Moosehead Lake, Me.  Flying at Mt Kineo

The New Mount Kineo House 
at Moosehead Lake, 
Kineo, Maine

Third in the trio of grand New England hotels run by the Ricker Hotel Company was The New Mount Kineo House, built in 1884, and nestled in the rugged highlands of Maine on the shores of the mighty Moosehead Lake.  Following the purchase of the hotel by the Maine Central Railroad in 1911, the Hiram Ricker Hotel Company was engaged to operate the hotel.  It was at this time that the hotel was greatly enlarged and improved.

Early View of Mt. Kineo and
the tavern built ca. 1845.
(Carte de Visite, ca. 1850)

"The first effort to establish a summer resort at Mt. Kineo was in the early [eighteen] forties.  Previous to this it had been a common custom to make this a camping-ground for hunters and fishermen of those days.  In 1844 or '45 a tavern was built here, the remaining half of the original plan being completed in 1852 to '55.  The house was a characteristic old- fashioned, two-and-a-half-story house, facing the lake, with three sides surrounded by a narrow piazza and with dormer windows."
(Pamphlet, Ricker Hotel Company, 1912)


First Mt. Kineo House,
built  by Capt. Joshua Fogg in 1848,
burned in 1868.
(Ricker Hotel Company, 1912)

Second Mt. Kineo House,
opened in 1871 under the management
of Mr. Orrin Dennen..
(Ricker Hotel Company, 1912)

Mt. Kineo House,
expanded and improved in the
Spring of 1882, destroyed by fire
October 29, 1882

(Carte de Visite, ca. 1882)

Third Mt. Kineo House,
opened 1884

(Carte de Visite, ca. 1885)

Floor Plans
Mount Kineo House

(Mount Kineo House, 1889)
Office Floor
First & Second Chamber Floors
Third, Fourth, Fifth & Sixth Floors

Waterfront at
Kineo House, ca. 1906

(Postcard, postmarked 1906)


New Mount Kineo House, ca. 1910
(Postcard, postmarked January 1910)

"The Mount Kineo House stands on the border of the lake just south of the mountain, a site which commands an unequalled view of the lake for nearly twenty miles, and of the surrounding forests and moutains in all directions."
(Pamphlet, Mount Kineo House, 1889)

"This hotel is planned on an ample scale and believed to be second to none in construction, general arrangement and convenience, as well as in its provision for the security and comfort of its guests.   The dining room is 100 x 51 feet, seating four hundred people.  Particular attention has been paid to the sanitary arrangements and drainage.  The sleeping rooms are large, light, all provided with the best of mattresses and springs, and reached by broad stairways or steam elevator.  Every room commands an excellent view of lake and mountain scenery.  A piazza fifteen feet wide extends around the main house."
(Pamphlet, Mount Kineo House, 1889)

"Billiard hall, telegraph and post office in the house.  The location on a point extending into the lake insures freedom from mosquitos and other annoying insects.  The fact that the house is under the same management as for more than twenty years past, is, to our old patrons, a sufficient guaranty the the table and service generally will be of the the best."
(Pamphlet, Mount Kineo House,

"Probably no summer place in this country has more names of the second and third generation on its register each year than Kineo. Sons and grandsons come back to enjoy the life and traditions before them. The cool breezes from the forty mile stretch of old Moosehead Lake, with its four hundred miles of picturesque shore, bringing the purest air that blows, as the prevailing winds sweep for miles over an almost unbroken forest."
(The Hill-Top Magazine, July 5, 1914)

"This immense hostlery, with its recent eighty-room addition and other improvements, is now the largest inland water hotel in all America and can not be surpassed by any in point of accomodations.  The house is splendidly constructed throughout and has everything in its equipment for the comfort and safety of its guests.  Steam heat, electric and gas lighting, a hot and cold water system, electric call bells, elevators to all floors, and telephone, telegraph and daily mail service are among the important features of the house's equipment."
(Yours for Recreation, Kineo!, 1910)

"The variety of life that is offered those seeking vacation joys is perhaps the greatest attraction of this wonderful spot. From here radiate a thousand paths that lead to camping grounds about the bays of the shore, fishing holes that are unsurpassed, streams where dart the wily trout, trails that pass, through dense woods, or lead to the top of Mt. Kineo, Spencer or Squaw Mountains, drives and bridal paths along the lake's shore and through dell and glen -- and always there is the exhilarating scent of fir and balsam."
(The Hill-Top Magazine, July 5, 1914)

