Collections of Jesup Memorial Library
Pulpit Rock - Bar Harbor ca.1915
|Pulpit Rock - Bar Harbor today|
It was noted in 1869 by Benjamin F. De Costa. In his book, Sketches of the Coast of Maine, he mentions a shore walk from the steamboat landing [Bar Harbor wharf] south to Cromwells Cove: "Opposite Mr. Hardy's handsome cottage is an isolated rock. Every one must climb this, because, forsooth, it is Pulpit Rock. In some great cathedral, it would serve a good turn for the preacher.*1
It wasn't until 18 years later this pulpit rock became first depicted on a map.*2 It is located off the Shore Path alongside the Bar Harbor Inn.
|Pulpit Rock - Gorge Path|
That same year a newspaper article describing the Cadillac Mountain path system stated, "The main path runs along the valley for a considerable distance, then crosses the [Kebo] brook and finally reaches the gorge and runs in the bed of the brook up between Green [Cadillac] and Dry [Dorr] mountains. Near the head of the brook one reaches Pulpit rock which affords a good resting place and charming vistas; then on up the gorge and at the top the path branches to east up Dry mountain, and west up Green to the Mountain house [a summit hotel]."*4
|Francklyn Memorial - Gorge Path|
Four-tenths mile before reaching this pulpit rock while hiking up the Gorge Path, the hiker will pass a bronze memorial to Lilian Endicott Francklyn (1891-1928), whose friends financially endowed the path in 1929.*5
|The Pulpit - Maple Spring Trail|
SWHPL Collection of Photographs #8937
Pulpit Rock - Thunder Hole 1921
Apparently never mapped, there are two additional pulpit rocks.
This one is mentioned in a 1960 newspaper article: "As the flying spray obliterated vision of much of the pulpit rock at the side of Thunder Hole …"*9
|Pulpit Rock - Thunder Hole today|
SWHPL Collection of Photographs #11895
Pulpit Rock - Cadillac Mountain summit 1935
Another SWHPL photograph, of October 1935, identifies a pulpit rock overlooking Bar Harbor and the Porcupine Islands from the summit of Cadillac Mountain.
Why have these five pulpit rocks since disappeared from our awareness? Are there more pulpit rocks on MDI? Until we get the answers, have fun finding and enjoying them. Here are their GPS locations:
Cadillac-Dorr Gorge Trail: N44° 21.556' W068° 13.211'
Maple Spring Trail gorge: N44° 19.993' W068° 16.876'
Thunder Hole: N44° 19.237' W068° 11.318'
Cadillac summit: N44° 21.216' W068° 13.306'
1 Sketches of the Coast of Maine and Isles of Shoals, with Historical Notes, by B. F. De Costa. New York. 1869, pp. 130-131.
2 Map of Mount Desert Island. Colby & Stuart. 1887.
3 Bar Harbor Village Improvement Association Path Map of the Eastern Part of Mount Desert Island. Bates, Rand and Jaques. 1896. Map of Mount Desert Island. Bates, Rand and Jaques. 1896.
4 Bar Harbor Record. July 1, 1896, p. 5.
5 Francklyn memorial location: N44° 21.904' W068° 13.254' The Park had removed the memorial for maintenance by November 2012 and plans to reinstall it later this summer.
6 Path Map of the Eastern Part of Mount Desert Island. Bates, Rand and Jaques. 1906.
7 Map of the Eastern Part of Mount Desert Island. Bates, Rand and Jaques. Revised 1937.
8 Path and Road Map of the Eastern Part of Mount Desert Island. Bates, Rand and Jaques. Revised and published by William Jay Turner. 1941.
9 Bar Harbor Times. September 15, 1960, p. 1.