Wednesday, July 18, 2018

ABANDONED TRAILS THE BOOK

Finally our dream of putting out a book version of Abandoned Trails of Acadia National Park.  For a number of years we have been wanting to do this, and so far the libraries that have gotten a copy of it have had positive things to say about it.

ABANDONED TRAILS OF ACADIA NATIONAL PARK - THE BOOK

We felt there was two main reasons this book was needed, it is the only book that covers abandoned trails with maps to match up with the trails, and it is the only book that supplies GPS numbers for those who need them.  We fully realize that at least two other people are looking into doing books on abandoned trails in Acadia, I suspect they are looking at doing a more in depth history behind each abandoned trail, my feeling is that such a book is needed as one can not have enough information on these historic treasures.   It took the book  "The Acadia You Haven't Seen - Abandoned Trails and Forgotten Places," by Matthew Marchon.   to finally make me realize that we too could do this, put together a book of our own.  I highly reccommend his book and I kept a copy of it right next to me as I continue to do further research on other sites.  Unlike Matt's book, ours is not for sale, but copies are being made available to libraries for free, so stop by one of the libraries listed below and check it out.

Abandoned Trails Of Acadia National Park is available at the following libraries;

Jesup Memorial Library - Bar Harbor

Southwest Harbor Library - Southwest Harbor

Bangor Public Library - Bangor, Maine

Ellsworth Public Library - Ellsworth, Maine

Northeast Harbor Library - Northeast Harbor

More libraries to be added to the list soon...

Sunday, June 17, 2018

THE BUCKBOARD ROAD AND ITS INTERESTING PAST

It's not often that a road thought to be dead and lost to time rises from the ashes of the past to take on a second life, yet the old buckboard Road may of done just that.  The old dirt road has a shady past wrapped in intrigue, and a feud that climaxed in dynimite coming into play, and the shadows of its deep woods gave shelter to an armed bandit.  With a road so rich in history how is it that it became lost to time, as if it never exisited i9n the first place?  To find that answer we have to travel back in time and examine how the Buckboard came to be in the first place, and walk for a time in the footsteps of those who came before.
Green Mountain, today named Cadillac Mountain, stands at 1,532 feet above sea level, making it the second highest summit along the western shores of the Atlantic Ocean. a fact the did not go unnoticed by budding  entrepreneurs  who saw money to be made and set about to stake out their claims on the Mountain.  History gives us few clues as to the exact route the buckboard Road took as it made its way to the summit, we know it began off the Eagle Lake Road,  and passed over Great Pond Hill before making its way to the white Cap, before turning and rising upward toward the summit of Green Mountain, but it was not the first road that made its way up to the summit with its majestic views, a Government Survey Road was the first road to do that.
The Survey Road was built in 1853 and was a primitive road  at best, but did do its job of providing teams of horses to carry survey equipment and supplies up to the summit of the mountain.
Iron ring on one side of road the wire gate once locked to
In 1866 Daniel Webster Brewer built a hotel on the summit, on land he purchased from his father in 1853,  which early records first refer to as the Mountain House, but would later be named the Green Mountain Hotel.  Mr. Brewer also built the Buckboard Road, following the government survey road for a ways before seperating from it and following a more friendly route to the summit.
The Green Mountain Railroad Company was incorporated on November 23, 1882,  and on On January 22, 1883,   Frank Clergue aquired a 20 year lease for 200 acres along the mountain side.  For Clergue's part, he had to pay $100 the first year of the lease, and five cents for each person visiting the summit there after, to be paid in one sum every 12 months.  The rails stretched from the shore of Eagle lake to the summit, covering 1.2 miles in length, in almost a straight line, with two right curves along the route.  His original plan called for the tracks to begin in the village of bar Harbor, but the locals wanted no part of it, and for that reason and the costs involved, it was decided the tracks would begin along the shore of the lake.  In 1883 work began to clear brush and tree's to prepare the way for the rail bed, with workers working 12 hour shifts for $1.50 per day.  As quickly as ground could be cleared holes were drilled  six inches into the granite and iron spikes pounded into each hole to support the timbers which supported the rails.


