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Identification:

Preferred Structure Name:
Seawall Campground - Road System
Structure Number:
61790
Other Structure Name(s):
 
Other Structure Name(s)
No records.
Park:
Acadia National Park
Historic District:
 
Historic District
No records.
Structure State:
Maine
Structure County:
Hancock
Region:
Northeast
Cluster:
New England
Administrative Unit:
Acadia National Park
LCS ID:
748293
 
Historical Significance:

National Register Status:
Entered - Documented
National Register Date:
06/29/2007
National Historic Landmark?:
No
Significance Level:
Local
Short Significance Description:
Seawall Campground is locally significant under Criterion A for its association with the New Deal programs and the CCC, and under Criterion C as an excellent example of NPS Rustic Design constructed during the New Deal era.
Long Significance Description:
The Seawall Campground is significant for its association with the 20th-century movement to develop national parks for public enjoyment, and is a reflection of the principles and practices of rustic park landscape design used by the NPS and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and retains characteristics developed during the New Deal era. The campground is significant not only as an individual landscape feature, but also as a component of the larger development of Acadia National Park, the first national park established east of the Mississippi River. The period of significance for Seawall Campground is 1935-1942, beginning with the preliminary investigation of the Seawall area as a potential Recreational Demonstration Project (RDP) in 1935 and ends in 1942 when the physical work of the CCC was completed.

The Acadia NP campgrounds and picnic areas were constructed by the CCC on land donated by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and in accordance with a prototype developed by the NPS in a 1937 master plan. Seawall, developed as an RDA by the depression-era submarginal lands program, is an early automobile campground, part of which was built to accommodate the increasingly popular trailer camper (Loop C). The campground occupies 120 acres along the coastline of the Gulf of Maine, south of Southwest Harbor, on the western side of the island off of Route 102A. Seawall Campground takes its name from a naturally occurring barrier of granite rocks that forms a characteristic “seawall” along the Gulf of Maine approximately ¼ mile to the east. By September 1937 two loops of the campground had been completed; the Loop B comfort station was built 1938-1939, and by 1942 the trailer loop comfort station and the checking station were completed.

The Road System consists of a campground entrance road, parking spurs and links, and pedestrian pathways. The entrance road, begun as a two-lane road in 1936, leads from Route 102A to the checking station and progresses to the campsite loop roads A, B, C, and D. The parking spurs and links were designed to confine vehicles to a defined areas and thus reduce damage to the surounding landscape: spurs historically designed for auto-tent campers and links for trailer campers. Pedestrian pathways consist of paths along the campsite roads and smaller social trails. In the 1970s a portion of the entrance road was widened to three lanes, bituminous concrete has replaced the earlier base-sealant surfacing, and the size of the spurs and links has been increased over the years to accommodate larger recreational vehicles and equipment.
 
Construction Period:

Construction Period:
Historic
Chronology:
 
Physical Event
Begin Year
Begin Year CE/BCE
End Year
End Year CE/BCE
Designer
Designer Occupation
1. 
Built
1935
CE
1942
CE
NPS
Other
2. 
Altered
1971
CE
1998
CE


 
Function and Use:

Primary Historic Function:
Vehicular Circulation
Primary Current Use:
Vehicular Circulation
Structure Contains Museum Collections?:
No
Other Functions or Uses:
 
Other Function(s) or Use(s)
Historic or Current
1. 
Pedestrian Circulation
Historic
2. 
Pedestrian Circulation
Current
 
Physical Description:

Structure Type:
Road
Material(s):
 
Structural Component(s)
Material(s)
1. 
Superstructure
Concrete
2. 
Superstructure
Earth
Short Physical Description:
Three-land entrance road begins at Rte 102A, runs 1/2 mile to Checking Station where it is divided by a grass median; continues to loop roads A, B, C, & D, which direct traffic in counter-clockwise direction to parking spurs & links. Entrance and loops roads bituminous concrete. Dirt pathways.