Bench to talk about island auto wars

BAR HARBOR — Raney Bench, director of the Seal Cove Auto Museum, will speak in Acadia Senior College’s Food for Thought program at Birch Bay Village on Friday, Sept. 23, at noon.

Bench will speak about the conflict regarding whether automobiles should be allowed on Mount Desert Island in the early 1900s.

Bench said, “Residents who wanted to allow ‘those blooming devil carts’ on the narrow and hilly roads of Mount Desert Island were in for a battle, often pitting them against wealthy summer residents who wanted to keep the island rustic and peaceful.”

Bench is curator of “Auto Wars: Then and Now,” the centennial exhibit currently on display at the museum. She also serves as vice president for the Mount Desert Island Historical Society, as president of Maine Archives and Museums and on the board of the National Association of Auto Museums. She lives in Southwest Harbor with her husband, two sons and two cats.

All Food for Thought events are open to the public. The lecture from noon to 1 p.m. is free. A hot buffet lunch for $11 is available at 11:30 a.m. Reservations are required for the lunch, the lecture or both, by noon on Thursday, Sept. 22. Contact the Acadia Senior College office at 288-9500 or at [email protected].


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