Monts Spring location is open seasonally from mid-May to mid-October. Admission includes both locations. Located in an historic downtown district, we offer clean restrooms, several nearby restaurants and Bar Harbor attractions, and nearby motorcoach parking. Other amenities may be offered with notice. The History of the Abbe Museum: First opened to the public in 1928, the Abbe Museum is named for its founder, Dr. Robert Abbe, an eminent New York physician and beloved summer resident of Bar Harbor. During the 1920s, Dr. Abbe assembled a collection of early Native American artifacts found in the Frenchman Bay area which launched the museum at Sieur de Monts Spring. In 2001, we opened our second facility in a renovated historic landmark in downtown Bar Harbor. Today, the Abbe offers changing exhibitions and a robust programming schedule for all ages. Our museum shop is a destination for unique gifts and art and shipping is offered.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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    Very good
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Interesting History

The museum focuses on the Maine Indian tribes. It is very clean and well done. Lots of artifacts from the area. Displays are nicely exhibited. Interesting facts about the... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 4 weeks ago
p w
,
salem, wi
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206 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 205: English reviews
Level Contributor
27 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The downtown museum is a bright, beautiful modern complement to the older museum at Sieur de Monts Spring in Acadia National Park. The new museum reflects a great deal of effort to present history and culture of the local tribes, with a lesser emphasis on presentation of collected artifacts. The two museums taken together have much to offer; either by... More 

Helpful?
Thank peripateticjim
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
52 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This museum does what all small museums should do, and it does it well. As was intended by its founder, Dr. Robert Abbe, the Abbe Museum focuses its exhibitions on the Wabenaki so that a visitor can understand in depth the history and complexity of one particular group of Native Americans. The exhibits are well designed and the artifacts endlessly... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank ladyluke
Portland, Maine
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

This is one of the most interesting Native American museums I have been to. The focus is on a decolonized approach to telling the history of the Wabanaki. The museum features stories from modern Abenaki, Penobscot, Micmac, Maliseet, and Passamaquoddy as well as some of their history and art.

Helpful?
1 Thank xtremesr31
danvers
Level Contributor
42 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This museum should be considered one of the top museums in the country if it isn't already. This museum is all about the history of the Indian tribes who had settled in parts of Maine and New Brunswick. The artifacts and displays in the museum are spectacular. The handmade wooden baskets, the birch bark canoe, the handmade deer skin clothing... More 

Helpful?
Thank speed40
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This is a great stop in downtown Bar Harbor. It is small,but very informative. I was fighting back tears hearing and seeing the artifacts of a once beautiful, creative, peaceful people who lived on Mt Desert Island, the Abenaki (people of the rising sun). When I heard numbers of the northeastern Native Americans decimated by diseases like small pox, typhus,... More 

Helpful?
Thank Susan W
salem, wi
Level Contributor
44 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The museum focuses on the Maine Indian tribes. It is very clean and well done. Lots of artifacts from the area. Displays are nicely exhibited. Interesting facts about the Wabanaki history and culture. Seems they are known for their artistic basket making. Very colorful. Also includes information about the existing tribes currently in the area. I would suggest going, especially... More 

Helpful?
Thank p w
Mattituck, New York
Level Contributor
39 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 weeks ago

It was a profound experience for my husband and me--very different from most natural history or ethnic museums. We loved reading about the four tribes and their histories, their crafts, their current-day issues, and all the things no one bothers to find out about Native Americans. Hearing their voices, seeing their pictures, being surrounded by things they made and artifacts... More 

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Thank Nancy19067
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level Contributor
102 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2016 via mobile

There are two museums that make up the Abbe. One is right in Bar Harbor across from Village Green. There are few artifacts there. That museum is dedicated to the modern day Wabanaki. We were underwhelmed and not interested in reading all the text in each display. You have to drive to the other museum at Sieur de Monts Spring.... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank friendofmitzi
Level Contributor
31 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2016 via mobile

While in Bar Harbor, for a little while, forget the tacky over priced stores, the crowded sidewalks and over priced, mediocre restaurants and spend a hour or so here. Learn about the people that had been here for hundreds of years before we "discovered America".

Helpful?
Thank geofarm
Bangor, Maine
Level Contributor
169 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2016

I had the opportunity to present at a program sponsored by the Bar Harbor Chamber at the Abbe. During my breaks I was fortunate enough to walk through the museum. I was fascinated by the photographs and artifacts about Bar Harbor and its native peoples. I will return with my teens in a week Thank you for the eye opener.

Helpful?
Thank Lee S

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