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Fred C. Lynam

It was during the mid- to late 1800’s that Eden, as well as the rest of Mount Desert Island, were being visited by many wealthy folks from Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.  The “rusticators”, as they would eventually become known, would arrive to the Island by rail and ferry to live in their summer homes or stay with residents.  Although many rusticators/tourists did indeed board in local homes and financially boost and influence the local economy, the year-round residents still were somewhat suspicious of these people “from-away” due to the arrogant and the opulent ways in which they lived.

By the time Mr. Lynam was 25, he was operating “Lynam’s” hotel (one of Bar Harbor’s first hotel establishments).  Bar Harbor, in total, boasted over 15 operating hotels, one of those being the Rodick House, known as the largest hostelry in the northeast.  Although, the summer visitors would leave, Bar Harbor was still a bustling community year-round.  Approximately, 120 businesses operated including bakers, barbers, blacksmiths (no cars on the Island in those days), boat builders, coal dealers, meat and fish markets, plumbers, sawmills, lawyers, doctors, etc., etc.

As time went by, Bar Harbor grew and Mr. Lynam, being the entrepreneur he was, became interested in other business ventures.  As the opening paragraph states, Mr. Lynam was a man who had the amazing ability to see well into the future. He knew people would want to protect their assets. By the year 1884, he had organized the insurance company that today continues to bear his name.

During the early 1880’s, along with organizing the insurance company, Mr. Lynam came under the employ of George H. Grant (another man of extraordinary vision), who hired Mr. Lynam as a clerk in his exchange business eventually known as the Grant Lynam & Company (a small check cashing and bookkeeping business) and by January 1885, Mr. Lynam was made a junior partner. Later during the same year, an application was submitted for a bank charter.

On March 4, 1887, the Bar Harbor Banking and Trust Company was officially chartered. Misters Grant and Lynam wrote on the charter application, the main reason for forming the bank, were “to fulfill the need to secure a safe deposit for funds”. Mr. Lynam was treasurer for the Bank and then later became its president from 1939 until his death in 1942.

Although Mr. Lynam was very involved in the thriving community in which he lived, he also had time for personal ventures.  Mr. Lynam met and married a local girl from Lamoine, Hattie A. Hodgkins on May 11, 1885.  Mr. and Mrs. Lynam had a son, Frederick, who died as a young man. They had no other children.

Mr. Lynam continued to be very active in the goings-on in Bar Harbor.  In 1893, Mr. Lynam was elected president of Bar Harbor Water Company.  He held that office until his death, April 11, 1942.  Mr. Lynam was actively involved in forming the Village Improvement Association and held the office of treasurer for many years.  He was a director in the Bar Harbor Press Company, who published the Bar Harbor Record, which later became known as the Bar Harbor Times Publishing Company.

Mr. Lynam was treasurer of the Mount Desert Island Hospital, Board of Trustees.  He also held the title of director for many years of the Bar Harbor Branch, American Red Cross.  He was very involved in the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations; took an active role in forming The Clark Coal Company where he also served as president. Mr. Lynam served as president of the Maine Bankers Association from 1923 to 1924.  He was active in The Kebo Valley Club and Jesup Memorial Library.  As quoted from Mr. Lynam’s obituary published in the April 16, 1942 edition of The Bar Harbor Times, “It was Mr. Lynam’s keen vision and sound judgment, together with a fair and broad mind which made so many projects and institutions in which he was interested, successful.”

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