Mt Kineo and Kineo House Annex,
ca. 1910

(Postcard, postmarked June 24, 1910)

Fishermen at Mt. Kineo,
ca. 1910

(Get the Kineo Habit, 1910)

Archery at Mt. Kineo,
ca. 1912

(Ricker Hotel Company, 1912)

New Mount Kineo House, ca. 1912
Main Entrance

(Ricker Hotel Company, 1912)

New Mount Kineo House, ca. 1915

(Postcard, dated 1915)

"The New Mount Kineo House, of 1912, situated in this vast and beautiful region, was reconstructed during the winter of 1910-1911, and further additions have been made during the winter of 1911 and 1912.  In its new form, the prevailing type is distincly Colonial - tall Colonial pillars rising on the main facade to the second stories."
(Ricker Hotel Company, 1912)

"Kineo is the starting point for hundreds of people who put out for the canoe trips, the most famous of which is that along the Alleyash [sic], where for three weeks one can paddle with white or Indian guides by day over a continuous chain of streams and lakes, and at night sleep on their refreshing shores. And all over this Moosehead country one can see the wild life, the deer and moose which lure the hunters in the open season."
(The Hill-Top Magazine, July 5, 1914)

"The Mount Kineo, the Annex, and cottages have accomodations for about six hundred guests, and both houses are equipped with private bathrooms, steam heat, electricity, telegraph and long-distance telephone connection, amd modern requisites."
(Pamphlet, Poland Spring,

Dining Hall, New Mt. Kineo House
ca. 1915

(Yours for Recreation, Kineo!)

Spoon engraved "New Kineo House"
ca. 1911-1938

"Kineo's immense dining room, which easily accomodates over four hundred guests and whose cuisine and service are all that heart could wish, must also be reckoned among the chief attractions of the house.   All the sleeping rooms are large, airy and well lighted, and look out on charming stretches of lake and forest scenery.  Other innovations made possible by the recent enlargement of the house include new golf rooms, card rooms and parlors on the ground floor, as well as a new library, separate writing rooms for men and women, a playroom for children, music room, drawing room and other public apartments."
(Yours for Recreation, Kineo!, 1910)

"When the kitchen help packed lunches for the guides, they put real silverware in with them.  The guides usually returned the silverware after they had a full service for twelve."
(Kineo - Splendor and Silence, 1996)

Music Room at Mount Kineo
(Yours for Recreation, Kineo!)

Kine Base Ball Nine
Mount Kineo

(Cabinet Photograph)

Piazza, New Mt. Kineo House
ca. 1915


Piazza at Kineo House, ca. 1910

Eastern R. R. Ticket
Mt. Kineo House to Greenville

Fireplace at Mt. Kineo

"For a morning promenade the hotel piazza, fifteen feet wide and eight hundred feet long, offers ideal opportunity.  For games to be indulged in, there are tennis, croquet, quoits, tether ball, baseball, shuffleboard, and many kindred sports.  Tournaments in these games are frequently arranged, with handsome trophies for the skillful winners. Then there are bathing, bicycling, boating and canoeing, all of which are favorite Kineo passtimes, as well as excursion trips to Pebble Beach, the Cliff, Devil's Delight, Hatching Works, Moody Islands, Deer Head Farm and many other nearby places of interest."
(Yours for Recreation, Kineo!, 1910)

"The fascinating golf course, extending over a foothill of Mt. Kineo and along the glen by her precipitous side, is lengthened and greatly improved this year. The swamp spots are filled, and many of the greens, new. Already many devotees are daily on the links, tournaments will be frequent and culminate with the big annual handicap in August. Semi-weekly putting matches will be held on the beautiful lawn in front of the big hotel."

