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.
For more information on this area, see my blog post on Captain Kidd's Lost Treasure.


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

The Hanging Steps is not a trail, the real name is the Orange and Black Trail, the half of the official trail the Park Service chose to abandoned.  The Hanging Steps was a Main attraction along the Orange and Black trail.  Rudolph Brunnow designed both the Orange and Black Trail as well as the once popular Hanging steps.  The most amazing feature of the Hanging steps is that they appear to "hang in mid air," with drop offs to either side of the steps.  Brunnow achieved this feat by way of using hidden iron bars to hold the huge granite steps in place.  They got their name, it is said, when a park ranger came to the site to view the steps for the first time and exclaimed, "They appear to hang in mid air," and from that day forward they were referred to as the Hanging steps.
CHAMPLAIN MOUNTAIN - HANGING STEPS - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

Abandoned Trails of Acadia - The Hanging Steps
I have been asked a number of times, does the trail end at the Hanging steps - no, it continues on up to some cliffs, than makes its way through a section of woods before coming out at open granite.  From there you only have one way to go, follow the open granite downward until it joins the lower section of the Precipice Trail at the base of the Turn around, a huge boulder in the trail with a few iron runs placed in a way to make it hard for inexperienced climbers to get past.  With just a little bit of looking you can find where the trail continues at the top of the Hanging steps.
THE HANGING STEPS - Orange and Black Trail - Acadia National Park
Above is perhaps the best photo of the Hanging Steps I have seen to date, and the photo was taken by David Schortmann.   I want to thank him once more for his contributions to our sites.


SIGN IN LEDGER - ROCK CLIMBERS TRAIL
Within a minute or so after starting down the unmarked trail you come to this huge boulder with a sign in ledger.  The ledger is there for the rock climbers in case some one is reported missing, that might of had an accident while rock climbing.  Rangers can take a quick glance at the ledger and know who went up by rope and who came down and when.
ROCK CLIMBERS TRAIL - GRANITE WALL STRAIGHT AHEAD
So as you can see, the first half of the Orange and black trail, the abandoned half, arrives at the official Precipice Trail, than followed that trail upwards a ways to the area of the boulder field.  Around that point, the Great Cave trail went left, and the official half of the Orange and Black trail goes right.  In the photo above, is the path from the road to the high wall of granite where you turn left, and below is the wall of granite with a right turn ahead, which leads up to a very twisted tree you need to pass under, or over.
AT GRANITE WALL - VIEW LOOKING LEFT
From the map, you can see a path just beyond the Precipice parking area, an unmarked but well worn path that enters the woods.  This path today is mainly used by rock climbers who go there to practice their climbing skills.  You will come to a towering wall of sheer granite, the rock climbers use gear to climb that wall, turn left and follow the path to the corner where it turns right, goes upward and under a very crocked tree.  Continue ahead until the path takes a right turn and continues upward, here you will begin to see stone steps.  From here the trail is easy to follow until you reach the top of the Hanging Steps.
CONTINUE TO FOLLOW SIDE OF GRANITE WALL

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

start of stone steps

THE HANGING STEPS - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK



The Hanging Steps - Acadia National Park





 DEATHS IN ACADIA NATIONAL PARK VIDEO



IRON RAIL NEAR TOP OF HANGING STEPS - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK


VIEW FROM TOP OF HANGING STEPS - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
While the abandoned section of the Orange and Black trail is not too hard to follow, we have added extra GPS points for those who might venture beyond the top of the Hanging Steps.  There are a couple places where GPS numbers further up might come in handy.

HANGING STEPS
trail begins
latitude  44 20' 50"N
longitude  68 11' 15"W
right turn
latitude  44 20' 49"N
longitude  68 11' 22"W
right turn
latitude  44 20' 50"W
longitude  68 11' 22"W
to woods
latitude  44 20' 50"N
longitude  68 11' 21"W
woods path
latitude  44 20' 51"N
longitude  68 11' 21"W
woods path
latitude  44 20' 52"N
longitude  68 11' 20"W
open granite
latitude  44 20' 53"Nlongitude  68 11' 20"W
open granite
latitude  44 20' 55"N
longitude  68 11' 19"W
Precipice Trail
latitude  44 20' 57"N
longitude  68 11' 19"W

HANGING STEPS TRAIL
HANGING STEPS TRAIL
BEYOND THE HANGING STEPS - TRAIL ENTERS WOODS
WOODS TRAIL BEYOND HANGING STEPS
BEYOND THE HANGING STEPS - TRAIL HEADS TOWARD PRECIPICE TRAIL AND OPEN GRANITE