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

Some may wonder how my journey into researching and documenting abandoned trails in Acadia Nationakl Park began.  Like any good journey worth its salt, there has to be a beginning, and in this case my journey began one evening after i had heard that there was a cave on the side of the Precipice.  I had lived here  and vacationed here for many years and never once had I heard about this cave, and I knew than that I had to find out more about it. 
That led me to the College of the Atlantic off of Eden Street, where i came upon an old map, and on the old map was the words "Where the little girl fell to her death."  All of a sudden I now had two mysteries on my hands, something I had not bargained on, but was more than happy to take up the challenge.  Below those words was the word CAVE.
My first priority quickly shifted to the little girl the map spoke of, who was she, how old was she, when did she die, and how did she die - I had to find out those answers and set about the task by going through many old books, and thus my adventure into abandoned trails had begun.

The Hanging Steps was part of the Orange and Black Trail.  When the Park Service abandoned half of the orange and Black Trail, so went the Hanging steps.  Unlike the great Cave, we had photos of the Steps, but their location remained a mystery.  Me and my son Dillon had made a number of trips to the Precipice Trail, and even conducted our searches as far away as Enoch mountain, with no success to speak of.  So where was the other half of the orange and black Trail?
CHAMPLAIN MOUNTAIN - HANGING STEPS - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

As it turned out, one end of the official Orange and black Trail, the end that is on the Precipice trail, ended there not far from the boulder field that leads to the Great Cave.  To locate the missing section of the Orange and black Trail, you need to hike down the precipice Trail,  to a point just below an area of the precipice Trail the park has named the Turn-a-round.  The turn a round is nothing more than a gigantic boulder with a few iron rungs placed on it in a way as to make it very hard for hikers with not much experience to get past, in other words, the turn around was designed to make people turn around and give up their attempt to climb up the Precipice.


Abandoned Trails of Acadia - The Hanging Steps
You can still access the Great Cave trail without passing over the turn a round by simply walking up the road from the Precipice Park Lot to the Orange and black trail head, and hike to the precipice trail using that route, which gets you up and above the turn a round - but that adds time to your hike.  And if you don't know where the turn around is located, it will be the huge boulder you encounter with the first set of hand rails you encounter, you can't miss it.
So your now at the turn a round, on the low end, the path back to the parking lot is to the left, but the unmarked and abandoned section of the orange and Black Trail begins right there at the turn a round.  Instead of turning to the left, go slightly right and move out of the tree;s and out onto open granite, there is one of the missing ends of the lost trail.  It is not marked in any way, simply follow the open granite upwards until you come to a steeper section with woods up ahead.  Cross the final section of open granite to the woods where a very well worn trail can be located.  The dirt trail moves through the woods, until it arrives at walls of granite.  Here you must be extremely careful as the trail passes along the edge of a serious drop off.  To the right you will see piles of rocks and boulders, but a trail once passed through there, but was covered when the earthquake hit some years ago.  My son dillon was able to get through the fallen rocks and came to another serious drop off, and at the edge of the drop off was a number of iron rungs - sure signs a trail and perhaps a ladder was once located there.
The lost section of the Orange and Black trail continues just below the drop off, but I would advise anyone doing this section of trail to come up from the other end of the lost trail, which I will get to.  So just a little further on you arrive at the Hanging steps.

I would not recommend you attempt the trail from the way described above, I merely put that in there because that is how me and my son first discovered that end of the lost trail.  We stopped at the drop off and called it a day, still unaware of where the Hanging steps was located at.
As we were preparing for another visit to the area, we talked to another park volunteer who said they could not give us the exact location of the other end of the trail, but could steer us close to the area, which was a huge help.  Thank you nameless Trail warrior - that is a title we give to people who work for the park who also are silently cheering us on in our work to bring these abandoned trails back into the daylight for everyone to enjoy.

SIGN IN LEDGER - ROCK CLIMBERS TRAIL
so we went to the area we had been told about, but as luck would have it, we failed to make a right turn and ended up at a dead end, again we called it a day.  On out next trip we nailed it, though I am not sure if we reached the prize first or if Matt beat us to the punch, i know one thing for certain, it was close either way as we both hit the blog zone and put up photos.
So to locate the easy way to the Hanging Steps, drive to the Precipice parking lot, than walk up the right hand side of the park loop road a short ways.  Most likely there will be a line of cars along the right hand side of the road, it is important you walk on the right hand side of any parked cars or you may walk right past the unmarked trail you will be looking for.
ROCK CLIMBERS TRAIL - GRANITE WALL STRAIGHT AHEAD
Once at the unmarked trail on the right, you will see it is very worn, how could an abandoned trail be so worn? If you continue a short ways down the trail it quickly becomes evident why the trail is so worn, today this unmarked area is used by the local rock climbing schools so students can practice their rock climbing skills.  In the center of the trail is a massive boulder with a wooden post in front of it.  Inside a wooden box is a ledger where people coming into the area are to sign in when entering the area and to sign out when departing the area.  this is because if some one doesn't return back to their campsite or hotel while rock climbing in the park, Rangers can check the ledger to see if perhaps some one is on the mountain side injured.
AT GRANITE WALL - VIEW LOOKING LEFT
Continue up the trail a short ways to a sheer wall of granite, from there turn left, and shortly after that turn right where the trail moves upwards toward a old twisted tree blocking the path.  Mover under its branches, and continue upward along the edge of the granite wall - you will be passing an area right after that twisted tree with more massive boulders perched above the trail.  Continue upward until you reach an opening where you can turn toward the right.  Going straight will take you down a deep dip and than up the side of the mountain to a dead end, so avoid the deep and move to the right and than to the left where you will easily begin to see stone steps.  The Hanging Steps is just around the corner.
CONTINUE TO FOLLOW SIDE OF GRANITE WALL
So just how did the Hanging steps get their name, you might wonder?  After they were constructed using a new method of using iron pins, a ranger went up and visited them and stated that "They look like hanging steps - like they are hanging in mid air," thus the name Hanging Steps.  Once at the top section of the steps there are a few great views.  I have been asked a number of times, does the trail end at the steps?  No, but you need to look around for the next section of trail, which leads you upward toward a cliff.  Once on the cliff, you follow the trail to the woods and follow the well worn path until it comes out to a slightly steep section of flat granite.  Follow that downward and continue to follow the open granite until you come to the precipice trail by the area of the turn a round.
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
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