The oldest settlement on Mount Desert Island dates back to 1761 when it was established by Abraham Somes. The central village and harbor district are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It contains one of the most photographed bridges in Maine, the arching Somesville Bridge for pedestrians across Somes Creek. The Somesville Museum & Gardens overlooks the ancient mill pond with exhibits provide information about the history of the island and education about the flowering plants and herbs there.
This small village is on the road between Bar Harbor and the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse. We stopped here on the way back in order to take a few photographs at the pond outside the library and ended up staying for nearly an hour due to its charm. It also proved a convenient place to grab the library’s free WiFi signal.
The Somesville Bridge
The popular arched walking bridge sits on the west side of Route 102 south of the intersection of Routes 233 and 3. It sits across from the Somesville Library and next to the Museum & Gardens. If you have are a photographer, this is a must visit location on Mount Desert Island.
Somesville Historical Museum and Gardens
This building was constructed in 1981. There is an Heirloom Garden with plants of the 19th and early 20th Centuries from late May through October. Each summer, exhibits featuring history topics concerning Mount Desert Island are displayed in the Museum space.
This public library is located across the street from the Somesville Museum & Gardens as well as the popular Bridge over its reflecting pond. It sits on a Mill Pond with a fish passage to bypass the dam. The fish ladder allows alewives to bypass the dam.
Other local points of interest include the Acadia Repertory Theatre, which houses a summer season of plays from June until Labor Day, and the Gallery at Somes Sound, which was established in 2010 to feature paintings, studio furniture and sculpture from contemporary artists of national standing.
About Abraham Somes
Abraham Somes was a cooper (employed to make utensils and barrels) in Gloucester, Mass., who obtained land on Mount Desert Island from the governor of Massachusetts in the middle of the 18th Century. Somes and his family came to Maine with James Richardson and his family. He decided to establish the village on the only natural fjard on the east coast, which would later be named Somes Sound after him.