Donation sparks historical society improvements

MOUNT DESERT — Longtime summer resident and philanthropist Charles Butt has pledged $150,000 over a three-year period to fund major renovations and improvements to the Society’s Somesville Campus, located in the heart of the Somesville Historic District.

The campus, with its famous footbridge over Somes Brook, is one of the most photographed locations in Maine and occupies a central place in the historic village of Somesville. The funds will be used to install new roofs on the Selectman’s Building and the Somesville Museum Building, renovate the Heirloom Garden and provide new landscaping to improve the safety and beauty of the site. The gift also will help in creating new exhibits for the Selectman’s Building in 2015 and the Somesville Museum for the Acadia National Park centennial year of 2016. A repaved parking area and new signage will improve safety and accessibility for visitors.

In providing the gift, Butt challenged the historical society to extend its efforts in historic preservation throughout Mount Desert Island. In response, the society has appointed architects Gerry Vasisko and Roc Caivano to lead a historical preservation working group. Comprised of people from throughout the region, the group will work to promote the preservation of the heritage of Mount Desert Island by increasing public awareness of the structures and places that have aesthetic, architectural, historic and cultural significance.

Mount Desert Island Historical Society Board President Bill Horner said, “Charles Butt’s forward-looking generosity has benefitted several island and area institutions. We are thrilled to be included in that number.”

The Mount Desert Island Historical Society keeps, discovers and celebrates the history of Mount Desert Island. Call Tim Garrity at 276-9323, email [email protected] or visit


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