East of Eden, an eight-bedroom, 15,000-square-foot Bar Harbor mansion that is on the National Register of Historic Places, is going on the auction block.

The 12-bath waterfront house that sits on nearly 9 acres of land fronting Frenchman Bay has been on the market for about two years, initially at $15.5 million and more recently at $12.5 million. Built in a Mediterranean style in 1909, the mansion features about 1,100 feet of water frontage with a deep water dock and is located off Eden Street, north of downtown Bar Harbor.

A hallway in East of Eden, a Bar Harbor mansion headed toward auction next week. Courtesy Platinum Luxury Auctions

The property harkens back to the glory days of Bar Harbor’s Millionaire’s Row – mansions that dotted the coastline until a fire destroyed many of them in 1947.

Putting East of Eden up for auction will allow the family that owns the mansion an opportunity to help settle the estate of William Ruger Jr., who died nearly a year ago, the auctioneer handling the Sept. 7 auction said. The Ruger family owns Sturm, Ruger & Co., which manufactures Ruger guns. William Ruger Jr. lived in New Hampshire, where the company has a manufacturing facility.

“The family wanted to see some finality in terms of the sale of the property and settling that portion of the estate,” said Trayor Lesnock of Platinum Luxury Auctions, which is based in Florida.

Lesnock declined to estimate what price the mansion might fetch. He said it probably was on the market for a long time because of its price and the unique nature of the property, noting that the pool of buyers interested in 1909 mansion in Maine would be a small, exclusive group.


One of the eight bedrooms in the East of Eden mansion. Courtesy Platinum Luxury Auctions

According to listings on Zillow, East of Eden was one of the most expensive properties on the market in Maine before going to auction.

Potential buyers will have to register for the auction with a deposit of $250,000, which will be refunded to those who don’t submit the high bid, Lesnock said. People also can bid by phone, Lesnock said, but they will need to have someone with a power of attorney present at the on-site auction, which isn’t open to the public.

A minimum bid has not been established.

About two dozen people have toured the mansion in advance of the auction, Lesnock said, and there have been about five dozen inquiries about the property, including some from outside the U.S.

A dining room, replete with wall tapestries, in East of Eden. Courtesy Platinum Luxury Auctions

About five to seven bidders are expected, Lesnock said, and they will be given black and silver bidding paddles, with bidder numbers on them. Those who submit an opening bid before the formal bidding starts are eligible for a 10 percent discount if they end up as the winning bidder, he said.

The auction will be similar to what one would see at an art auction, he said, but there won’t be any “rat-a-tat-tat” auctioning like at a cattle auction.

“We don’t do a chatter, we try to make it easy to understand,” Lesnock said.

Lesnock’s company handles about 25 to 30 property auctions every year, he said. The average sales price on homes it auctions is about $5 million, he said, and the highest has been $17 million for a mansion in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, about a decade ago.

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