Wednesday, August 26, 2015

HISTORY OF THE BAR HARBOR WATER COMPANY

If you do a google search for HISTORY OF THE BAR HARBOR WATER COMPANY  you will find a PDF on it that appears to have been done in 2004, which I found to be very interesting and informative.  In 1874 the Bar Harbor Water Company was formed and that year a reservoir was built on a site called Scott's Hill.  Water was carried to that site on Scott's Hill by a wooden flume.  In the 2004 document it states that they were unable to ever find where Scott's Hill was located and took a couple guesses at where it might of been.  The one's who conducted the report stated they had gone over several old maps and Scott's Hill was not listed on any of those old maps.
I also went over a number of old maps and I also could not find Scott's Hill, but than I decided to take a different approach, this time I searched for any families with the last name Scott.  My hope was that in doing so, it might give a clue to where Scott's Hill was.  As it turned out, I hit pay dirt, not only did I find two families with the last name Scott, they both lived on the same hill, and as far as I can tell, they are the only Scott families in that area of Bar Harbor.    So exactly where was Scott's Hill?
Scott's Hill most likely was what is today known as Schoolhouse Hill, which overlooks the Eagle Lake Road on one side, Kebo Street on the other, Cromwell Harbor road on another, and the Kebo Golf Course Greens on the final side.  Why am I pretty much convinced Schoolhouse Hill is the location of Scott's Hill?  Look at the map below and notice where the two Scott families lived in the late 1800's.

A Mrs. R.B. Scott owns a very large section of the Peak of that hill, which is today called Schoolhouse Hill.
Now if you look near the bottom of that map you find a J.B. Scott who owns two large tracks of land on the same hill, and I could not find any other Scott's on any other hill in Bar Harbor, so most likely Scott's Hill was what is today Schoolhouse Hill.
If that is true, than the very first reservoir that the Bar Harbor Water company built would of been somewhere o0n that hill.  Unfortunately, that hill is heavily posted and doing a search of it is pretty much out of the question.  In 1884 the wooden flume was abandoned and a new Mills Meadow reservoir was built which most likely meant the Scott hill one was also abandoned.  Mills Meadow is located along the Duck Brook Bridge Road.
BAR HARBOR WATER COMPANY STAND PIPE

In 1887 a stone stand pipe was built, often called the Stone Tower, not far from  eagle lake.  In 1895 that Stone tower or stand pipe was abandoned.  Than in 1901 a 700,00 gallon reservoir was built on Great Hill.  A photo below might of been that reservoir and is located on the Duck Brook Bridge Road on the hillside overlooking the roadway and a stone bridge.


GREAT HILL RESERVOIR - BAR HARBOR WATER COMPANY
VIEW OF DUCK BROOK BRIDGE ROAD

In 1932 the sand filters where abandoned which had been built near the stone tower site off of the eagle Lake road.  They were described as two large sections, much like foundations, that were filled with sand.  A pipe fed water into the first sand filter, the water passed through the sand, than entered the second foundation which was filled with sand, after passing through that second large sand filter the water than went to a thrid smaller building and than it appears to the stone stand pipe.
PIPE USED TO CARRY WATER INTO SAND FILTERS -  BAR HARBOR WATER COMPANY
A walk around the site and you can still see where large sections of the walls of sand filter one and two are still standing.  Plans gave an option for the two filters to have a roof, but it appears no roof was ever built over them.
SAND FILTERS -  BAR HARBOR WATER COMPANY

The above photo shows what the walls look like today, they very much look like two very large foundations.

INSIDE VIEW OF  SAND FILTERS -  BAR HARBOR WATER COMPANY
In 1935 a 500,000 gallon stand pipe was built on the side of Great Hill, the last I knew it still stands there today, on the hillside hidden up in the tree's.


