The Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations (Trustees) celebrated the significant role played by the Trustees in the formation and establishment of Acadia National Park on September 6, 2016 with the dedication of an historical marker at the Blue Hill Overlook on Cadillac Mountain.
According to the Trustees current president, Terry L. Carlisle, “One hundred years have passed since the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations donated the core lands that became Acadia National Park. The marker is the first public display within the Park that recognizes the land acquisition by the Trustees and honors their foresight and vision.” The marker was installed on a granite boulder from Halls Quarry by Freshwater Stone of Orland, Maine, who also placed the boulder at its site on the Blue Hill Overlook.
In 1901, forward-thinking citizens on Mount Desert Island formed the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations to acquire lands for free public use. Empowered by the Maine Legislature in 1903 to own lands of “scenic beauty, historical significance, scientific study or sanitary value,” the Trustees acquired nearly 5,000 acres. In 1916, they donated their holdings to the United States, forming the core of what became Acadia National Park. The Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations continue to hold and maintain the Woodlawn estate, the Black House, as a public museum in Ellsworth. In 2016, they donated their remaining 2 acres, near Seawall and within the Park boundary, to the United States for inclusion in Acadia National Park. A replica of the marker will also be installed at Woodlawn in Ellsworth.
Other efforts the Trustees have made to celebrate Acadia National Park’s birthday include a land transfer of a two-acre parcel located near Seawall and within the Park boundary, completed in March, 2016. The Trustees also plan to release an updated version of an original pamphlet published in 1939 and titled, The Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations: An Historical Sketch and a Record of the Holdings of the Trustees during the 2016 centennial celebration of ANP. The publication will be available later this year in the Woodlawn Gift Shop and on line at woodlawnmusem.org.