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My Two Decades of Writing About Acadia’s Founder – presentation by Ronald Epp

Creating Acadia National Park: the Biography of George Bucknam Dorr
Date: Thursday Aug 18, 2016
Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM


Blue Hill Library presents a special program about Acadia National Park, celebrating the 100th year of its founding this year. Author and historian Ronald Epp will speak about his research into the life of Acadia National Park founder George Dorr and his new book, Creating Acadia National Park: The Biography of George Bucknam Dorr.

Although he is known as the “Father of Acadia” and a founder of the oldest national park east of the Mississippi River, George Bucknam Dorr’s seminal contributions to the American environmental movement have gone largely unacknowledged. Even today, those who live in or visit the coastal Maine communities surrounding Acadia National Park do not fully realize the scope of his achievements. This biography is the story of Dorr’s pioneering role in the establishment and development of a unique conservation model that dovetailed with the evolution of the US National Park Service—which shares its 2016 centennial with Acadia.

Raised in Boston as a member of New England’s elite merchant class, Dorr adopted Maine’s Mount Desert Island as his home and the setting to apply the practical lessons of “Boston Brahmin” philanthropy that tracked back to his maternal grandfather, banker and Harvard College Treasurer Thomas Wren Ward. Yet through his finest work—the creation and management of Acadia National Park—and through his collaborations with park co-founders Charles W. Eliot, John D. Rockefeller Jr., and others—Dorr transformed an elitist social inheritance into an all-consuming commitment to conservation. One hundred years after its founding, this national treasure is visited, enjoyed, and beloved by millions every year.

The first biography of George B. Dorr ever written, Creating Acadia National Park: the Biography of George Bucknam Dorr is based on painstaking research both in the US and abroad, including federal, state, and private archives. Newly-discovered and uncatalogued sources are supplemented by in-person interviews. This work will appeal to general and scholarly readers who care about the philanthropic roots of land conservation, those interested in what has been celebrated as “America’s Best Idea,” and above all, those who know and love Acadia National Park.

RONALD H. EPP, Ph.D. is a historian and professor of philosophy with scholarly publishing and academic library administration experience. His research over the last two decades into the Massachusetts families that influenced the development of conservation philanthropy has resulted in publications and talks to regional and national organizations.

Location: Blue Hill Public Library
Contact Name: Karen Wyatt
Contact Phone #: (207) 374-5515
Event web page:
Event Sponsor(s): Blue Hill Public Library Ronald Epp 

This is a free event.

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