In celebration of the National Park Service Centennial in 2016, this exhibit showcases one object from every national park museum collection in Maine. We invite you to explore museum collections from Acadia National Park and St. Croix Island International Historic Site.
Inspired to protect the beauty and diversity of Mount Desert Island from encroaching development, a passionate group of local and summer residents waged a campaign to conserve this landscape for public use. With varied backgrounds but a common foresight, these artists, naturalists, philanthropists, and others encouraged individuals to donate tracts, purchase lands, and seek federal protection. They succeeded in establishing the first eastern park—Acadia—one of the few created almost entirely of land donated to the federal government.
Early park proponents included these members of the Seal Harbor Path Committee meeting at Jordan Pond in 1923. They are (from left) Joseph Allen, Walter H. Buell, Fred D. Weeks, Professor C.H. Grandgent, William S. Turner, Thomas A. Mcintire, and George B. Dorr, who is known as the “Father of Acadia” and became the first superintendent of the park.
Acadia National Park, ACAD 490
Copper, fleur-de-lis stopcock (7cm long) recovered from Saint Croix Island. Saint Croix Island is a small island located on the border of Maine and Canada. In 1604, French colonists formed the first attempted French settlement in their territory of “l’Acadie” and one of the earliest European settlements in North America. To sustain themselves during the journey and settlement, the colonists would have brought supplies from France. This copper fleur-de-lis stopcock, or spigot, would have been used to regulate the flow of liquids such as water or wine from a barrel. By turning the stopcock, the flow of liquid could either be started or stopped.While the settlement started out with seventy-six settlers including leader Pierre Dugua and explorer Samuel Champlain, during the harsh winter of 1604-1605 thirty-five members were lost and buried on the small island cemetery. Pierre Dugua then decided to move the colony off the island and founded the settlement of Port Royal in modern day Nova Scotia.During this 1604 voyage, Champlain charted the coast of Maine and named Mount Desert Island “l’ile des Monts Desert”, roughly translated as “island of the barren mountains.”
Saint Croix Island International Historic Site, SACR 203
Park museum staff from: Acadia National Park St. Croix Island International Historic Site.
National Park Service, Museum Management Program Staff: Amber Dumler, Stephen Damm, Ron Wilson, and Joan Bacharach