Acadia National Park on Maine’s Mount Desert Island

Michael Bushnell
Publisher


Acadia National Park was originally recognized on July 8, 1916, as Sieur de Monts National Monument, then as Lafayette National Park on February 26, 1919. Both names pay homage to the French, with the first noting the first French settlement in 1613 of the Mt. Desert Island region currently encompassed in the park’s boundaries and the second, honoring French General the Marquis de Lafayette for his influential participation in the American Revolution.


Following the 1919 designation, improvements began to be made within the park, including a scenic motorway named Jordan Pond Road in 1927. During that same period, wealthy financier John D. Rockefeller Jr. contracted with landscape architect Beatrix Farrand to construct a network of improved carriage roads throughout the new park.


The network of roughly 57 miles of roadways included two gate houses, 17 concrete and stone causeways (16 financed by Rockefeller) and a series of huge granite stones along the side of the roadways acting as guardrails nicknamed “Rockefeller’s Teeth,” given the philanthropist’s heavy involvement in the park’s development.


The crushed stone roadways are open almost year round but close during the early spring months to avoid damage to the gravel surface. The view on the front of this postcard shows one of the 16 stone-arch bridges in the park financed by Rockefeller.


On January 19, 1929, the 49,000-acre park was designated as Acadia National Park by Congress following the addition of the Schoodic Peninsula to the park. The Cadillac Mountain Summit Road, begun in 1925, was completed in 1931. Acadia was the first National Park located east of the Mississippi River and in 2020, the park recorded roughly 2.6 million visitors.


This linen era C.T. Art Colortone postcard, published by the Curt Teich company of Chicago, Ill., shows the viaduct over Otter Creek and the top of Champlain Mountain, Acadia National Park, Mt. Desert Island, Maine.


The card was mailed on August 2, 1946, to Mr. & Mrs. Jay Catanach, Saranac Inn, Saranac Lake, NY. The rather interesting personal message reads, “This is a view of one of our mountains. Our vacation has been very restful and we are both feeling very well and fit. Return home Sept. 6. Various members of the family have been here and some have not been lovely. Remember us to Mr. Catanach, Ever your friend, Elis M. Reeve, S.W. Harbor, Maine.”

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