About a week ago, Kevin Strange, president of MDI Biological Laboratory in Bar Harbor, wrote an interesting contributor piece for the BDN. In it, he explored the beginnings of MDI Biological Laboratory and how George Dorr saw Mount Desert Island as a whole.
Here’s an excerpt:
Many visitors to Acadia National Park are familiar with the MDI Biological Laboratory, but few are aware that its origins go back to the creation of the park. George Dorr, one of the park’s founders, envisioned Mount Desert Island as a summer home for scientists to work “on a fresh field of life, bird or plant or animal.”
As a man of prodigious energies, he made good on his vision. In 1916, he was instrumental in the purchase of the Emery farmstead in Salisbury Cove for the site of a research laboratory. He later convinced the leadership of the South Harpswell Biological Laboratory to relocate to Mount Desert Island. As described by Dorr, the mission of the new laboratory, now called the MDI Biological Laboratory, was to advance science by studying the “earliest forms of life.”
As we celebrate Acadia’s centennial, it’s worth looking at where Dorr’s vision stands today.