Ellsworth Maine, founded in 1800, is often called the gateway to the Downeast region and currently serves as its commercial center. Most anyone driving to Acadia National Park or Bar Harbor will pass through this town. Located at a major crossroads along U.S. Route 1 in Hancock County, Ellsworth has been the focus of much development for the eastern Maine region. With Acadia National Park at its back door, growth has been noticeable. As measured in 2000 to 2010, Ellsworth is Maine's fastest growing city at almost 20%. The current population is 7,741 (year 2010 census) and it covers 60,800 acres.
The area was first settled along the Union River by the British in 1763 after the signing of the Treaty of Paris and was known as New Bowdoin. The treaty also established this area as being part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As with many coastal inlet towns, lumber and boat building were the primary industries. Today, Ellsworth has a diversified and robust economy filled with retail shops, banking and professional firms, restaurants, large shopping centers, a public marina, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, two golf courses, movie theaters, an art center and more. (see fall foliage)
There are two places of significant mention - the Black Mansion (also known as Woodlawn) and Birdsacre. The Black Mansion, built in 1828 for Colonel John Black, is preserved in historical detail with rare period furniture. Colonel Black was a key figure in understanding the true wealth of the area, including as far east as Gouldsboro, was not in agriculture but rather in lumber. This key distinction opened up the region's development and dispersion of its natural woodland resource to the world, largely via the Union River. Historically accurate costumed guides are ready to explain the history and furnishings of the main mansion and its outer buildings from May 15 through October 31. Grounds are open year round.
Birdsacre (The Stanwood Wildlife Sanctuary) is a memorable and unique “natural” museum featuring a nature walk through a picturesque sanctuary filled with a variety of Maine wildflowers, wooded glens, small ponds full of aquatic life, and a bird nesting area. It includes 200 acres of protected wilderness filled with interconnecting nature trails for the whole family to enjoy. The addition of picnic areas, strategically placed benches, charcoal grills and a fireplace make this a special place for discovery and relaxation in a natural setting. There was a recent fire that impacted the main building but did not harm any of the many birds and wilderness sections. Contact information will be shown below.
You might consider doing some necessity shopping while in Ellsworth, Maine before continuing your drive the road to Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island or via U.S. Coastal Route One heading further Down East towards Acadia National Park at the Schoodic Peninsula .
Weddings in Acadia National Park: Visit the weddings section for information about having a wedding ceremony within Acadia, Bar Harbor. Ellsworth, or elsewhere on MDI or in nearby villages and towns.
© 2001 - 2014 Greg A. Hartford, AcadiaMagic.com
All Rights Are Retained by the Copyright and Trademark Owner
All other copyrights and trademarks are reserved by their respective holders.