In partnership with the Maine Memory Network Maine Memory Network

Mount Desert Island: Shaped by Nature

More Permanent Settlers Arrive

Two major waves of settlers arrived after 1768 – the first from Gloucester, Massachusetts in addition to James Richardson and Abraham Somes included Stephen Gott, Daniel Gott, Thomas Richardson, Andrew Tarr, Benjamin Stanwood, Stephen Richardson, Daniel Gott, Jr. and Elijah Richardson who all signed a petition to Governor Bernard in 1768.

The second major group of settlers came from Eastham, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Included were Amariah Leland and his sons Ezra and Ebenezer, David Higgins, Jesse Higgins, Ebenezer Salisbury, Simeon Hadley, Joseph Mayo, Samuel Hadlock and John Manchester to name just a few. They settled around the island in what is now Bar Harbor as well as Somesville, Otter Creek, Northeast Harbor and Southwest Harbor and Tremont.

Most of these early families received their land titles from either Governor Bernard or Bartholemy and Marie Therese de Gregoire. The early deeds can be found in the Lincoln County or Hancock County court houses.

The original town records for the Plantation of Mount Desert -- now Mount Desert Island -- still exist and copies can be found in the local libraries. The records show the development of the town, its government, vital records, laying out of the roads and how they dealt with the problems that arose. The records also include the incorporation of the Plantation of Mount Desert into the town of Mount Desert, in the county of Lincoln and the state of Massachusetts on February 16, 1789. Thirty men signed the oath of allegiance.