In partnership with the Maine Memory Network Maine Memory Network

Mount Desert Island: Shaped by Nature

Green Mountain Railway

Lithograph of Green Mountain Rail Road Train
Lithograph of Green Mountain Rail Road Train

Item Contributed by
Great Harbor Maritime Museum

In the 1880s railways were one of the most popular modes of transportation. On Mt. Desert Island Green Mountain (now called Cadillac) was one of the most beautiful spots for miles.

Frances H. Clerque of Bangor decided that he would bring the two together and create a railway to the top of the mountain. Green Mountain had been the site of a hotel since about 1866 when Daniel Brewer create a carriage trail to the top and built a hotel.

Clerque chose a cog railway, like the one used on Mount Washington, and had railway tracks built from Eagle Lake to the summit of Green Mountain. Clerque also built a hotel, named the Summit House, on Green Mountain.

Clerque’s railway ran for about 10 years. The story of the Green Mountain Railway is one of the more popular stories on MDI’s history. It is still possible to see remnants of the railway
on the trail up Cadillac Mountain (then called Green Mountain).