March 23, 2018
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Fire destroys lobster museum at Bar Harbor Oceanarium

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

BAR HARBOR, Maine — An iconic museum building visited by thousands of Maine schoolchildren and tourists each year was destroyed Wednesday night by fire.

A Maine Lobster Museum building at the Oceanarium on Route 3 burned to the ground, according to Capt. John Lennon of the Bar Harbor Fire Department. The lobster hatchery and other buildings were not damaged.

No one was injured, he said.

The initial report of the fire came in about 6:30 p.m., Lennon said about 9:15 p.m. Wednesday. He did not know who reported the fire.

Firefighters from Trenton, Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor assisted in fighting the blaze.

Lennon said that a crew would remain at the oceanarium until late Thursday or early Friday.

A cause was not expected to be determined until Thursday.

The Oceanarium was founded in 1972 in Southwest Harbor by David Mills, a transplanted Episcopal priest from Ohio, according to previously published reports. The hatchery and the museum destroyed in the fire were opened in Bar Harbor in 1990.

“… Visitors can view a retired Lobster boat and other tools of the trade at the Maine Lobster Museum and enjoy the stories and company of local and retired lobstermen,” according a description of the museum on the website “They will learn about the lobster industry in Maine and about the lobster’s life outside of the kitchen.”

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