Abandoned Trails of Acadia - The Water Pipe Trail

In 1968 a 500,000 stand pipe was built to supply water to Jackson Lab, it is located on a hillside in the woods across from Jackson Lab, beyond their parking lot.
In 1997 the old Cast Iron pipe line froze and burst and the old cast iron was replaced with polyetliene pipe.  Than in 2001 a 500,000 cement tank was built on the side of Great hill, overlooking Duck Brook bridge and the town of Bar harbor finally became sole owners of the Bar Harbor Water company.
OLD CAST IRON PIPE LINE - BAR HARBOR WATER COMPANY 

The photo above is of the old Cast Iron pipeline, which is still in place today and closely follows Duck Brook from the base of Great Hill all the way to the Park Loop road near Hulls cove.

OLD BAR HARBOR WATER COMPANY BUILDING

NEW  PIPE LINE - BAR HARBOR WATER COMPANY

If you are interested in any of this, I strongly recommend you google and download the free PDF.


HISTORY OF THE BAR HARBOR WATER COMPANY

Sunday, August 23, 2015

OLD BAR HARBOR WATER COMPANY RESERVOIR

I believe this was one of several locations that the old Bar Harbor Water Company had a RESERVOIR.  This is located on the side of Great Hill and you really don't need a map to locate it, as it is easy to find once you know where to look for it.
From downtown Bar Harbor, take West street up to route 3, continue straight across route 3 and drive up West Street Extention until you enter Acadia National Park.  Just up ahead you will come to the Duck Brook Bridge Road - which was once open to automobiles but has since been closed to auto traffic.  Park where the road is blocked off and walk a short ways down the Duck Brook Bridge Road, until you come to the stone bridge.
STONE BRIDGE ALONG DUCK BROOK BRIDGE ROAD
The remains of the foundation are up on the hill on the left just after passing under the bridge.  There is also a dirt trail going up the left side of the bridge after you pass under it, you can reach the foundation by walking up that path until you almost reach the Park Loop Road above, that than hiking up the banking into the woods, the foundation is straight ahead.

 SOUNDS OF NATURE - WITCH HOLE BROOK

Here is a view of the Duck Brook Bridge road taken from the foundation, you can also see another path that leads to the foundation, though that path is a little more steep.
DUCK BROOK BRIDGE ROAD SEEN FROM OLD FOUNDATION



Great Hill Summit Trail - Acadia National Park

The foundation is unique as far as foundations go, with the top of the walls being narrow and the walls getting much thicker the further down they go.


EXPLORING BAR ISLAND

EXPLORING BAR ISLAND

Old maps show where a number of farms were located on Bar Island at one time and if you explore the woods and fields you will discover a number of old foundations.  I am posting some of the foundation photos I came across, others are marked on the map I did of the island.

By no means does the map cover everything, in fact there are several old roads and trails I left off the map to give others a chance to explore on their own and make their own discoveries.  The beach area in the back of Bar Island is pretty cool, but getting down to it is not an easy task as the ground is very steep

OLD FIREPLACE - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
.  I reached it several times over the years by making my way downward far from the beach and than walking toward it,  just keep track of time as you only have two hours before the low tide mark and two hours after the low tide mark to explore in.
Bar Island has always been a place sought out by people looking for a place to camp out overnight on and while exploring you just might stumble upon an illegal tent site or fire pit.  I came across one fire pit and one abandoned tarp the other day.


The quickest way to reach the back of the island is by the path to the left side of the map.  It begins at the sharp bend in the old road and is very easy t follow to the back side of the island.

BAR ISLAND SUMMIT TRAIL - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

At one time Jack Perkins who did a lot of work for PBS once owned half the island.  He sold it to the Park Service so the entire island is free to explore today.  For whatever reason, the park service left the private property sign in place where an old road once led to Jack Perkins house.  The house itself sat idle for some time before it got broken into.  It was people who worked for the park service that broke into it and were having a party.  The party got broken up when park rangers got word of it and raided the party.  Little wonder they ended up tearing down the house.


