Old Farm Goes Digital
There is a new way to experience George B. Dorr’s former estate called Old Farm. Frequented by Mount Desert Island locals in the know, the Old Farm estate, part of Acadia National Park, provides a quiet walk through an intriguing and somewhat mysterious landscape.
As part of an effort to research how visitors to Old Farm might better understand Dorr and his importance to Acadia, the park teamed up with Northern Arizona University. The rough landscape of Old Farm, with no maintained trail system, suggested that the kind of interpretation used by the park elsewhere, like outdoor wayside panels or paper brochures, would be inappropriate for this historic site. While there is one introductory wayside at the parking area on Route 3, no other permanent interpretation is available at Old Farm. The team approached the solution of a digital application with caution, for the same reasons of wanting to preserve the austerity and rough ambiance of the site.
The Old Farm application uses a simple interface that includes a unique historical map with overlays to locate cultural areas and provides video interpretation for a variety of locations along a prescribed pathway. Videos are captioned so that the visitor can watch quietly, and there is an interactive 3-D visualization of the Dorr family manor house, demolished in 1949.