Section of long cable that stretched across the road

wire cable bolted to granite ledge on other side of road
The train engine was ordered and it arrived at a wharf in the village of Bar Harbor.  A team of 14 horses were brought in to drag the train up West Street and than up along Bridge Street.  After reaching the corner of Bridge and Cottage Streets, it was decided more pulling power was required and two oxen were added to the 14 horses, and even than the train moved at less than a mile a day.

thick cable follows entire right hand side of dirt road
Once the train engine reached the shore of Eagle Lake, the water was still covered with ice and a channel had to be cut out and a barge used to carry the train engine across the lake to where the train terminal was being constructed.  From old photos it appears the train terminal was made up of at least three to four buildings,  one being a maintenance building and one building used to house the trains in when not in use.  Over time there was two engines and passenger cars along with maintenance cars.  Along side the train terminal was a wharf used by the  excursion steamer Wauwinet, which carried passengers  from one end of the lake to the other where the cog train waited to carry them up the mountain side.
 The steam boat, just like the train engine, had to be dragged from the wharf in Bar Harbor out to the Lake, and moving it proved even more laborious and time consuming than the train engine had been, with the boat weighing some 11.5 tons.  A round trip ticket on the cog train cost $2.50 with the trip from the lakes shore to the summit taking roughly half an hour.  For its first five years the Green Mountain Railroad Company pretty much had no competition, mainly because the condition of the Buckboard Road was in such poor shape.

All that changed in 1887 when a new company, the Green Mountain carriage Road Company was formed.  Their goal, to compete with the train company in a head to head battle for customers.   They decided a new improved road had to be constructed to the summit and the new road was built in just three weeks.  The lower section was built just east of the old Buckboard road, with the upper section pretty much following the route the old buckboard Road had followed.  This new improved road was two lanes wide so carriages could easily pass one another.  The new business was met with anger from the owners of the railroad company who placed a gate across the Buckboard Road, charging anyone passing through the gate a fee, but this lasted for only a day, when the Carriage Company workers arrived and tore down the gate.  The two companies continued to verbally go at it until one night workers from the railroad company went out under the cover of darkness and placed sticks of dynamite along the Buckboard Road and blew it up.  But not long after the Buckboard Road was once again open for business once repairs were finished.

By 1890 business had gotten so bad for the railroad company it lowered its rates from $2.50 to $1.00 for a round trip ticket, which resulted to an increase in passengers but much lower profits, and with losses piling up from the years leading up to that point, the company finally went bankrupt.
J.C. Manchester, a local artist, purchased one of the passenger cars and had it hauled to Main Street where it was converted into an art studio.  Interestingly the two steam engines did not sell at auction, there simply was no interest in them, and they sat on the shore of Eagle Lake, abandoned.  Over time, due to a fire which destroyed or heavily damaged train engines in New Hampshire, within ten days the train engines were purchased by the company that runs the Mount Washington Railroad.

Green Mountain Railroad - Lower Section

The Buckboard Road became the scene of some armed robberies,  when an armed robber appeared out of nowhere along the road and held up passengers as they made their way up the mountain side on horse drawn buckboards.  The robber was given the nick name The Gentleman Bandit because he would not rob from the women, he only took money and jewerly from the men.  He would disappear into the woods without a trace and never was captured dispite a reward on his head.
Over time the current Cadillac Mountain Summit Road was constructed, with some of the road following sections of the old buckboard Road.  A blasting man was killed in a dynimite accident during the building of the current road.
Over the years we believe we located the old government survey road, and recently we believe we may of located a long stretch of the old Buckboard Road, veering off of the survey road as described in old articles, and with a wire gate across it in one section, for which we have put up the GPS numbers for.


GPS for wire gate location
44 22.399N  -  068 13.977W

Road joins Summit Road down steep banking
44 22.184N  -  068 13.915W


If you have any interesting articles or photos, feel free to leave comment or link below.






Thursday, June 7, 2018

ABANDONED ROAD WITH FOUNDATIONS AND OCEAN VIEWS

ABANDONED ROAD WITH FOUNDATIONS AND OCEAN VIEWS

This was suppose to be our second of three abandoned dirt roads we were to explore, but as it turned out, roads two and three actually connect to one another by way of a well worn path.
This second road begins along the Schooner head Road at
N 44 21.644  W 068 11.212

We walked in and followed the road until it came to where it turned in to a path, which split into two ways.  We went right and it became clear that some one helps keep this trail clear, as a number of fallen trees had been moved from the path.  We didn't go far when we could see views of the ocean from the path, and soon came to a less worn path which led straight toward the ocean, which we followed.  I expected we would come to a cliff, but was surprised to see we could easily step down to the rocky shore.  Not really much to see other than a nice view of a island and further out a good view of the Egg Rock Lighthouse.  To the far right there was a number of broken up boards, perhaps the remains of some ones wooden dock that got washed away during a storm.

