Rare plan for a coastal development near Mount Desert Island

Joseph H. Curtis, Landscape Engineer 85 Dev. St. Boston from surveys by J. G. Kelly / Heliotype Printing Co. Boston, Plan of Heights of BUENA VISTA near terminus of Mt. Desert Branch of M.C.R.R. Hancock, Maine, Dec. 1888.
Lithograph printed in five colors, 18 1/8”h x 26 3/8”w at neat line plus margins. Minor wear and soiling in margins, else excellent.

The Maine Central Railroad was chartered in 1881 and completed in mid-1884, running nearly 50 miles from Penobscot Switch to the Mount Desert Ferry in Hancock, Maine. This created the only all-rail connection between Mount Desert, Portland, Boston and beyond.

“Since the opening of the Mount Desert Branch of the Maine Central Railroad a new impulse has been given to the travel in this direction, and the number of visitors to Bar Harbor has more than quadrupled within the last two years, and is yearly increasing.” (Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island (New York: 1886), p. 9)

To capitalize on this new development, investors subdivided and sought to develop “Buena Vista,” a parcel in Hancock just a few miles up the coast from the Ferry. This map depicts the subdivision of the parcel into 28 lots, each with its acreage indicated and in some cases the proposed building site. The Railroad is clearly visible bisecting the parcel near the coast, and an inset map at lower right emphasizes the development’s road and rail connections as well as its proximity to Bar Harbor.

I have found no mention of the development in the period press, and examination of a modern map of the area suggests that the project either failed or was radically redesigned.

OCLC 181101161 (Univ. of Maine at Orono and Yale only, as of July 2019). Another impression is held by the Osher Map Library.