2016 will be the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of Acadia National Park. The actual founding event occurred on July 8, 1916, with an announcement by President Woodrow Wilson. But the groundwork had started just after the turn of the century with several key personalities. John D. Rockefeller Jr., son of the oil baron, donated 10,000 acres and financed, designed and directed the system of carriage roads we all enjoy. Charles W. Eliot, the Harvard president, established the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations, an organization with a Maine state charter to hold and protect property for the public benefit. It was the handing over of this gift to our nation which marked the beginning of Acadia National Park. Acadia was the first national park established in this way; caring, public spirited landowners, their arms gently twisted by passionate neighbors, donated their precious property for the common good.
Perhaps first among equals, George B. Dorr, now known as the “father of Acadia,” led the effort to gain federal protection, worked tirelessly to secure additional tracts of land for the park, and served for 25 years as the park’s first superintendent.
A continuing modest commitment of federal funds, an investment multiplied many times over in benefit to the the local economy, keeps Acadia National Park one of the jewels of the East Coast. In 1986 Friends of Acadia was founded, adding 3,770 members to help with park projects, both as boots on the ground and financial contributors.
Expect your 2016 visit to be marked by celebration events and perhaps, more than the usual demand for services. Check the events calendar here, and check our lodgings calendar to the right. Find out more about our accommodations here.