To the Editor:
This coming Monday is the 75th anniversary of an event appreciated by Mount Desert Island residents who routinely make use of a particularly historic Bar Harbor property at Compass Harbor.
Purchased in 1868 on south Main Street, the landscape that became Old Farm served the Dorr family well until it was gifted to the federal government. Superintendent George B. Dorr finalized lengthy negotiations on Nov. 7, 1941, opening “the heart of the park” to island residents and park visitors.
It is our good fortune that the Somes Pond Center mobilized donors for a cultural landscape inventory and assessment of the 58-acre site that was completed this summer. Landscape architect Ericka Duym undertook this formidable challenge, producing a fulsome 144-page report aided by the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation’s Margie Coffin Brown, well known for her highly-regarded 2006 OCLP study “Pathmakers.”
Acadia National Park Chief of Resource Management Rebecca Cole-Will and other park staff worked with Friends of Acadia and the Somes Pond Center in providing oversight. Acknowledgements are made in this study to the “many professionals, community members and volunteers who contributed their time and expertise in all phases of this project.”
The “Cultural Landscape Inventory and Assessment for Oldfarm” is yet another impressive product of the Acadia Centennial, one that requires careful public scrutiny. Its narrative and scores of illustrations, drawings and charts support an array of future management strategies aligned with the mission and policies of the National Park Service. Given my familiarity with the “Father of the Park,” this long overdue study carries the Dorr legacy into the next century of Acadia National Park.
Ronald H. Epp