Puslapio vaizdai

At Northeast Harbor and Seal Harbor the summer residents, in proportion to their numbers, are quite as active in the public interest as their Bar Harbor friends. And all work together efficiently. For example, Captain Macdonald, minister and navigator, may stand on the summit of Green and see half of his hundred-milelong parish of isle-studded coast. Some of his islands are uncharted, without laws, and beyond the pale of any government; yet not beyond the reach of the larger island's good-will. For the Maine Sea Coast Mission, supported by Mount Desert, has for five years been giving them the sort of assistance, mental, physical, and spiritual, that Dr. Grenfell brings to the fishermen of Labrador.

Not long ago a winter resident of Bar Harbor, a house-painter working at one. of the cottages, was found studying a photograph, and presently he asked the mistress of the house whether it was a Perugino or a Raphael. The lady grew interested, and found, after some conversation, that the house-painter and his wife had been making a serious study of Italian art for five years. Further inquiry revealed that association with the summer people and with the artists who had built the cottages had not only trained up a body of exceptionally skilled artisans, but had also roused among the winter residents a vigorous appetite for artistic knowledge. In a community so altruistic an arts and crafts movement naturally followed, and now, under the direction of a well-known sculptor, a sort of local William Morris, the residents are learning how to cast beautiful garden decorations in cement, to model, to hammer iron, to dye fabrics, to make Italian point-lace, and so on.

When one realizes that Mount Desert is still in its infancy as a summer resort, and realizes its brilliant possibilities and the determined public spirit of the men who have set out to fulfil them, one cannot avoid the conclusion that this region is destined to be one of the important recreation centers of America.

For the island is already as unique in its variety as it is in beauty and altruism. It is a world in little. Each settlement has managed to keep its own strong individuality intact.

It is only at the height of the summer

that the prevailing note of Bar Harbor is given by the so-called "smart set." To those whose ideas of this resort have been gathered from hearsay and the newspapers, its subdued refinement of tone, its lack of "yellow streaks," will come as a surprise. "There's little heavy drinking or gambling here," Dr. Weir Mitchell remarked, "and less of the Newport ostentation. It is more like the dear old Newport I used to know in the days of Agassiz." Both before and after the butterfly season, Mount Desert is a quiet, delightful place, with an atmosphere favorable to the arts and even to philosophy. It is the home of a colony of distinguished writers and other artists. In fact, the whole island fairly teems with temperament and intellect.

It is interesting to notice the different evolutionary stages in the relation between cottagers and transients as shown by the four summer colonies. Southwest Harbor, the eldest, has kept most conservatively to the old democratic régime. There are comparatively few cottagers, the hotels are simple, and the life still keeps much of the spontaneous friendliness and camaraderie of the early days.

The hotels at Northeast are more elaborate and exclusive, and a perfect equilibrium seems to exist just now between the hotel and the cottage life. But though the relations between the two are most cordial, the friendless transient is not made welcome at these reserved hostelries. President Eliot jokingly remarked to me, "Bar Harbor considers Northeast respectable, but impecunious." Then he added, "We have no persons of very great wealth here, although they are beginning to settle at Seal Harbor."

The term "very great wealth" is both relative and somewhat vague, but there can be no difficulty in recognizing the highly individual and aristocratic quality of Northeast. Founded by Bishop Doane and President Eliot, it has held consistently to its original tone, and has known in one season no fewer than five bishops and nine college presidents.

Seal Harbor's hotel life goes far toward combining the democracy of Southwest with the elegant comfort of Northeast. But this is a more homelike harbor than its neighbors, and the colony of residents is beginning to be sufficient unto itself. The cottagers and the hotel guests form

[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

see tennis of a quality seldom found outside of the important tournaments. There are good tennis clubs at three of the harbors, and interesting golf-links at two.

Mount Desert is one of the best places. in America for driving, not only because one may look down upon the sea from splendid mountain roads, but because it is, as well, the one place from which the automobile and the trolley have been excluded. Southwest alone voted, by a small majority, in favor of admitting motors; but its limited territory is too small to encourage their use. Nearly all of the summer residents are dwellers in cities,

[graphic][merged small]

visited by the larger yacht-clubs on their cruises, and a squadron of war-ships may sometimes be seen riding at anchor in the lee of the Porcupines.

Mount Desert seems to do everything well. Though the climate is usually too cool for comfortable ocean bathing, there are two swimming-pools where the water is warmed in the sun over several tides. Every morning in the elaborate house of the Bar Harbor Swimming-Club a part of the Boston Symphony Orchestra plays a class of music so excellent that it would be declared "impossible" at most summer resorts. Outside, about the tennis-courts, the gaily colored crowd of young people, with their brilliance and animation, take one back to Smollett's word-pictures of the season at Bath. Here one may often


and they have tried hard to keep the island quiet, simple, un-urban. The exclusion of the motor is only another instance of the beauty-loving, altruistic spirit of the people. For many of those who are most opposed to automobiles here are people to whom they have become a necessity in town. In banning them, the residents considered not only the comfort in driving and walking, the element of danger, and the unsuitability of the roads, but also the eternal fitness of things. These are the sort of folk who built the Building of Arts at the foot of Newport Mountain. Most of them would as willingly set up a steam-piano on that quiet stage as invite a car to invade the safety and peace of the Ocean Drive. Recently, however, the "motor-men" have been alarmingly active,

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

and one begins to fear that the island's than ginger-ale. Picnics are popular on idyllic days are numbered.

There is scarcely any end to the variety of local recreations. No fewer than four places, including Jordan Pond and Somesville, are the objective points of luncheons and dinner-parties, with wholesome and simple food, of which the pièce de résistance is fried chicken with corn and sweet potatoes, and nothing stronger to drink

the Cranberry Islands, on the rocky beach amphitheaters of Baker's and Gott's, near the high surf from the open sea, among the thousand screaming gulls of the remarkable Duck Islands, or inland on the course of mountain-climbs. One may haul two dozen varieties of flapping, wriggling creatures out of the sea with a hand-line. One may float in a canoe on one of the

« AnkstesnisTęsti »