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Somesville, Maine facts for kids

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Somesville Historic District
Walking bridge in Somesville, ME IMG 2234.JPG
Location Somes Harbor and its environs, Mount Desert, Maine
Area 400 acres (160 ha)
Architectural style Greek Revival, Federal
NRHP reference No. 75000092
Added to NRHP January 8, 1975
Portrait of an Island Museum, Somesville, ME IMG 2239
Somesville Museum in Somesville
Somesville, ME Library IMG 2247
Across from the museum is the Somesville Library, a private facility with limited hours.

Somesville is the earliest village of the town of Mount Desert on Mount Desert Island in southeastern Maine. It is located on the north end of Somes Sound ("Acadia magic.com,"). The village was established by Abraham Somes who was the first settler on the island (Hartford). It attracted many people because of its mills and quarries (Shettleworth, & Vandenbergh, 2001). The entire village is part of the Somesville Historic District.

History

The history of Somesville dates back to Native Americans. The first Native Americans to visit the island were not permanent residents but they visited the island as far back as 4000 B.C. ("Mount desert island,"). After the Native Americans, the first families that settled on the island were Abraham and Hannah Somes as well as James and Rachel Richardson in the year of 1761 (Shettleworth, & Vandenbergh, 2001). Somes was requested by the Massachusetts governor, Francis Bernard, to settle there and establish mills (Shettleworth, & Vandenbergh, 2001). They named their village Somesville and the inlet it was on, Somes Sound, after Abraham and his family (Hartford). Somesville's history still attracts many new inhabitants today.

Geology

Another unique trait of Somesville is its geology. The Mount Desert Island we see today was largely formed around ~380 million years ago by the collision of the continent and an arc of islands, which created the granites and other igneous rocks that comprise most of the island and its mountains. This is how the mountainous landscape can into being ("The geology of," 2008). As recently as one million years ago, a mile-thick glacier moved a few yards each year and eventually reached the Mount Desert Range. During this glacial event, Somes Sound was carved out of the island giving it a curved “U” shape valley characteristic of glaciation. ("The story of," ).

Today, many types of rock are on the island including granites and volcanic rocks which resulted from the collision. These granites and volcanic rocks were emplaced adjacent to ~400 million year old siltstones and sandstones that sit on the inland side of the island on which the village of Bar Harbor lies. The Mountains of Acadia represent a collisional tectonic event which was soon followed by a related series of continental collisions which led to a major phase in the mountain-building of the Northern Appalachians known as the Acadian Orogeny.

Historic district

In 1975, the central village of Somesville and the harbor area were listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. The district extends along Main Street from Denning Brook to Maine State Route 3, and encompasses the entire shoreline of the harbor as far south as Mason and Squantum Points. It includes the 1828 Isaac Somes House, the oldest in the village, and the 1852 Union Church.

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