Among those taking part in Tuesday’s dedication of a plaque on Cadillac Mountain commemorating the gift of land to the forerunner of Acadia National Park in 1916 by the Hancock County Trustees for Public Reservations (HCTPR) are, from left, state Sen. Brian Langley, HCTPR President Terry Carlisle, Acadia Superintendent Kevin Schneider and state Rep. Brian Hubbell. ISLANDER PHOTO BY DICK BROOM

Marker notes first Acadia land gift

ACADIA NAT’L PARK — A plaque commemorating a gift of land to the federal government 100 years ago to form the core of what would become Acadia National Park was dedicated Tuesday.

The plaque is affixed to a boulder at the Blue Hill overlook on Cadillac Mountain.

It honors the Hancock County Trustees for Public Reservations (HCTPR), which was formed in 1901 by residents of Mount Desert Island to acquire lands for free public use. In 1916, the trustees donated their holdings of nearly 5,000 acres on the island to help create Sieur de Monts National Monument, which three years later became Lafayette National Park, the forerunner of Acadia.

The plaque dedication was part of the park’s centennial celebration.

Acadia Superintendent Kevin Schneider said Cadillac Mountain and the other mountains of Acadia easily could have become covered with homes and hotels.

“Thanks to the vision of the [HCTPR] and some very concerned citizens more than 100 years ago, this is now protected as a wild place for all Americans and people from all over the world to enjoy,” he said.

State Sen. Brian Langley (R-Ellsworth), whose district includes Mount Desert Island, noted that in 1903, the creation of the HCTPR as a steward of lands worthy of protection was confirmed by a special act of the legislature.

“I believe that act gave the people of Maine, through their elected representatives, a voice in the preservation of these lands,” he said.

State Rep. Brian Hubbell (D-Bar Harbor), who represents much of Mount Desert Island, agreed that the legislature in 1903 played a “small but significant role” in the creation of the park.

“That role was simply to empower a group of concerned, dedicated citizens to realize a vision and then to convey that property ultimately to the United States of America.”

The HCTPR is still active. It owns and operates the Woodlawn Museum, Gardens and Park, commonly known as the Black House, in Ellsworth.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]
Dick Broom

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