Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park

The Heart of Acadia

August 18, 2010, 7:34 am

Photo: Bridge that is part of Acadia's Carriage Road network. (NPS)Downeast Magazine's September 2010 edition features a great article about the making of Acadia National Park. Here's a sampling:

John D. Rockefeller, Jr., didn’t much care for the automobile. While his affluent peers in turn-of-the-century New York City were eager to get behind the wheel of the first cars, he commuted to work behind a pair of horses, clip-clopping up Broadway. When his friends went for Sunday drives in their newfangled autocars, he went for long buggy rides along the Hudson River.

There’s a certain irony to Rockefeller’s disdain for cars. His vast fortune was derived from oil. And in Maine he is most famous for building roads, including Acadia National Park’s prized Loop Road, which he designed and financed. But Rockefeller, or “Junior” as his parent’s called him, had misgivings about the family business, Standard Oil, and it was precisely because he didn’t like cars that he built roads.

The young Rockefeller had a habit of defying expectations. When “Johnny Rock” was at Brown University he was known as something of a penny-pincher, despite being the son and heir of the richest man the world had known to that point. And in March 1910, the quiet, shy Rockefeller left Standard Oil, walking away from the company his father founded and dividends of a million dollars a month. Then he bought a house 385 miles from Manhattan on Mount Desert Island.

It seemed everything in his life up to that point, all his interests and hopes, converged in Seal Harbor, just as Acadia National Park was being born.

Read the whole article at DownEast.com.

Photo: Photo: Bridge that is part of Acadia's Carriage Road network. (NPS)