We did go around the corner to the right and got a different view of the rich castle like estate at Schooner Head which you can also see more clearer from the cliff by Anemone Cave.
Back in the woods we returned to the path we had been following and before long the path became a road with sunken tire marks

.  Just ahead we came to the start of road three and a tiny parking area just big enough for three to four cars.  We turned around and made our way back to road two where we now followed the trail we had not yet gone down, which heads towards the ocean.  Not too far ahead we came to a circle area like it was once a round driveway.

  Beneath large trees was several very large sections of granite, perhaps once a backdrop for a garden.  Toward the right we went  over by a steep cliff and could see a worn path below.  We were looking at that and almost missed the path to the right along the edge of the cliff.  Just a short distance ahead we came to what once must of been a stunning structure.  Enough of the foundation was there to suggest this was once a very rich estate.  I could see where a doorway once looked out over the cliff.
EGG ROCK LIGHTHOUSE - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

  We carefully made our way across the foundation, square blocks of granite where at odd angles making walking a bit of an adventure.  I was surprised to see the structure was not nearly as large as I had thought it might of been.  We cut through the woods back to the circle driveway and went over to the far laft where we found another foundation.
Round driveway with large granite blocks in center

  Between this foundation and the base of the hill there we found yet another foundation which connected to the first.  The one thing we did not do, which I now wish we had of done was to make our way down to the bottom of that cliff and see where that path led toas we made our way back out we saw in the woods below where there was another driveway which led in the direction of the foundation on the cliff, perhaps there was more to the structure that we missed.

GPS at start of dirt road.
N 44 21.644  W 068 11.212

GPS at cliff with foundations to left and right
N 44 21.864
W 068 10.980












ABANDONED ROAD WITH MYSTERIOUS CIRCLE

ABANDONED ROAD WITH MYSTERIOUS CIRCLE

Today we decided to go along the Schooner Head Road and explore three old dirt roads blocked off by stones.  The first road we went down was at N 44 36.232  W 068.18859

I have seen Rangers park by this road and walk in so I was more than a little wondering what was in there.  As we made our way in, we got to a spot where the old road began to climb and the left side of the road was built up with large granite blocks, I never seen anything like it.  I found a safe place where I could get some photos of the side of the road and the further we went the higher the built up granite blocks got - looking down over the edge of the road showed just how much of a drop off it was.

Finally the road, now reduced to a path, went in two directions and we decided to go right because now the right side of the road began to get built up, though nowhere near the extent as the left side of the road was built up.   We than discovered why we had seen rangers going in here - a number of tree's had spray paint markings on them and below the markings was metal tags.

  Some tree's had rubber like bands sticking out of the side of the trees with tags at the end.  Not far away we saw metal pieces of pipe - about the size of straws pounded into the ground in different places.  At the base of one tree was a metal pole with a round piece of metal on top of it with some writing.  I believe it said something about "nature monitoring site,"  though I am not sure what it was they are monitoring.
One of several metal pieces along a open granite circle

We continued past this area and followed the dirt path to a large open area of granite, and in different places around this circular area there was thick metal sections driven deep into the granite with holes in the end of each piece of metal.  It was as if they were once used to hold guide wires for some type of tower that may of been located there.  as it turned out the path ended roght there, so whoever spend all that time and money to build up the sides of the road leading in must of had a good reason for it which seems to have been right there at that open area.  We spotted a fallen tree to the far side of the circle with a worn path and followed that, it led us back to the area whyere the marked trees were.
We walked back out to the Schooner Head Road and headed down the road to the next blocked off dirt road.

