Federal control



To the Editor:

A little over a hundred years ago, the rich and powerful decided to build a “country club” on the eastern shore of Otter Creek Harbor. It was located on the “Otter Nest” so called, high on Otter Point overlooking the daily activities of the fishermen on both the east side and the west side of the creek, which was by then starting to be referred to as Otter Cove.

It appears that this changing of the name from Otter Creek to Otter Cove was part of a deliberate attempt to separate and distinguish the body of water and namesake from the village on its shores that extends into the foothills to the westward.

At that time, the harbor was still a hub of activity with as few as 20 or so families working the waterfront on the most southeast corner of Mount Desert Island, closest to the rich fishing grounds of the Atlantic Ocean.

These rusticators, as they were called, had visions of grandeur and were incorporated in 1912 as the “Country Club of Mount Desert and Bar Harbor.” They held great activities including tennis, dancing etc. They built a large pier extending into the harbor and encouraged small boats and launches from larger yachts which could be anchored outside to the south of the outer bar. One can just imagine the turmoil between this activity and the local fishermen with just one small channel through the outer bar.

By 1913, my great-great-grandfather John Smith was no longer standing in the way of these peoples’ progress. He suspiciously died eight days after the defeat of a bill in the Maine legislature that would have stopped the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations from acquiring more local land by revoking its tax-exempt status.

State of Maine Congressional bill on Feb. 13, 1913.

The father of Acadia National Park, George B. Dorr, was credited with stopping the bill.

This infestation that is federal control of local land is still growing today with an attitude that the park is greater than God.

The recent addition of land at Schoodic is another example. Most of the people that live there don’t want the park there. Neither do the people in the Millinocket area want a national monument there.

Time to write to your congressmen.

Steve Smith

Otter Creek

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