The Sieur de Monts Spring plays a significant role in the history of Acadia National Park. George B. Dorr, a private citizen who lived in the late 1800's and early 1900's, was a major contributor to the park's conception and creation through his vision and passion to preserve and protect the natural beauty of Mount Desert Island. (View Sieur de Monts Photos.)
Sieur de Monts Spring got its name from Pierre Du Gua de Monts, an early
1600's Lieutenant Governor of New France who was commissioned by King
Henry IV in 1603. The King directed Sieur de Monts “to establish
the name, power, and authority of the King of France; 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.” At that time, Lieutenant Governor Sieur
de Monts had authority over all of North America between the 40th and
46th parallels (from Montreal to present day Philadelphia).
As the first superintendent of Acadia, George B. Dorr built the Spring
House over the spring in 1909 and carved “The Sweet Waters of Acadia” on
a nearby rock. Today, this location has come to symbolize the enthusiasm
and contributions of Dorr and other early twentieth century citizens
in the creation and preservation of Acadia National Park. The spring
is open year round and is located at the Sieur de Monts Spring, 2 miles
south of Bar Harbor near the intersection
of the Park Loop Road and Route 3 on
Mount Desert Island. There is no entrance fee required.
When you first drive into the parking area, it may not seem like much.
But trust me, when you get out and start your walk on the pathways, a
magical world unfolds which not only includes the Wild
Gardens of Acadia, but the Abbe Museum and
the Nature Center (located in the brown
building). The Island
Explorer Shuttle Bus has a pickup and drop-off point here.
Interesting Note: The main function of a spring house (or, springhouse) was not to protect the cleanliness of the spring water. Prior to refrigerators, people had to be very resourceful in creating ways to keep perishables from spoiling. Since water from underground springs and brooks is often much cooler than above-ground temperatures during the summer months, building a small building over an open spring or brook captured this cooler air temperature thereby creating an ideal environment to store foods like meat, fruit, and dairy products in order to keep them cool and fresh.
Acadia National Park Hiking Trails
Sieur de Monts & Nature Center GPS: Latitude 44.362097; Longitude -68.207830
Hulls Cove Visitor Center GPS: Latitude 44.409286; Longitude -68.247501
If you love Acadia National Park and how AcadiaMagic.com presents it, please let others know!