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History of

The Knowles Company
Celebrating 125 Years

How we began

In the late 1770’s European settlers inhabited the shores of what is now Northeast Harbor. Those early residents were mostly comprised of farmers, fishermen, and sea captains. It was from this rugged stock that The Knowles Company founder, Belle Smallidge Knowles, descended.

The summer of 1898 was an eventful one for Belle Smallidge. Early in the season, a young couple wandered into the library looking for a summer rental. Belle offered to assist them and before she knew it she was working full time finding rental properties for other visitors to Northeast Harbor. Thus was launched Mount Desert Island’s oldest and most successful real estate and vacation rental firm, The Knowles Company.  For a complete historical timeline of the oldest woman founded brokerage in the United States click on the button below: