The Celebrating America Cruise - Visiting Bar Harbor, Maine

Written by: Lynn Young, President General
December 2, 2015

We docked offshore in Bar Harbor, Maine early on the fourth day of our cruise.  Reaching the shore by tenders, we were delighted to find a group of hardy Maine Daughters, including State Regent Sandy Swallow, her mother, State Vice Regent Liz Hotchkiss, and members of the Mt. Desert Isle Chapter, welcoming us to Maine with the chapter banner.

Sandy had provided some interesting history of Maine in the American Revolution for our cruise program.  Maine was settled in the early 1630s by entrepreneurs who were interested in its vast supply of natural resources, primarily for lumber and fisheries.  Britain wanted to settle Maine in order to control the seas and build a vast navy.  In 1774, York, Maine hosted a Tea Party in support of Boston, launched from John Hancock’s wharf in York. The first Naval battle occurred on June, 1775 in which British Naval Officer Captain Henry Mowatt sailed to Machias to load timber with which to build housing for British soldiers in Boston.  Jeremiah O’Brien and his militia met at John Burnham’s tavern and launched an attack on the Margaretta.  The Burnham Tavern is under the care of the Hannah Weston Chapter, NSDAR.

In the fall of 1775 Benedict Arnold lead a force of 675 men up the Kennebec River cutting through the wilderness to launch an attack on Quebec December 31, 1775.

Significant men of the Revolutionary time connected with Maine include Rufus King, aide to General Washington and a signer of the Constitution, General Peleg Wadsworth, aide to General Washington and grandfather to poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. General Henry Knox, close aide to General Washington, was granted land in Thomaston, ME where he settled.  In 1929 the Henry Knox Chapter of the DAR with funds primarily donated by publishing magnate Cyrus H. K. Curtis, broke ground to build a recreation of his home, Montpelier, which is now a museum.

Maine is a beautiful state and the fall colors were gorgeous on this crisp morning.  Many on the ship chose to tour the 35,000-acre Acadia National Park, the first national park east of the Mississippi.  Most toured by bus, but Mary Frisch and Morgan Lake bravely set out on a bike tour.  Others sailed on a schooner, took a trolley tour or visited the lighthouses.

Steve and I had been to Acadia National Park previously, so we strolled around downtown, shopped for gifts for the grandchildren, and enjoyed a delicious lobster salad on the waterfront at the Bar Harbor Inn.  Regrettably, we missed the opportunity to sample the exceptional ice cream for which Bar Harbor is well known as we boarded the tender to return to the ship. 

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