Acadia National Park Quarter
The coin I picked for June honors Acadia National Park. The park is in the Gulf of Maine, which stretches from Nova Scotia, Canada, to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The gulf's currents mix cold northern waters with nutritious river waters to create a rich marine environment for many kinds of plants and animals. Fishing has been a major industry in Maine for more than 200 years.
A small piece of Acadia National Park is located on the Maine mainland, but more than 90 percent of the park is on islands along the coast.
Little Cranberry Island is one example. Although the island is not part of the park, it is home to a park museum. The people who live on Little Cranberry are hardy and self-sufficient. The kids go to school on the island through 8th grade, but they travel to Mount Desert Island or the mainland for high school.
On the other hand, all of Baker Island is part of Acadia National Park but is no longer inhabited. The Gilley family settled Baker Island in 1806, starting a community that thrived for awhile, but the last resident moved off the island in 1929. The lighthouse keeper left in 1966. Only three of the town's buildings still stand.
The largest of Acadia's islands is Mount Desert Island. Most of the park is located on this island. The only lighthouse on the island is the one pictured on this quarter, the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse. You can visit the grounds of the lighthouse, but you can't go inside because the commander of the local Coast Guard unit lives there.
Even in these days of GPS, sonar, and detailed maps, lighthouses are important to seaside communities. Did you know that each lighthouse has its own light color and flashing pattern so sailors can tell them apart? The pattern for Bass Harbor Head's red light is three flashes followed by one second of dark, forming a four-second pattern.
There's so much more I could tell you about Acadia... but I'm out of time. Why don't you look up the park on your own? And don't forget the Acadia National Park Quarter page!