Symbolically speaking, Sieur de Monts Spring is perhaps the most significant and meaningful place on Mount Desert Island. It is hallow ground that honors the vision, passion, and dedication of a private citizen who devoted his adult life to the fulfillment of the dream that became known as Acadia National Park. George B. Dorr (1855 - 1944), even though from a life of privilege himself, worked incessantly to preserve and protect the land and waters of Acadia for all future generations to enjoy. There are many others honored here as well.
Dorr worked closely with John D. Rockefeller, Jr. when the Carriage Road System was built, and with the Civilian Conservation Corps. Formed by President Franklin Roosevelt during the great depression of the thirties to help put people back to work, the Corps was stationed at various places in the country including the new National Park called Acadia after Dorr petitioned the president to do so. Among the many things accomplished are the construction of Blackwoods Campground, Seawall Campground, and the Ocean Path. Always, Dorr was supervising to be sure that the highest standard or quality was achieved and that the natural beauty of the landscape was always protected.
Superintendent Dorr built the springhouse at the Sieur de Monts Spring and carved “The Sweet Waters of Acadia” on a large rock in 1909. The spring was named after Pierre Du Gua de Monts, an early 1600's Lieutenant Governor of New France who was commissioned by King Henry IV in 1603 “to summon the natives to a knowledge of the Christian religion; to people, cultivate, and settle the said lands; to make explorations and especially to seek out mines of precious metals.” Sieur de Monts was given authority over all of North America between the 40th and 46th parallels (Montreal to Philadelphia). In 1604, Sieur de Monts arranged to sail with Samuel de Champlain with the intent of founding a settlement in Acadia. (Read history)
Photos: Summer View | Autumn View
There is much more here to enjoy than one might expect. The Sieur de Monts Springhouse shares the grounds with Wild Gardens of Acadia, the original Abbe Museum, and the Nature Center. Wild Gardens of Acadia enlightens us of the typical habitats found on Mount Desert Island. There are nine separate display areas with over 300 native plant species labeled for easy identification. The Nature Center explains the natural balances and dynamics at play on the island such as air quality and the roles that fires play in forests. Their building has several informative displays and is staffed by a knowledgeable person who can answer your questions. Abbe Museum focuses on the Native American culture and its history in Maine. There is another Abbe Museum location on Mt. Desert Street in Bar Harbor next to the Village Green.
The Sieur de Monts Springhouse, is located near the intersection of Route 3 and the Park Loop Road about 2 miles south of Bar Harbor.
The Free Island Explorer Shuttle Bus Service makes regular (in season) stops at Sieur de Monts Spring. (Refer to their #3 Sand Beach/Blackwoods & #4 Loop Road Routes.) The #3 Sand Beach/Blackwoods Route Bus returns to Bar Harbor at the Village Green and the #4 Loop Road Route Bus stops at the the Hulls Cove Visitor Center.
Sieur de Monts & Nature Center GPS: Latitude 44.362097; Longitude -68.207830
Hulls Cove Visitor Center GPS: Latitude 44.409286; Longitude -68.247501
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