In conjunction with the centennial celebration for Acadia National Park, the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations (Trustees) held a luncheon at the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor on August 22 to celebrate a recent land transfer made by the Trustees to the United State of America for inclusion in Acadia National Park (ANP). The land transfer, a two-acre parcel located near Seawall and within the Park boundary, was finalized in March, 2016.
Invited guests included former Trustees, descendants of the founding Trustees and ANP officials. The land transfer realizes a mission envisioned by the Trustees well over one hundred years ago. According to the Trustees current president, Terry L. Carlisle, “The Trustees formed in 1901 with a mission to preserve land for public use. Their efforts were very successful and in August of 1916 they donated nearly 5,000 acres to the government. This land formed the core of what would become Acadia National Park. This presentation represents the sole remaining land holding of the Trustees. Today, the Trustees are the governing body for Woodlawn in Ellsworth. Woodlawn was a bequest to the Trustees from George Nixon Black, Jr. in 1928. In accordance with his wishes, the Trustees have maintained the 180-acre estate as a public park and his family home, known locally as the Black House, as an historic house.”
After the luncheon, a program was held at Saint Saviour’s Church in Bar Harbor replicating the 1916 ceremony when the Trustees officially donated their land holdings to the United States. Guests enjoyed hearing the original speeches, and the presentation of the framed deed to ANP superintendent, Kevin Schneider from the Trustees current president, Terry L. Carlisle.
On September 6th, the significant role played by the Trustees in the formation and establishment of the Park will be acknowledged with the dedication of an historical marker placed at Blue Hill Overlook on Cadillac Mountain. A replica of the marker will also be installed at Woodlawn. An updated history of the Trustees will be released later this year. The original pamphlet was published in 1939 and titled, The Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations: An Historical Sketch and a Record of the Holdings of the Trustees. The publication will be available in the Woodlawn Gift Shop and on line at woodlawnmusem.org.