GPS for start of this dirt road;
N 44 36.232   W 068.18859











Blocked off dirt road - Schooner Head Road - Acadia National Park

Schooner Head Road - Acadia National Park

Thursday, May 24, 2018

A MEMORIAL TO THOSE WHO HAVE DIED

This is a memorial to those who have died or lost their life in Acadia National Park.  The Park Service has told us they do not keep such statistics so we have had to do a lot of research to come up with the information we have.  Gaps between dates does not mean no one died or lost their life in the park that year, it only means we have yet to locate any deaths for those years.  We never realize just how precious life is until someone we love loses theirs.

 April 2016 - Timothy Philpott, age 50, remains found on Parkman Mountain in Acadia National Park.

June 2016 - Mark Simon, age 68, fell from a bluff between Sand Beach and Thunder Hole while attempting to get a photo of a sunset.

July 2016 - Nathan Savage, age 39, died after swimming across Echo Lake.

Sept. 2016 - Abdulrahman M. Alamer, age 21, died after crashing his motorcycle on the Cadillac Summit road.

June 2015 -  Christian Linwood Emigh-Doyle, age 23, died after falling from Duck Brook Bridge along the Paradise Hill Road.

June 2012 - John Baer, age 85, found dead along Schooner Head Trail - the death was not suspicious.

July 2012 -  Shirley Ladd, age 22, died after a fall on the Precipice.

July 2012 - 38 year old man committed  suicide atop Cadillac Mountain.

Jan.  2011 - Duncan Rosborough, 52, was found dead in the park on the Paradise Hill loop trail around 6:45 a.m. Sunday,  after he failed to show up after doing some sking.  It appears he died of nature causes.

Aug. 2009 - Clio Dahyun Axilrod, age 7, was swept off rocks by waves during Hurricane Bill and drown.

Aug.  2000 - Man falls to his death on the Beehive.

Oct. 2008 - Corey O'Brian, age 23, died in the park after a fall from his skate board.

June 2007 - Faith M. Wise, age 56, drown in the area of Schoodic Point.

Aug.  2005 - Stephen Chan, age 22, drown while swimming in Echo Lake.

March 2004 - Benjamin A. Ellis, 21, found dead on Great Hill, an apparent suicide.

April 2004 - Stephen Kennedy, age 63, died after crashing his bike into a closed gate on the Otter cliffs road.

2004 - Emil Lin, in his 20's, drown at Otter Cliffs after attempting to retrieve his shoe from the ocean.

2004 - Joanne Demartini, age 50, dies after falling from a cliff near Sand Beach.

Oct. 2000 - Leslee R. Larson, age 50, murdered after husband pushed her from Otter cliff to collect insurance money.

1999 -  Robert Croteau, age 51, and his wife Margaret, age 63, posed for a photo by the water at  Schoodic Point when a wave swept them out to sea - both drown.

1997 - Michael Domino, age 37, died after falling from an icy ledge on the Precipice.

1997 - Shon Lewis died at the Hulls Cove Visitors Center parking lot after losing control of his snowmobile and crashing into tree's.

Aug. 1993 - a 17 year old boy died after falling from a cliff along the ocean behind Blackwoods Campground.

Oct. 1993 - Douglas Rose, age 20, a student at college of the atlantic, drown after becoming trapped by rising tide in Anemone cave.

1989 - Bartholomew Keohane, age 50, a Prist, died after falling from  Mansell Mountain.

June 1977 - Leslie Spellman, age 27, murdered while on vacation in Acadia National Park, her body was discovered in the tranquil Asticou Azalea Gardens in Northeast Harbor - her murder has still not been solved.

Oct. 1977 - Fritz Millett, age 22, died from a fall on the Beehive.

June 1970 - Air Force Captain Robert McGaunn died after crashing his plane during bad weather into the side of Cedar swamp Mountain.

1969 - David McKinney, age 19, swept to sea by waves at Great Head while attempting to explore a cave.

Sept. 1963 -  Gerard D.F. Poisson, drowned by Thunder Hole.

1949 - Mrs. Millicent Quinn, age 39, swept off rocks by waves Sept. 1949 and drowned along Ocean Drive.

July 1939 - A young boy working with the C.C.C. Clarence D. Thurlow, died after falling from  a cliff on Beech Mountain.

Nov. 1938 - Park Ranger Karl Andrew Jacobson, while on boundary patrol in Acadia National Park, died after being shot by a  poacher.

