What a nice day for a Bike ride to Eagle Lake with Sheila and Bryan. It is always nice to have friends to share in our discoveries. We are looking for the abandoned water tower on Eagle lake. It was abandoned in 1865. I read about the tower and the filtration system in the History of the Bar Harbor Water Company and saw the picture of their design when the filtration system was being installed in 1901-1906 . Dave and I were on Eagle lake a few weeks ago looking for the lost house and we were intrigued by what we read about the old abandoned water tower somewhere in the area and now want to find the location. It got a little late that day so saved that hike for another day. The Duck Brook trail is a lost trail as it is not on the map anymore and the stone foot path over the brook is not kept up and by the looks of the stone tower it could be considered a lost site and one would walk right past it unless you are on a mission to find it. I was searching for directions online and came across a post from J. R. Libby from his blog leavetheworldbelow . He had map and directions.
Directions from the parking lot at Eagle Lake seemed as though it would be easy to find but we first had to find the Eagle Lake parking area. Being a little know- it- all...I didn't pull out my map this time and was a little difficult to do seeing we were on the motorcycle anyway, so found that we drove right by the Eagle Lake parking lot and had to go around again to successfully find the parking area. There was a lot of traffic on the road this weekend it was throwing me off. Bar Harbor tourists have arrived! I was reminded of when Dave and I spoke with the teacher (Linda) we met while hiking Great Head peninsula earlier this spring in another one of my archived posts, she called us tourists in winter. Now that it is summertime I suppose we are considered locals among all these tourists.
we reviewed these maps for directions. Like I said the hardest thing for us today was finding the Eagle Lake parking lot. All the rest was easy-peasy.
From reading info to this site I would say this is a historical place in Bar Harbor that found itself in a wresting match for control of the existing water system rights between the Bar Harbor Water Company (who were made up of residents of Bar Harbor) and the Eden Water Company (mainly summer residents to Bar Harbor, very influential and well to do people from "away") In the years following and in-between this case many methods were tried for getting the water to the town when needed, from the dam on Eagle lake to the water shed just off it's shores (that is still functioning today) to the pipes in ground and above ground, the reservoirs, the stone tower, a metal tower on Great Hill, other towers on other hills and the sand filtration system as seen in the pictures below. It was all a learning experience that took many years and lots of dollars. Today we were interested in the stone tower and the filtration system.
I read on a map that there were old foundations to the right of the trail and sure enough not walking but a few short steps, there they were. Except it didn't make sense that they were foundations. We tried to imagine a large hotel, but I hadn't read of any hotels except what I spoke of on the edge of the lake. Then it dawned on me that they were the sand filtration systems that were built in 1901-1906 from the History of Bar Harbor Water Company pages 70-72. Below old pipes and reservoirs for filtering.
moving on the trail today we walked further in the woods. There were downed trees in the path throughout the trail we walked over or ducked under but it was still pretty easy to follow. Once the road was behind us and woods all around, I looked up to see the old stone water tower come into view straight ahead. What a beautiful piece of artwork. It was standing there even in it's ruined state so massive and beautiful. As we got closer the entrance way was opened, plywood ripped from the doorway and haphazardly flung to the side, plywood that once served as a makeshift doorway. Peeking through the hole there was rubble scattered all over the floor from the inside stone walls crumbling to the ground and pieces of wood ripped off and on top of the pile. It didn't make sense to me how water could be held in this tower, but guess I will have to take their word that it did or look it up so I will know. I followed the Duck Brook path a short way and saw the plastic pipes that are now used to transport the water from the water/chlorinating shed at the edge o Eagle lake to the town of Bar Harbor and places in-between.
Feeling accomplished for finding what we had set out to find, walking back to the bikes I stopped to check out this granite seat on the edge of Eagle lake....looking in the woods I noticed a pile of granite and old stone foundation poking out of the ground in spots that I didn't see the first few times I walked this carriage road. Bingo! My nose was stuck in another book that had info on this spot. Looks like it was the remains of either the old Lake House that once stood here or possible the spillway gate house that housed the wharf for the stern wheel steamboat the Wauwinnet. I opt for the Lake House because the spillway gate house looked like it was truly on the waters edge and the Lake house set back a bit. However, with generations of time topographic changes do occur so the lake could have been deeper 100 years ago and the area we now walk on the carriage road may have been under water or built up after the fire of '47 or vise versa...who knows. There was no plaque with any history, so I was left to my imagination. It was rather neat all the same.
So much fun in one day. We drove to one of our favorite places to cook up some hot dogs for lunch. I forgot the utensils so we made do with what we had. I try not sweat the small stuff. We have found a friend in Chipmunk, he loves our company when we stop here...or maybe he just loves our food as Sheila said it just might be he's tired of lobster tail. He is a local of the area and visits every time we come here. This is an awesome place for the making of sea glass with the ocean at our feet.