Commemorative issue National Park Service Centennial
Acadia National Park
Specifically relating to Acadia National Park in Maine, this stamp is part of the group of stamps honoring the National Park Service Centennial.
Acadia, as the name suggests, was French before it was English and then American. French frigates hid from English men of war in Frenchman Bay, screened from detection by the Porcupine Islands. The French and English battled for possession of North America from 1613 until 1760. French explorer Samuel Champlain sailed into the Bay in 1604 and named this Mount Desert Island because of its landmark bare top.
The sea encircles the island, thrust inland, and often generates sea smoke and fog. In the midday sun its bright blue surface is studded with lobster buoys. In fog all is gray and muted. Somewhere out at sea, engines may mutter, but the lobster boat is blurred or lost in a formless world. Seen at sundown from Cadillac Mountain, the sea glows in soft pinks, mauve and gold. Gulls wing silently home to distant islands, and, like fireflies, navigational aids flash warnings from reefs, islands and headland. Between the sea and the forested mountains is the small, fascinating, almost nether world of the tidal zone. Twice daily exposed to air and drowned by sea water, it is a world of specially adapted organisms. Tidepools, pockets of seawater stranded in rock basins, are microhabitats brimming with life and exposed to view. In these natural aquariums you can watch marine animals going about their business. This zone of life occurs between low and high tides that average 11 to 12 feet. It is the primeval meeting place of earth and water.
In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson set aside 6000 acres (within what is now Acadia National Park) as Sieur de Monts National Monument. With the acquisition of more land and private support and funding, in 1919 President Wilson signed an act establishing Lafayette National Park. In 1929 the parks name was changed to Acadia.
Acadia National Park was established to protect the area’s spectacular scenic values, Maine’s rock bound coast, its coastal and its offshore islands as characterized by the geologic features, natural history and the native plant and animal life.
Since 1986, the park has purchased small tracks of land and easements to define its permanent boundary and to preserve scenic values. Many landowners today continue in the tradition of the park’s founders by placing easements on their property that limit development.