[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]

Acadia National Park
Feature Main Page
Photo Gallery
Print Gallery
On Assignment
Learn More
Online Extra: Travel Tips
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Learn More
In Learn More the National Geographic magazine team shares some of its best sources and other information to expand your knowledge of our featured subjects. Special thanks to the Research Division.

Content Jump Links:
 Did You Know?  
 Related Links  
 NGS Resources  

Did You Know?Did You Know?

"Night of Terror Ends Safely for Bar Harbor's Refugees: Homes of Well-to-Do in Ruins," read the headlines on the front page of the New York Times on October 25, 1947. A tremendous fire had been consuming thousands of acres on the eastern side of Mount Desert Island for two weeks, and now the town of Bar Harbor and dozens of elegant summer estates were threatened. 
October is usually a glorious month in Acadia National Park, with warm Indian summer days and fall foliage at peak vibrance. In 1947, however, the park and much of New England was enduring a drought that had stretched since June. The land was parched. In the late afternoon of Friday, October 17, a resident noticed smoke rising from a cranberry bog near Hulls Cove, just north of Bar Harbor. For the first three days the fire burned slowly, but then gale winds ignited an inferno that consumed everything in its path with terrifying swiftness. Dozens of "cottages" of wealthy summer residents and hundreds of homes of Bar Harbor citizens were lost.
People—and nature—rebound. Bar Harbor residents rebuilt, and the park's forests regrew. The stately cottages, though, were not rebuilt, and now motels and other conveniences for park visitors line U.S. Route 3 where the mansions once stood. How the fire started remains unknown, but it ended an era on Mount Desert Island.
—Barbara L. Wyckoff

Related Links

Acadia National Park
Visit this site for facts about Acadia, including current activities and trail conditions.
Friends of Acadia
This nonprofit organization is dedicated to preserving and improving the park.
Bar Harbor Historical Society
Learn more about the history of Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island.
National Park Service
This website gives a history of the park service with links to other resources.
Fire of 1947
Read this park service summary of the fire that burned thousands of acres of Acadia National Park.


Dorr, George E. The Story of Acadia National Park. Acadia Publishing Co., 1991.
Fox, Stephen. John Muir and His Legacy: The American Conservation Movement. Little, Brown, and Company, 1981.
Gilman, Richard, and others. The Geology of Mount Desert Island. Maine Geological Survey, 1988.
Morison, Samuel Eliot. The Story of Mount Desert Island. Little, Brown, and Company, 1960.

NGS Resources

National Geographic Guide to the National Parks: East & Midwest. National Geographic Books, 2005.
Gorman, Jim. "7 Great Park Tours." National Geographic Adventure (June/July 2005), 65-73, 77-8, 80, 82.
Worrall, Simon. "Classic Acadia National Park." National Geographic Traveler (April 2003), 84-7.
Kostyal, K. M.  "Summer in Acadia." National Geographic Traveler (May/June 1992), 42-56.
E-Mail this Page to a Friend