"Aside from social dancing, which is to be under the direction of Mr. Lionel Allyn, popular as an instructor in New York, the social life of the point will center in the beautiful clubhouse of the Moosehead Lake Yacht Club. The flag officers have planned the usual motor boat races, the annual regatta being scheduled for August 29th."
(The Hill-Top Magazine, July 5, 1914)

Already for the Start in Front of the
New Mount Kineo House,
ca. 1911

(Postcard, postmarked July 12, 1911)

Riding Party
New Mount Kineo House,
ca. 1912

(Postcard, postmarked October 12, 1912)

Motor Boat Races at the Yacht Club,
New Mount Kineo House,
ca. 1935

(Postcard, postmarked September 11, 1935)

The Boat Warf at Mt Kineo
(At Kineo)

"The Hotel Rates:  From July 15th to October 1st, transient, $4.00 per day and up.   To July 15, $3.00 per day and up.  After October 1st and up to the time the large house opens, $2.00 and $2.50 per day.  Floor plans, showing room locations, sent upon application."

"Board will be charged for all dogs brought by guests to Kineo; and because of frequent  complaints, it must be distinctly understood that no dogs will be allowed in any public room of the hotel."
(At Kineo, 1910)

Mount Kineo House and Harbor
ca. 1936

(Postcard, postmarked Enfield, ME,
May 16, 1936)

"The fishing still keeps up and the catches are beyond those of all recent years. A remarkable string, caught in the South Branch of the Penobscot by Mr. Lloyd E. Byard of Haverhill, Mass., in two hours, consisted of twenty-six speckled trout that totaled over thirty pounds. The prize fish of the week was a six-pound land-locked salmon, taken by Mr. B. H. Osborne of Lewiston, Me. So good is the fishing that a bellboy casting a line off the wharf, took a five-pound trout in a few minutes casting, and it was a square-tail, the fish most sought by the experts."
(The Hill-Top Magazine, July 15, 1916)

Mount Kineo House and Harbor
ca. 1924

(Postcard, postmarked Kineo, ME, Aug 6, 1924)

Same view - ca. 1960
Most of the buildings now gone

(Postcard, postmarked Greenville, ME,
Aug 26, 1961)

"An antitrust case in 1938 discontinued government subsidies for mail-carrying railroads that owned other businesses.   This forced the Maine Central to sell Kineo.  Louis Oakes, along with some other Greenville businessmen, agreed to purchase the entire property if the railroad demolished the large hotel.  Part way through demolition, fire destroyed the remains of the building.  Oakes planned to open a ski run and toboggan slide on Kineo...[but] the Second World War annulled these plans.  Oakes' son-in-law, C. Max Hilton, began redoing the annex in 1946.  Rennovation and construction continued until 1950, including remodelling all the cottages except one.  In 1950, the annex and cottages were reopened to the public in excellent condition, run by Louis Hilton, Oakes' grandson."
(Kineo - Splendor and Silence, 1996)

Mount Kineo House ca. 1930

Tennis Courts at
Mount Kineo House ca. 1950

(Postcard, postmarked Greenville, ME,
Aug 29, 1951)

Porch at Mount Kineo House
Annex ca. 1950

(Postcard, postmarked Greenville, ME,
Aug 29, 1951)

Cottages at Mt. Kineo

Annex at Mt. Kineo, ca. 1960
(Postcard, postmarked Rockwood, ME,
Aug 14, 1961)

After several changes of ownership beginning in 1966, and several aborted plans to renovate the property, restoration of the annex finally began in 1991.  The roof had already been removed when the backers withdrew funding, leaving the building's interior exposed to the elements for several years.  Despite an offer by the owners to give the annex and land to anyone willing to complete the restorations, the buildings continued to deteriorate until 1995, when demolition of the annex began.

All that remains today of the great resort is the scenic nine-hole golf course, and a smattering of old buildings -- several of the Kineo cottages remain as private residences.   The Dormitory, built in 1909, still stands near the golf course, and the old Oak Lodge, briefly renamed the Kineo House Inn, has been refurbished and is now being run for weekly rentals and as a bed and breakfast under its original name, The Oak Lodge.   

"The Oak Lodge is located on Kineo Island in the largest freshwater lake in
Maine. Moosehead Lake is located in central Maine about fifty miles from
the Bangor Airport. You first can see the lovely 40 mile long lake as you
drive into the quaint town of Greenville, Maine. A ferry service in Rockwood
Maine is the primary means to access the Island."
(The Oak Lodge on Kineo Island)

The Oak Lodge, operated as
Kineo House Inn

The 9th Hole and Dormitory
ca. 2000

The Oak Lodge, ca. 2002
(The Oak Lodge on Kineo Island)

Brian Harris