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A Sense of Place

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park, MaineThe Abanaki tribe knew it as Pemetic, "the sloping land." Sixteen years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, French explorer Samuel Champlain dubbed it "Isles des Monts Desert," because of its treeless, granite mountain tops. The French and British struggled for ownership of Mount Desert Island for 150 years, until finally the American Revolutionary War decided the matter. Mount Desert Island would become one of the United States of America's most cherished places.

By the mid-1800s, summer "rusticators" were flocking to Mount Desert Island, attracted by the breathtaking scenes depicted in the paintings of such famed landscape artists as Thomas Cole and Frederick Church. These hearty rusticators were followed a decade later by many of America's most prominent families--the Rockefellers, Morgans, Fords, Vanderbilts, Carnegies, and Astors who built palatial "cottages" and forever transformed the Island by their presence.

It was through the efforts of such notable people that the character and beauty of Mount Desert Island has been preserved. The 35,000 acre Acadia National Park was created in 1919, an effort that was spearheaded in 1901 by the president of Harvard University, Charles W. Eliot, and directed over the next 43 years by George B. Dorr. The park occupies roughly half of Mount Desert Island and is the only National Park comprised entirely of privately donated lands. With 45 miles of carriage roads and 115 miles of designated hiking trails, the breath taking ocean vistas, pristine forests and granite ledges of Acadia National Park are a natural wonder that can be enjoyed by all.

To learn more about Acadia National Park, click here.