In 1901 concerned citizens formed the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations in response to extensive lumbering and the increase in private land ownership in Hancock County. They were very successful in preserving thousands of acres on Mount Desert Island, and then donated their holdings to the Federal government 1916 which formed the core of Acadia National Park. In 1929 they accepted Woodlawn, a 180-acre historic estate, from the bequest of George Nixon Black, Jr. and have continued to maintain and govern it for public use ever since. Today, the Trustees’ envisions Hancock County as a unique and special place endowed with a vibrant quality of living, a strong sense of community pride, and an on-going and compelling story to tell.
To celebrate the formation of Acadia National Park, the Trustees are proposing the following three activities:
1) An official ceremony to mark the transfer of the Trustees sole remaining land holding to ANP. The last property owned by the Trustees that is within the boundaries of the park is a parcel located along Sea Wall and abutting the Sea Wall Campground. The Trustees plan on inviting the appropriate government representatives, in coordination with the Acadia Centennial Taskforce, and will reach out to the Park to plan a public ceremony to officially transfer this parcel to ANP.
2) Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations Reunion. At a site to be determined, the current Trustees plan to invite all past Trustees, and decedents of past Trustees to a reunion event. Details TBD. A board Taskforce has been named and will work closely with the Acadia Centennial Taskforce to flesh out the details. It might also be possible and desirable to combine the activity listed above with a reunion.
3) Publishing an updated history of the Trustees. In 1939, the Trustees published a pamphlet t titled The Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations: An Historical Sketch and a Record of the Holdings of the Trustees. We plan on re-publishing the pamphlet with an updated history written by Ron Epp and possibly an updated map/record of the holdings the Trustees lands transferred to the Federal government.