Reflecting on the history of Acadia National Park for its Centennial

By Jack Hilton
From Fox 22 WFVX Bangor
May 13, 2016

BAR HARBOR – All over the world people are celebrating the Centennial Anniversary of Acadia National Park, remembering how the landmark became essential to the state of Maine.

Bar harbor is known for being a tourist destination, especially during the summer time,  but what makes it that much more unique is its relationship with a national park.

Acadia is celebrating its 100th birthday.

“The Centennial of Acadia National Park is a great opportunity to celebrate its past and inspire its future,” said President of Friends of Acadia, David MacDonald.

A relationship that has had its fair share of debates. What most people agree about is that the two rely on each other.

“We help them and they help us economically because in the summer time the businesses thrive because of the people coming to Acadia National Park,” said Debbie Dyer, director of the Bar Harbor Historical Society.

Acadia National Park came to be because of philanthropy.

“It was in 1916, a hundred years ago now, the deeds for part of Acadia was given to President Woodrow Wilson,” said MacDonald.  “Acadia sprang up from donations from individual families and private landowners here.

Community support has always been crucial.

“The park is underfunded from the federal government and that is where the community comes in it is a lot of local businesses and a lot of individuals,” said MacDonald.

Bar Harbor’s economy has become more intertwined with the park since the fire of 1947.

“It destroyed over 18,000 acres,” said Dyer. “8,000 were in Bar Harbor alone.”

“It was another example how the park and community bonded together to fight this fire and come together from this cataclysmic event,” said MacDonald.

“Look at the amount of people who are going to be coming here,” said Dyer. “Millions of them are coming to enjoy the beauty of this park.”

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