Trail Closures: Peregrine Falcon Nesting
Precipice Cliff, Valley Cove, and Jordan Cliff areas are closed to all public entry until further notice for peregrine falcon nesting season. More »
Cultural Connections programs rescheduled for 7/16/2014 due to weather
Ash Log Pounding demo will take place today 11 am-3 pm at the Abbe Museum downtown (26 Mount Desert St, Bar Harbor). The Burnurwurbskek Singers have been rescheduled to perform on Cadillac Summit next Wed, July 23 at 11 am.
Trail Closure: Gorge Path weekdays, 7 am - 4 pm
The section of the Gorge Path between the Hemlock Path intersection and the A. Murray Young Trail intersection is closed until rehabilitation work is completed. The closure will be in effect Mondays through Fridays only, from 7 am to 4 pm.
Wabanaki Life Thousands of Years Ago
What was life like thousands of years ago for Wabanaki families on Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park?
As Wabanaki people discarded unused clamshells, they piled up to form heaps, or middens. Over many years, these big garbage piles included broken or unwanted tools made from stone and bone. Normally, anything made from bone would quickly decompose in Maine’s acidic soil; however, calcium carbonate in shells neutralizes the soil, which preserves delicate bone and other organic material. The old saying, “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure,” is certainly true here—shell midden sites provide archaeologists with important information about how Wabanaki people lived their everyday lives in the past.
One site along Somes Sound provides a snapshot of Wabanaki life 1,000 years ago. Archaeological evidence shows that Wabanaki people set up temporary seasonal camps that included tent-like, birchbark homes called wigwams—meaning “home” in Algonquian-based languages. Wigwams were cone-shaped, and had a hole in the top to let out smoke from the cozy fire inside. The interior space around the fire was probably blanketed with large deer, moose, and bear pelts—perfect to cushion the dirt or sand-packed floor. Ceramic cooking pots, birchbark ladles and spoons, bone awls for poking holes in animal pelts, and other household items might have rested inside. Animal hides probably hung over the doorway to block wind and dust from blowing in. All in all, a wigwam was probably a comfortable, snug place to take respite from the summer sun or winter wind and snow.
What did Wabanaki people eat?
How did Wabanaki people make the things they needed for everyday life?
Did Wabanaki people visit in the summer, like today’s tourists?
 An Island in Time, Three Thousand Years of Cultural Exchange on Mount Desert Island, Abbe Museum Publication, David Sanger, 1984, p17
A Note on Protecting Archaeological Sites
To fully protect and preserve fragile archaeological sites, NPS policies and federal law require that sensitive information about the specific location and nature of archaeological sites on park lands be withheld from public disclosure. The NPS, however, recognizes that the American people are ultimately the stewards of these resources. Park interpretive programs aim to make the public aware of the value of these resources and the role citizens may play in stewardship.
Did You Know?
The historic carriage road system at Acadia National Park features 17 stone-faced bridges spanning streams, waterfalls, cliffs, and roads. The design of each bridge, such as Cobblestone Bridge, is unique.