FOUR SEASONS OF BAR HARBOR MAINE VIDEO


One of the more interesting sights on Bar Island are the huge glacial boulders which can be found on the small island, one of the unofficial trails follows the edge of the island to the back where one of the huge boulders overlooks the sea, and a second one is nearby in the tree's and easy to see.


Bar Island - Acadia National Park

HUGE GLACIAL BOULDER - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

PANORAMIC VIEW OF BAR HARBOR MAINE FROM BAR ISLAND

MAP OF BAR ISLAND - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

Friday, August 21, 2015

MAN O WAR WATERFALLS

I hiked this a few times many years ago and at that time the trail was in very good condition.  The trail is actually an abandoned fire road located along route 102 about an eight of a mile away from the parking lot for the Acadia Mountain Hiking Trail.  It was once believed that pirates came ashore in that area and buried their treasure, so if you search around as we did along the fire road you will find a number of places where years ago people dug looking for the treasure.  As far as I know, no treasure was ever found.
The last time I did hike this trail it was after a pretty good period of rain and the waterfalls was a spectacular sight.


Acadia Mountain - Acadia National Park

The link below  to another website that has done a really nice review on this abandoned fire road and you will find some nice information on the trail there.


MAN O WAR WATERFALLS

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

OLD MAPS OF ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

Below is a link to my site that has a number of old maps of Acadia National Park showing many of the hiking trails in Acadia National Park that the Park service abandoned.

OLD MAPS OF ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

VIDEO OF LOST AND ABANDONED TRAILS IN ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

Sunday, August 16, 2015

THE HANGING STEPS


 Locating the Hanging Steps was not easy, in fact I had been researching it and combing the woods and mountain side for years.  One day as we had just finished doing a search for the Great Cave, we decided to head on up to Sand Beach to relax a bit.  As we departed the Precipice parking lot, we noticed those long line of cars parked along the side of the Precipice up ahead.  I have always wondered why people park along there when there are parking spaces available at the Precipice parking lot.  As we walked along those parked cars a bus was coming up behind us so we moved to the other side of the parked cars and spotted a very well worn path entering the woods, but oddly the much traveled trail had no sign post by it, it was unmarked.
We followed the trail in and very quickly came to a massive boulder with a post that had a wooden box which contained a sign in log, "All climbers are to sign in when entering this area and sign back out when departing this area."  So we had stumbled onto a part of the park I had never ventured into before, could this unmarked trail be the missing section of the Orange and Black Trail, the section containing the Hanging Steps?  We continued up the trail which came to some stone steps below a massive high wall of granite and there was a rock climber seated there.  I asked what goes on there and he replied this was an area in the park where Rock Climbers come to in order to practice their rock climb skills.  He was packing away climbing ropes and other rock climbing gear as we talked.  He told us if we were going to be in that area that we really should have hard hats on our heads for safety reasons.  Hard hats, I replied.  Yeah, he said, pointing upward at the towering wall of granite.  Right now there are a number of rock climbers making their way down and at any time a loose rock could come falling down this way.


Abandoned Trails of Acadia - The Hanging Steps

Okay, I replied as we stepped further away from the wall.  We told him to have a nice day and began to walk back out to the road, but I could not depart the area without going back and asking him the million dollar question, and so we returned.  Could you tell me something, I asked, while you were climbing up there, did you happen to see an old trail, or maybe even some stone steps?
Yes, there is an old trail up there as well as a nice set of large stone steps.  Thank you, I told him, I think I have finally found the trail I have been years searching for.  By the way, do you happen to know about where that trail begins?
He pointed to that towering wall of granite, to an area behind him, the old trail begins back there just around that corner.   I thanked him again and we left, only to return the next day.
So, yesterday armed with new information, we headed back to the trail with no name, which I refer to as "The Rock Climbers Trail."  This is where the local rock climbing schools bring their students and where experienced rock climbers come with ropes and anchors to do some serious rock climbing.  The same trail they use to reach the sheer walls of granite is also used to access the Hanging steps and the same area the missing end of the Orange and Black Trail passed through..


