In partnership with the Maine Memory Network Maine Memory Network

Mount Desert Island: Shaped by Nature

Charles K. Savage (1903-1979): The View from Asticou

(Page 6 of 6) Print Version 

The Later Years

Tilting Rock Pamphlet, Acadia National Park-Day Mountain, Seal Harbor, ca. 1960
Tilting Rock Pamphlet, Acadia National Park-Day Mountain, Seal Harbor, ca. 1960Item Contributed by
Mount Desert Island Historical Society
Thuya Garden Entry Gate, ca 2012
Thuya Garden Entry Gate, ca 2012The hand carved wood entry gates to Thuya Garden were designed by Charles K. Savage in 1959. The hand carving of the lettering panels was crafted by Savage and the carving of each pictorial panel was executed by Savage's cousin, Augustus "Gus" Phillips.
Charles K. Savage Memorial:  Thuya Garden, ca 2012
Charles K. Savage Memorial: Thuya Garden, ca 2012A quiet and serene memorial to Charles K. Savage was created in 1980 within the northeast corner of the Thuya Garden at the base of Eliot Mountain. The memorial reflects Savage's love of the native stones on the island and the quiet joy he took spending time in the lesser travelled and beautiful native flora and fauna of Mount Desert Island.

By 1965 when Charles neither owned the Asticou Inn nor managed the Asticou Terraces Trust, much of his impressive conservation and preservation work along the eastern end of Mount Desert Island had been completed. The remaining 15 years of his life were spent creating many luscious hand carved signs and placques, often commissions for summer residents, local churches, the Northeast Harbor Village Improvement Association trails, and the Northeast Harbor Public Library. He continued writing, creating many detailed and illustrated personal letters with his observations and analyses of local issues while also maintaining close personal friendships from his days as an Inn owner and local conservation advocate and activist. He served as Manager of the Jordan Pond House, a Trustee of the Northeast Harbor Public Library, the Acadia Corporation, the Union Church, and other community affiliations until his death in 1979. Several of his commissioned writings and hand illustrated books are among the archives in the public library and many of his carvings are treasured in private collections in addition to those located in Asticou public spaces.

To see photographs of Charles K. Savage and his family, click on the photo below.


Private Collections: Many original writings, images, and other archival materials located in collections of access to the Mount Desert Island Historical Society were used to develop this history. Of particular importance are materials and memories from the collections of Samuel Savage McGee and C. Kenneth Savage, Jr.

Public Collections: Mount Desert Land & Garden Preserve, located in Seal Harbor and Northeast Harbor, maintains a small archive of historic materials related to Charles Kenneth Savage and his relationships with the Asticou Azalea Garden, Asticou Terraces Trust, and Thuya Garden. Several images and background materials were used in conjunction with this history. The original materials were used herein with the permission of the organization. Use of these archives is by appointment only, contact:

Other Resources: C. Kenneth Savage Jr. and Samuel Savage McGee have been exceedingly generous with their time, family archives, and support in the writing of this history. Mary Ann Savage Habib and staff of the Mount Desert Land & Garden Preserve and the Northeast Harbor Public Library have participated and encouraged this community history exhibit.