Aug. 1934 - Miss Emily McDougall, age 25, was washed out to sea by waves and drowned by Thunder Hole.

Aug. 1932 - Joseph Meuse - age 12, died Aug. 1932 whilr playing at Bakers Island Lighthouse.

May 1931 - Bert H. Young, drown on Long Pond following a boating accident.

Sept. 1929 - Dennis Doonan, dynamite man for the Mccabe Company, was killed after a blasting accident while helping construct the Cadillac summit road.

Dec. 1909 - Adren L. Peach, age 9, fell through ice and drowned at Eagle Lake on Christmas Day wearing a pair of ice skates he recieved as a gift that morning.

Aug. 3, 1853 - Lucreatia K. Douglas, age 12, died after falling from a ledge near the Great Cave.  She may be the youngest person to have died on the Precipice.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

KEBO MOUNTAIN TRAIL TO GORGE TRAIL

THE KEBO MOUNTAIN TO GORGE TRAIL

This really old trail can be found on older maps running from the Kebo Trail up along the Park Loop Road, making a turn away from the gorge parking area and running through the woods until it reaches the official Gorge Trail.  To locate the abandoned trail without a GPS, at the parking area for the gorge Trail by the bridge, face the woods with the road behind you and enter the woods at 11 o'clock (as if you were holding a watch, move in the direction of 11) and this will take you to the very visible trail within minutes.  The trail does not look like a trail, it is wide enough and worn enough to be a road and is so easy to follow. 
Just as a note, in the past I tried to follow the path to the left, it is easy to follow but only to a point when it stops.  I believe when the Park Loop Road was built a section of the path that would of connected to the kebo Trail was destroyed, as the trail was in place long before there was a Loop road.
So follow the trail right, or straight ahead, depending on what angle you arrive at it, and you don't have to go far before you see a tree marked by paint which turns to the left, this was an earlier version of the Gorge Trail and the trail for a long stretch is still in really good shape and fairly easy to follow.  At some point that trail does come to a dead end, the path being buried under rocks and brush to discourage hikers from trying to follow it.
So unless your into simply checking it out, keep following the wide trail, there will be a fallen tree here and there or tree branches poking out into the trail, and  in places the ground can be wet.  as you move along there are a few places where you get close to Kebo stream, we took a break a couple times to get photos of the brook.  Just before this trail joins the official gorge trail, the trail passes through a short section of thick woods and at the end just before the brook there is a high banking of dirt, placed there so hikers on the official trail won't see that older trail and wander down it.
The Gorge Trail has been rebuilt and relocated a number of times over the years by the Park Service and they can't seem to be able to make up their minds as to which side of Kebo Brook they want the trail to run along.  I believe the very first Gorge Trail ran along the right side of the brook at its start, than the park redid the trail, having it run from the parking area down to the brook, where it crossed the brook, than followed very close to the water for a ways before it crossed the brook again and ran down the left side of the brook.  I believe there was at least one more attempt of rerouteing the path before it finally ended up as it is today, follong the right side of the brook at its beginning.
If you look closely as your driving, walking or biking between the gorge Trail and the Kebo Trail, you can see sections of the old wide path through the tree's.










Saturday, May 19, 2018

THE ORIGINAL CADILLAC MT NORTH RIDGE TRAIL






We had located one section of this abandoned trail down a number of years ago but after a couple tries we finally located other sections of it. This was one of the original Cadillac North Ridge trails that began down by East St. and I believe it is most likely it was abandoned because it crossed private property. Because East Street is private property we did not go down to the street, but it appears the old trail followed the side of a tiny brook, the old trail crosses theofficial hiking trail, GPS on map, and continues to follow the edge of that tiny brook. As the old path gets closer to the One Way section of the Park Loop Road it is wider and smoother going. At the Loop road you cross the roadway at an angle to where you see a small gully going up into the woods. Just before the gully is a storm drain. From there the path is almost a road and very easy to follow until you come to a sharp curve, shortly after the curve the trail just seems to end. We did scout out the area and located two rock piles and that was it. We need to search one more area further up, but what we have documented so far might be the best we can do. On old maps this trail ran upward and connected to the official trail used today




ABANDONED TRAILS - CADILLAC MOUNTAIN NORTH RIDGE TRAIL - Acadia National Park