It should be noted that the start of this well worn trail is not at the Precipice parking lot, but 15 to 20 car lengths further down the roadway and the path is not marked and often the view of the path is blocked by parked cars.  So you don't miss the trail, I suggest you park at the Precipice parking lot, or get off the free Island Explorer bus (the Sand Beach Bus) and walk down the right side of the roadway in the direction of the traffic.  By doing so you will not miss the unmarked trail.
SIGN IN LEDGER - ROCK CLIMBERS TRAIL
You don't get very far up the trail when you come to a sign in ledger on a post in front of a very impressive boulder.  The park service likes people to sign in when entering this area and sign out when leaving as people (mainly rock climbers using ropes climbing up sheer walls) have had bad falls in there and been seriously injured.  I never sign in since I have no plans on doing that kind of rock climbing.
ROCK CLIMBERS TRAIL - GRANITE WALL STRAIGHT AHEAD
Continue up the path a short ways right up to the sheer granite wall and take a moment to look upward - that is where the rock climbers go - straight up using ropes.
AT GRANITE WALL - VIEW LOOKING LEFT
 Now go left and follow the worn path along the base of that wall of granite a short ways and you can see where the trail turns right and continues to follow the edge of a granite wall.
CONTINUE TO FOLLOW SIDE OF GRANITE WALL

 You won't go far before you come to the  strange White birch, which we refer to as the octopus, very strange White Birch.
pass under the twisted white birch


Pass under its twisted branches and look up - that huge impressive  boulder seems like its ready to drop right down onto the path where your standing.
HUGE OVERHEAD BOULDER
Your job is to go below that huge boulder and once you are several car lengths past it,  the path begins to turn to the right and moves upward along a rock strewn gully.  You won't go far when you will see the first of many stone steps on what is The Hanging Steps, or Black and Orange trail.
start of stone steps
Now the mistake we did the first time, and others have since made the same mistake, is that where the trail begins to turn to the right, it does appear the trail should go downward into a deep deep, where a worn path can be seen moving out of the dip, making its way along a granite wall up toward the tree's.  That route ends at a dead end,  and if you miss the turn return back to that twisted tree and make your way forward again, looking for the chance to turn right.
Just as a side note, we did poke around that huge boulder field to the left and was able to find several caves.
Once you have turned the corner and found the first stone steps, you don't need any more instructions, the trail is plain as day.
THE HANGING STEPS - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK



The Hanging Steps - Acadia National Park



Once you have reached the top of the Hanging Steps the trail continues onward, coming out atop some high cliffs with very narrow dangerous ledges.  .  From there the trail makes its way to and through a section of woods, the trail in the woods is well worn and easy to follow.  Once the trail leaves the woods you are open granite.  It is a little steep at first, make your way down over the open granite, as you do so there should be a gully just inside the tree's to your left.  The trail joins the Precipice trail at the point of where the Turn around is, that first section you come to with the iron hand rails.

 DEATHS IN ACADIA NATIONAL PARK VIDEO

I have done a separate blog on the lost Rudolph Brunnow trail, which is not easy to locate.  Here is a quick way to locate that trail, begin at the Precipice parking lot and walk against traffic making your way toward the Orange and Black trail.  As you do so, pay attention to the storm drains on the left hand side of the roadway as you walk.  At each one, turn around and look back toward the Precipice parking lot, you will be able to see the Precipice sign by the roadway as far as storm drain 5.  At storm drain 7 when you look back you will no longer be able to see the sugn.  The trail is an almost straight line into the woods to the base of the mountain where it makes its way up a rock gully.  For photos and better instructions see the blog on this trail.

IRON RAIL NEAR TOP OF HANGING STEPS - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK


VIEW FROM TOP OF HANGING STEPS - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK


That lighter marked map began directly across the roadway from THE HIGH SEAS - the house owned by Rudolph Brunnow.