The Queen of the Sea

PUBLISHED January 25, 2023 | Written By Emily Cough | Edited by BHHS Staff
Photograph of two women and a small girl posing in their Queen of the Sea costumes.

Welcome to our very first “Way Back Wednesday”! Each week we’ll showcase an interesting tidbit from Bar Harbor’s history, ranging from “find its,” pieces of our collection, trivia, or fascinating stories. This week we want to focus on “Queen of the Sea”!

In 1917, the cast and crew of “Queen of the Sea” spent two months filming on Mount Desert Island. Starring Australian actress Annette Kellerman as Merilla, the Queen of the Sea, the story follows Merilla on a quest to trade in her fins for human legs. Along the way, she saves four human lives, as per the prophecy of her quest, saves a captured princess, and finds true love with a prince.

Besides the fact that this movie was filmed on our island, the interesting bit is that it’s a lost movie! Despite surviving stills, advertisements, and postcards, not a single reel from the movie can be found!

It’s a shame we’re unable to see the film and to spot all the places we know and love so much on this island. But, the mystery of it all makes it quite exciting–maybe one day someone can recover it and we can see just how beautiful our island looks on the silver screen!

Can you spot any familiar places in any of these stills? Do you have a story about the “Queen of the Sea”? Perhaps you knew or heard of a family member who was there during filming! Let us know!

Join us next week to go back to yesteryear again! See you then!

Check out more photos here: