• Views from Penobscot Mountain summit.


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William Otis Sawtelle Collections and Research Center

Collection - Looking at Photos

Looking through the collections at the Center.


Containing detailed information about the history of Mount Desert Island the Cranberry Isles; this center houses six collections, featuring items from as early as 1596, and are available to the public. The collections contain photographs; town, genealogical, and vessel and trade records; correspondence; books, maps, and pamphlets; artwork; newspapers; and more.



Over a four-year period, National Park Service staff and volunteers completed a project to catalog more than 120,000 historic items. The project was funded through the Federal Lands Recreational Enhancement Act. The following collections were processed during this ambitions project:

  • Cranberry Isles Collection: (1596-1939) original documents relating to the maritime and genealogical history of the Cranberry Isles.
  • William Otis Sawtelle Collection: (1692-1941) personal papers of William Otis Sawtelle (founder of Islesford Historical Museum). Items include his research notes on local genealogy, Maine, and New France, as well as his scientific research.
  • Carroll Farm Collection: (1840-1966) documents the lives of the Carroll Family of Southwest Harbor
  • Islesford Wharf Company, Islesford Collection, Inc., and the U.S. Life Saving Station Collections document the history of these organizations on Islesford.
During fall 2007, new storage cabinetry was installed at the collections and research center to expand the capacity to store and manage collections in a state-of-the-art-facility.

Visit Us

Located at the park's headquarters on Route 233, the William Otis Sawtelle Collections and Research Center is available to the public by appointment only 8:30 am - 4 pm, Monday - Friday. To make an appointment, contact us.

Did You Know?

A Passamaquoddy birchbark basket with the image of a moose on it

The Passamaquoddy Kit is an educational tool for teachers to help teach students about Passamaquoddy culture in Maine. The kit is a collaboration between the Abbe Museum and Acadia National Park staff.