Sieur de Monts Spring

Dorr and friends
Dorr (far right, seated) and friends at Jordan Pond.

NPS Archives

In 1909, George B. Dorr, Acadia's first superintendent, built an octagonal tile-roofed structure over a spring at the south end of Great Meadow. On a nearby rock he carved "The Sweet Waters of Acadia." He named the spring "Sieur de Monts" in honor of the French noble man who was commissioned Lieutenant Governor of New France by King Henry IV in 1603. As Lieutenant Governor, Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons, gained authority over all of North America between the 40th and 46th parallels, from present-day Philadelphia to Cape Breton.

Dugua was directed "to establish the name, power, and authority of the King of France; to summon the natives to a knowledge of the Christian religion; to people, cultivate, and settle the said lands; to make explorations and especially to seek out mines of precious metals." Armed with this grandiose mission, Dugua, his navigator Samuel Champlain, and his crew sailed to North America. There they established an ill-fated French settlement on Saint Croix Island, located on the present-day Maine/New Brunswick border.

Dorr's work at Sieur de Monts Spring symbolizes the enthusiasm and spirit of many early 20th-century summer residents who worked to preserve and protect the natural and historic values of Mount Desert Island. In a sense, Sieur de Monts Spring has become a memorial to Dorr, for it was his inspiration and determination that led to the creation of Acadia National Park.

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Bar Harbor, ME 04609

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