Mount Desert Island
The peaks were named Monts Deserts, meaning
wilderness mountains, by the French explorer Samuel de Champlain, who landed on the island in 1604. The first French Jesuit mission and colony in America was established there in 1613; the first permanent English settlement began in 1762. The island developed as a fishing and lumbering center, and by the end of the 19th cent. it had become a famous resort area for the wealthy. A forest fire in 1947 damaged much of the eastern half of the island, but spared the downtown and coastline homes of Bar Harbor. The major part of the island is in Acadia National Park, which was established in 1919.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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