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The Wabanaki lived on Mount Desert Island at least 5,000 years ago. Some lived here only part of the year, others year round. Read more about the Wabanaki.
A French explorer, Samuel Champlain, was the first European to name the island in 1604. He named the island Isles des Monts Deserts, which means "the island of barren mountains" in French. Read more about early settlers.
In the early 1900s, some summer residents were worried that the island forests would be cut and that homes someday would line every inch of the rocky coast. A group of citizens began buying land to save it. They worked hard for years to convince the federal government to take over the land. In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson created Sieur de Monts National Monument. More land was given, and in 1919 the name was changed to Lafayette National Park. In 1929 the name changed one more time to Acadia National Park. All of the land was donated by people who wanted to protect it. Visit our History of Acadia page for more information.
Biology and Park Science
Whether it's testing the acidity of our aquatic systems or stopping the spread of invasive species, our bioloigists are often busy protecting the park! Read more about Park Science.