BAR HARBOR –Tom Testa, Co-founder and President of the Downeast Rail Heritage Preservation Trust, Inc. and the Downeast Scenic Railroad will present a brief history of the rail line that connected Ellsworth, Mount Desert Island and Downeast Coastal Maine with the nation at the Bar Harbor Historical Society’s Annual Meeting on Sunday, Oct. 7. The meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the society’s museum, 33 Ledgelawn Ave. in Bar Harbor.
On June 23, 1884, Colonel John N. Greene saw the first part of his vision come to fruition, the Maine Shore Line Railroad. This 40 mile rail line from Brewer to McNeil Point on the Hancock Peninsula would make a connection with the Maine Central Railroad and change Down East Maine forever.
The Ellsworth rail line, which would become known at the Calais Branch of the Maine Central Railroad in later years, served to enhance commerce, open markets of America and the world to Maine goods and products. It would bring visitors and summer residents, the “rusticators”, pioneers of our tourism and summer colonies today to the coast of Maine, and forever end the loss of connection to the rest of the United States during the harsh winter months.