Seal Cove Auto Museum, Antique Autos and Motorcycles from the Brass Era, Mount Desert Island, Maine
2016 Events
Did you know?
Arriving at the Bar Harbor wharf, rusticators found the place “alive with vehicles and tooters for the hotels, who swept them up in buckboards and whirled them at a gallop to their hotels.”
Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, Aug. 1886

Murder at the Museum: A Murder Mystery Picnic Dinner Sunday, August 7
6pm - 9pm

The Seal Cove Auto Museum will host a murder mystery picnic dinner on its grounds overlooking Seal Cove Pond and the mountains of Acadia, in partnership with the Jesup Memorial Library.

The picnic is inspired by Mount Desert Island's Rusticators of the early 1900s, those summer visitors who fled to the “rustic” island from their luxurious homes in cities such as Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, to escape the heat, crowds, and noise. One hundred years ago there was a bitter war of words between these summer rusticators and the island's year round residents over banning cars across the island, which, in the opinion of the Rusticators, were loud and dangerous and destroyed the peace. But what if this war over cars on MDI had become violent?

In its 3rd year, the Rusticator Picnic takes a turn toward the macabre when a murder is discovered! Guests will be transported back to the early 1900s, when these “Auto Wars” were in full swing and tempers were hot. It will be a classic whodunit, with a broad cast of characters - from a constable to the murderer to witnesses - acting out the story, written by a local murder mystery author. It is the task of the guests to unravel the mystery and identify the killer before dessert is served.

Guests are welcome to dress in period costume, and for those who want to be fully immersed in the story, character biographies will be made available in advance of the dinner.


  • a full family-style dinner
  • wine, beer, and the museum's signature Rusticator Rum Punch cocktail
  • short rides in the museum's antique automobiles
  • commemorative Rusticator Picnic wineglasses
  • prizes for those who determine the killer!